There are countless brands out there and more are entering the marketplace as we speak. The online market is opening new and exciting opportunities for retailers and marketing. For example, according to research company Growth from Knowledge, the e-commerce retailers grew their revenue to 52% in 2017. And that figure keeps climbing. Yes, effective management of all these brands needs to take place, however for a brand to really excel and shine bright above its competitors, the brand needs to lead.
Management vs leadership: the age-old debate
Before we get into what is the difference between “brand management” and “brand leadership”, it’s necessary that we look at what the difference between “management” and “leadership”.
Many great minds in the human resources (HR) industry have debated the difference between management and leadership as well as the interesting question of whether these two terms are interchangeable. Peter Drucker, who was a famed management consultant and developed much of the literature that is the basis of modern HR good practice, sums up this dichotomy perfectly in the following quote: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” While it’s a manager’s job to steer the department or team according to the rule book written for the company, it is the leader’s role to think out of the box and develop new ways of doing things.
What does this have to do with brands?
Brand management, like management in any other spectrum, is merely making sure that the rule book developed for the brand is carried out according to how it was designed. In our recent article, entitled What Does a Brand Manager Do? we said that the brand manager is responsible for letting customers and potential consumers know that when they purchase the brand, they will be buying into quality.
A brand manager has to manage the good name of its brand and, if necessary, minimise potential damage to their brand’s good name. Two examples of brand management – one good and one bad – come to mind when the brand was faced by a crisis:
- Recently, Eskort had to withdraw a good deal of their products from retail outlets as an outbreak of listeriosis had been linked to one of their manufacturing plants.
- A number of years ago, baby food brand Gerber found glass shards in one of their bottles. However, rather than recalling their product the company refused to do so.
While Eskort faced up to the problem and took the knock financially, Gerber’s actions caused them to damage their brand name as well as their share price.
Brand leadership does involve the management of brands. However, it goes the extra mile. If a brand is a leader in their particular market share, they become synonymous with the product’s name itself. So if you say that you’ve ‘Googled’ something those listening to you know instantly that you have searched for that particular item on the Internet. Asking for a Kleenex won’t get you strange looks as people will know that you are asking for a tissue. If you ask where the Xerox machine is people will point you in the direction of the photocopier. As Meg Whitman – American business executive, political activist and philanthropist- so eloquently sums it up: “When people use your brand name as a verb, that is remarkable.”
Before you can become a brand leader, you need to know how to build a rock-solid brand with strong foundations that will stand the test of time. The Digital School of Marketing’s Brand Management Course will teach you the inner workings of a brand that will stand the test of time and how to implement these learnings in your business or entrepreneurial endeavour.
So to learn how to implement brand management as part of your digital marketing strategy, sign up for South Africa’s premier digital marketing certificate in brand management. We are the only provider of superior digital education to be accredited by the MICT SETA. This means that with this digital marketing course from the Digital School of Marketing, we will make you into the best brand manager out there.