Decisions, decisions, decisions. What are the most important ones for brand managers? It depends on the scope of the job function within your organization, but here are the typical important decisions:
- Who are the brand's target customers?
- What are the different customer segments and why have we created those segments?
- What is the brand's competitive frame of reference?
- What is the brand's essence, promise, archetype and personality?
- What are the brand's key differentiating benefits or values?
- What does our brand "own" in the minds of its customers? What is its positioning from their perspectives?
- What are the most important proof points for the brand's unique value proposition or promise?
- What are the most important brand messages overall and for each market segment?
- What is the brand's elevator speech?
- Do we need a brand story? Do we have one? How compelling is it?
- What is the brand's product/service portfolio?
- Should we add some products or services? Which ones and why? Should we eliminate some products or services? Which ones and why?
- What sub-brands and product names exist as a part of the brand's architecture? Why?
- Should we simplify or otherwise optimize our brand's architecture?
- What is the brand's pricing strategy?
- What is the brand's distribution strategy? Is our brand in the right distribution channels?
- Does the brand have a consistent but powerful identity system? Is this codified in a guidelines manual?
- Does everyone in our organization know what the brand stands for? Can they consistently articulate the brand's elevator speech?
- Do we know how to define and measure the brand's equity? Do we know what it is?
- What are the metrics by which we will evaluate the success of the brand?
- Do we have a comprehensive brand plan? Are we actively managing the brand against that plan?
- What are the brand's market share, sales and profit goals?
- Who is responsible for achieving or exceeding brand goals?
- Should we extend the brand into new product or service categories? If so, which ones and why?
- Should we license the brand to third parties? Why? What impact will it have on the brand and its associations?
- Should we expand the brand's geographic footprint? If so, to what markets?
- What is the brand's awareness among its target markets? If it is not acceptable, what should we do to increase the awareness?
- Are our customers emotionally connected to our brand? If not, what should we do to increase that emotional connection?
- Are people loyal to our brand? If not, what should we do to increase that loyalty?
- Do we have the right marketing mix? What is our media plan? Is our media mix optimal?
- Given limited budgets, to what extent should we focus on reach versus frequency in brand communication?
- Are we using proactive publicity to supplement our paid brand marketing?
- Do we really understand how to build our brand online through social media and other digital approaches? If not, how do we get better at this?
- Are our marketing agency partners the right ones? Are they doing the best job for us? Is it time to conduct an agency search/review?
- Are we doing all that we can to protect our brand's intellectual property legally?
- Do we possess all of the competencies necessary to manage the brand properly and to increase its equity and financial contributions to our organization?
How many of these decisions are you actively making as brand manager? What other key decisions have I missed? Let me know in the comments section below.
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