Brand Management: Why is it Necessary in 2021?
In an age of consumerism and digital media, exacerbated by COVID-19 where we saw an increase in eCommerce, all eyes are locked on a brand’s every move. This can be a great asset for brand awareness and product launches but can also easily backfire on a company if they miss the mark with their audience. You probably remember a major sports clothing company accused of insensitivity after sending a poorly worded email to participants of a marathon, or the soap company who received massive backlash from their audience for their controversial commercial. These case studies can be used to examine why the role of a brand manager is so important for brands, especially in 2021 when consumers are holding brands to higher standards and brands are more readily accessible through social media. They illustrate the need to create a brand image that all advertising efforts revolve around in order to create a brand that customers can relate to. But what exactly is a brand manager’s role and what trends should brand managers be looking at in 2021?
What are Brand Managers and What Do They Do?
Today’s brand managers are expected to move quickly, approve a high velocity of content, drive results, and be at the forefront of industry trends. Brand managers can usually be found working at major companies with a multitude of brands working directly with agencies or marketing departments. Their responsibilities differ from company to company, but in general Brand Managers are responsible for the overall image of the brand and its products. Some key elements of the job are:
- researching the marketplace to determine where the product or client fits,
- developing marketing and advertising strategies and managing those budgets,
- overseeing and helping create designs and layouts for digital advertising,
- overseeing promotional activities such as contests and giveaways,
- analyzing pricing and sales,
- analyzing results from previous campaigns to guide future campaigns,
- constantly re-evaluating how the brand and products can appear to a wider consumer base.
Brand Managers are responsible for more than developing and executing marketing campaigns, they are also in charge of developing and managing profit and loss statements and driving market growth. Strong analytical skills, business savvy, project management, team building, and the ability to multitask are all essential. At Discover Mediaworks, brand managers are also responsible for communicating with content distributors, content partners and clients, overseeing strategic episode air dates and release, communicating marketing results with the business development team and content partners, and are responsible for all media relations and public relations for the brand and content. The role demands exceeding responsibility and willingness to put in extra hours in order to separate your brand from the competition, which can sometimes be within the same company with sister brands. Other titles with similar responsibilities include publicists, marketing managers, strategic directors, and social media managers among others.
How can a brand benefit from brand management:
- powers overall brand awareness
- grow sales through increased customer advocacy
- helps grow a loyal customer following
- benefits brand scale
Brand Management in 2021
Interacting with a product provides an experience, and often consumers select the product with that experience in mind. Companies that create and market those products know exactly which experience they want the consumer to have when they pick their product from their competitors. From the language in their social media captions to the color palette they chose, companies who create strong brands know that their brand needs to live everywhere and their brand names extend far beyond the label. In an oversaturated marketplace, a brand manager is responsible for ensuring products, services, content, and even people resonate with the brand’s audience and create those experiences. With 77% of marketers believing branding is the most important factor in overall company growth, branding demands a commitment to continual education and reinvention. Here are four key trends to watch out for in 2021 that will reinvent the consumer brand experience.
1. Digital Customer Experience
With the surge of eCommerce in the last year, more and more people are primarily interacting with businesses and products through the digital space. With the trend not predicted to stop anytime soon, 58% of consumers expect to do more online shopping after the pandemic than they did before the pandemic. With 68% of consumers reporting that the COVID-19 pandemic elevated their expectations for companies’ digital capabilities, optimizing digital customer experience has perhaps become the most important aspect of brand management in 2021.
2. Interactive Content
Due to the increased amount of time people have spent online during the last year, interactive digital content has seen a comeback with 81% of marketers agreeing that interactive content is more effective than static content. Interactive digital content enhances the customer experience, can make a brand more memorable, and builds brand loyalty. Interactive content like contests, quizzes, and polls can be critical to driving customer engagement on your platforms. 66% of marketers agree that overall audience engagement has gone up since implementing interactive content in the marketing strategy. TV brands have been taking new approaches to live streaming by merging TV, social media, and video games to create a new participatory live TV experience for viewers called interactive live streaming.
3. Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel Marketing is a cross-channel content strategy used to improve customer experience and ensures customers receive the same experience and messaging throughout all channels (both traditional and digital channels) and touchpoints. 87% of consumers believe that brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless experience, so using a consistent brand image and message will ensure a heightened sense of familiarity and relationship with the brand. Brand managers implementing an omnichannel marketing strategy must ensure that all internal departments have consistent messaging to ensure the strategy implementation is successful. Companies and marketers with successful omnichannel marketing strategies and customer engagement can see a 9.5 % year-over-year increase in annual revenue.
4. QR Codes
When managing a brand, it is imperative to always have a well-researched strategy behind any project, big or small. That involves researching the past, the market, and monitoring trends as well as looking to the future and setting goals. Ultimately, any project within the brand should fit into the grand plan of the brand to ensure the brand stays strong in 2021 and beyond.
When you work with Discover Mediaworks, you benefit from the research, marketing savvy, and budget effectiveness that we acquire for our three internal brands and gladly share with you.
About the Author:
Andreina Patilliet is the Brand Manager for Into the Outdoors, a 17-time Emmy award-winning kids educational TV series. Andreina received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Beloit College and her Master’s degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her passion for children’s educational content grew during her internship with Discover Mediaworks in the fall of 2019. When she is not overseeing Into the Outdoors, you can find her traveling, enjoying the great outdoors, or getting involved in proj$ects in her community.