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What is Brand Management: A Guide to Strategic Brand Growth

Last Updated May 30, 2024

Building a successful brand requires more than just attractive visuals and a great product; it demands dedication, consistency, and a strategic approach to brand management. As a brand manager or marketing associate, understanding “what is brand management” is crucial for your brand’s strategic growth. 

What is Brand Management

  • Definition: Brand management is the process of creating and maintaining a brand’s image, reputation, and value.
  • Purposes: Ensures correct messaging, drives growth, improves, and adapts to needs.
  • Core Focus: It fosters brand recognition, equity, and loyalty.
  • Brand Management Process: Brand audit, analyze the target market, redefine brand objectives, execute strong marketing campaigns, track and improve brand performance, and grow brand equity.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the essentials of brand management, highlight its key differences from other important marketing concepts, and provide actionable strategies, real-life examples, and tips on using DocHipo to streamline your brand asset creation. 

What Is Brand Management?

Brand management means shaping and keeping up a company’s image and reputation in a competitive market.

It is an ongoing journey of monitoring performance, analyzing, and improving results. By tracking sentiment and awareness, brand managers see what’s working and chart the course for continued growth.

Building a strong brand is just the first step! A well-managed brand presence sets you apart, nurturing deep connections with customers and promoting your offerings to the forefront of the market. But brands, like relationships, need constant care. That’s where brand management comes in, ensuring your brand image remains vibrant and effective over time. 

We hope this brand management description helps you appreciate its long-term importance for our brand!

Three Pillars of Brand Management

Brand management revolves around three core components: brand equity, brand recognition, and brand loyalty. Brand management responsibilities include managing a brand directly for its development and growth, though accurately measuring these elements can be challenging.

What is Brand Recognition?

Brand recognition refers to how easily consumers can identify a product or service by its logo, tagline, packaging, or advertising. For example, when you see a swoosh symbol, you immediately associate it with Nike.

Nike logo
Source: Nike

Brand management often begins with enhancing brand recognition. You’ve successfully built recognition when consumers see your brand and experience positive emotions. New products entering the market must invest in strategies that boost visibility and create favorable impressions. Established brands, meanwhile, need to allocate resources wisely to maintain or enhance their market position.

What is Branding Equity?

Brand equity is how much a product’s reputation is worth in terms of money. Even though you can’t see it on financial papers, having a strong brand reputation can make people buy more because they see the brand as valuable. It takes a while to build up brand equity, and it happens when people have good experiences with the brand, connect with it strongly, and when the brand keeps giving them what they expect. Brand equity is like having a popular social media account. The more followers you have, the more people trust and engage with your content, making it easier to influence them and attract new buyers.

What is Brand Loyalty?

Brand loyalty goes beyond recognition and equity. It’s about fostering a deep, enduring connection with customers so they remain committed to your brand, even when competitors try to lure them away. Achieving brand loyalty involves consistently meeting customer needs and providing exceptional customer service throughout the product’s lifecycle. When customers feel valued and satisfied, they are more likely to remain loyal, ensuring long-term success for your brand. 

For instance, if you consistently purchase Starbucks coffee because you appreciate its taste, ambiance, and ethical sourcing practices, you’re unlikely to switch to other coffee shops, even if they offer lower prices. That’s brand loyalty.

By understanding and nurturing these elements, you can strategically grow your brand and build lasting connections with your audience. With dedication and the right approach, your brand can thrive and resonate deeply with consumers.

Now, let’s explore important brand management principles that will largely dictate your strategic brand management moves from time to time.

Why Is Brand Management Important? 

Imagine a product with no identity lost in a sea of similar offerings. This is the risk without brand management. Strategic brand management shapes how consumers perceive your products, influencing their buying decisions and fostering loyalty. Here’s why brand management is important for long-term success:

  • Building Brand Loyalty: Strong brand management goes beyond short-term sales. It cultivates trust and positive associations, turning satisfied customers into loyal fans who consistently choose your brand.
  • Driving Repeat Purchases: A well-managed, successful brand creates a memorable and positive experience. Consumers who connect with your brand emotionally are more likely to return for future purchases.
  • Securing Long-Term Profit: Loyal customers are the backbone of sustainable business growth. By nurturing brand loyalty, brand management fuels repeat purchases and higher customer lifetime value, leading to long-term financial stability.

In simple words, brand management is an investment in your brand’s future. By strategically shaping public perception, you build a loyal customer base that propels your business toward long-term success.

Benefits of Brand Management

In today’s crowded marketplace, differentiation is key. That’s where managing brands comes in. It’s the strategic process of shaping your brand’s identity and ensuring it resonates with your target audience. But the benefits go far beyond just recognition. Here’s how strong brand management can propel your business forward:

Product Differentiation

Let’s say you recently launched a fast-fashion brand in New York. Now imagine how you will compete with brands like Zara, H&M, Mango, and Shein, to name a few, if your products don’t stand out or differ from these brands. Strong brand management strategies help you rise above the noise and become the clear choice for customers seeking a unique and memorable experience.

Here’s another example of how this brand created a differentiation strategy based on its brand management strategies. 

Unlike Taco Bell’s fast-food approach, Chipotle focuses on showcasing its brand with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, positioning itself as the healthier, more wholesome option. This strategy clearly differentiates Chipotle in the market.

Employee Engagement

Brand management definition tells you that it isn’t just about external perception. When employees understand and support the brand’s values, they become passionate advocates, creating a stronger company culture and improved customer interactions.

