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What is Brand Management?

Cassie L. Damewood
Cassie L. Damewood

Brand management refers to the marketing of a certain brand or product to increase its popularity among consumers and increase market share. It differs from general marketing in that it concentrates on one trade name. This name may apply to only one product, but normally covers a range of products produced by one company or manufacturer.

There are several categories of brands in the marketing industry. The most costly brands are generally referred to as premium brands. Brands associated with cost savings that claim their products are as good as the more expensive varieties are typically called economy brands. If a product’s competitor makes a claim of superiority, a new brand deemed "improved" or "better than ever" before may be introduced. This is customarily referred to in the industry as a fighting brand.

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Marketing that utilizes brand management as its basis commonly starts with recognizing the popularity of one product and building on that positive image. For instance, if consumers determine that the laundry detergent brand XYZ cleans their clothes better than any other product and its sales soar, the marketing department of XYZ may introduce a fabric softener product under the same brand name. If that product is also a top seller, they may next market a fabric bleach under the same name.

As the brand management cycle progresses, the company may slowly increase the price of the product. If the increased price has no negative effect on sales, the next step by the marketing department may be to slightly decrease the marketing efforts to reduce costs. The combination of increased sales and reduced marketing expenses increase the overall profitability of the product.

Brand management professionals typically apply a set of trade name principles to newly introduced products. These guidelines indicate that a brand’s success is highly dependent upon its name being simple to remember, easily pronounceable and highly recognizable. Other factors for success generally include the ability for the name to be easily and accurately translated into all languages of the target consumer market.

Naming of brands generally falls into one of three categories. If a manufacturing company’s name is used to market a product, it is called corporate branding. Family branding customarily refers to a group of products that are related, such as a line of laundry products. If no two products produced by a company have the same name, the term regularly used to refer to these items is individual branding.

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Discussion Comments


Fabulous article! I reckon branding is the most important investment a company can make!


@Latte31 - I agree and I also think that the when companies are involved in potentially negative public relations problems that could hurt the brand, they really have to be proactive about it so that people continue to trust the brand.

Brand management in times of crisis can make or break a brand. For example, years ago there was a voluntary product recall of many toys by a well known children’s toy manufacturer. They said that some toys had levels of lead that were dangerous to children and the company voluntarily recalled millions of toys in order to protect the brand’s reputation.

However, when a company tries to hide a problem and the public finds out about it the damage is far worse. This is what happened to a Japanese car manufacturer that hid problems of sudden acceleration and faulty brakes that killed many people.

The brand is still trying to rebuild its image and facing a multitude of lawsuits in the process. If they would have done a voluntary recall they would not have been in the situation that they are in now.

A lot of people are uneasy about the brand that used to be well respected. I think that it only takes a few minutes to destroy a reputation that took a lifetime to build which is why brand reputation management is so important.


@BrickBack -I know what you mean and I think that this type of psychology also allows the brand to charge higher prices than normal because the demand is so great. When people buy these luxury handbags they are really buying an image and this is the reason that so many people are willing to pay thousands of dollars for a handbag.

They want others to perceive them as important and this is what a brand manager does for a brand. They try to create the highest demand possible along with the ability to raise prices without anyone caring.

It is not easy to do because you really have to have excellent strategic brand management in order to pull this off.


I just wanted to say that luxury brand management is careful regarding the distribution of their product because they want to maintain an exclusive image.

For example, very high end handbags are only sold at an authorized department store which makes the brand reputation management easier.

Also, a brand manager may create an advertising campaign that shows a sophisticated celebrity walking around with the upscale handbag. This creates an image of sophistication that an average viewer would want to replicate and the commercial causes them to want the handbag.

There is also some product placement in shows and in movies that add more appeal to the handbag. Many of these sought after bags even have a waiting list although the company could made more it chooses not to so that the image of the handbag continues to remain elusive and something that people wish they could have.

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