Better Customer Lifetime Value

Effective brand management is a part of brand loyalty marketing. Loyal customers make repeat purchases and are more likely to try new products within your brand ecosystem, leading to increased sales volume and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). When you focus on your buyer personas and create strategic marketing campaigns to create a desirable brand identity and brand experience for them, your brand will increase its ROI with every new customer acquisition and more retention. 

Premium Pricing 

A strong brand reputation allows you to set premium pricing for your offerings. Think Apple—their brand evokes such a strong connection that customers are willing to pay a premium for their products, thanks to their innovative brand management strategies. 

Strong Market Position

Economic downturns are inevitable. However, companies with strong brand management are better positioned to weather these storms. Loyal customers are more likely to stick with brands they trust, even during challenging times.

goodmylk brand
Source: Goodmylk

Goodmylk carves out a unique market position by highlighting its pure, full-cream milk, perfect for nourishing the whole family.

By investing in brand management, you invest in your business’s long-term success. So, if you ask me, “What is brand management?” It’s a powerful tool that helps you build brand loyalty, increase sales, and navigate even the most competitive markets.

Difference Between Branding and Brand Management

Maybe you’re wondering, “is branding and brand management the same?” Well, no, these two terms are very close but not exactly the same. Here are the five key differences:

ParametersBranding Brand Management
DefinitionProcess of brand identity and perception creationProcess of maintaining and enhancing brand reputation
FocusInitial brand establishmentOngoing strategy for brand maintenance and  development
ScopeThe main focus on the strategy of brand creationInvolves in a continuous flow of monitoring, analysis, and adaptation 
DurationTypically, a one-time process for new brandsContinuous process throughout the brand’s lifecycle
GoalTo create a brand recognition and differentiation strategyTo ensure consistency, relevance, and loyalty for the brand

Brand Strategy vs Brand Management 

Another term that people sometimes confuse with brand management is brand strategy. See the key differences between these two:

ParametersBrand StrategyBrand Management
FocusLong-term planning to achieve brand-specific objectivesDay-to-day implementation of brand strategies
ScopeEstablishing brand positioning and messagingMonitoring and maintaining overall brand health
PurposeImprove brand developmentEnsures consistency and relevance over time with every marketing program
DurationStrategic decisions usually involve periodic reviewsContinuous, ongoing process as it manages how the consumers perceive the brand
ActivitiesMarket analysis, target audience definitionBrand monitoring, reputation management

Brand Management vs. Marketing

Now, you must be wondering if marketing is the same as brand management because, in simple words, it’s all for promoting the brand, right? Brand management and marketing are very different strategies that drive different results but share the same goal from an organizational perspective. Here are the differences:

ParametersBrand ManagementMarketing
FocusManaging brand identity and reputationPromoting products or services to the target audience
ScopeLong-term strategies for brand health and brand equityShort-term strategies for sales and customer acquisition
PurposeBuild brand loyalty and valueGenerate quality leads and drive sales
StrategyConsistent and relevant strategies over timeInstantaneous and responsive to market trends
ActivitiesBrand monitoring, reputation managementAdvertising, market research, promotions

Core Principles of Brand Management

The principles are laid out depending on the three pillars of brand management. Understanding these principles will help you shape your brand management strategies. 

1. Catch Attention and Connect Emotionally for Brand Recognition

As we know, the better your consumers can recognize your brand, the more likely they will recall it. Proper brand recognition and recall lead to stronger customer associations with your brand. That’s why creating seamless brand recognition with unique visual cues is very important. 

McDonald's billboard
Source: LocalQ

When you see yellow curves on billboards, you take only a second to recognize that it’s McDonald’s.

Catching attention with your brand message and assets is the first step in brand management. We are talking about logos and brand colors that will consistently create a coherent brand image in relation to your brand message. Use the color wheel to understand the psychology behind colors and how they can impact your buyer persona. Also, create your brand logo with mascots so your audience can find emotional relevance in your brand. It helps to build trust for your brand. Packaging plays a vital role in brand recognition as well. From logo and typography to color combinations, taglines to package design, all are part of brand management because it’s a constant effort to create awareness with visual elements. 

Brand personality is everything when it comes to connecting with your audience. Be authentic and develop social media marketing strategies that match your brand’s authenticity. You can humanize your brand by capturing the regular emotions your audience feels and showcasing that through compassionate, relevant storytelling in your content as an emotional marketing technique. 

2. Build a Community for Brand Equity

Creating a strong and engaging brand community is essential for nurturing a loyal customer base. While collaborating with influencers and celebrities can enhance brand visibility, genuine feedback and testimonials from real customers carry substantial weight, especially among younger generations who are skeptical of celebrity endorsements.

To boost brand value, focus on building a community of loyal customers and advocates. Implement loyalty and referral programs to reward repeat buyers and encourage them to share their experiences on social media and forums. You can measure brand equity with social listening tools that analyze the reach of mentions, negative and positive mentions, and much more. 

#ShareACoke campaign is one such initiative Coca-Cola took to measure the strength of its brand equity. Here’s what they have found. 

Source: talkwalker

3. Be Responsive to Build Customer Loyalty

Being responsive and actively engaging in conversations related to your brand is crucial. It is also essential to act promptly on any issues that are addressed.

In addition to establishing loyalty programs, surprise your customers with extra perks and engage with them unexpectedly. Incorporating a social cause and encouraging them to participate with your brand will help build trust. It’s mandatory to know how to take care of them when they need assistance from your brand. Ensure that all your social media posts and marketing efforts are aligned to add value and provide solutions to their needs. Exceptional customer support is crucial in building brand loyalty. Also, utilize social listening tools to gain insights into brand mentions and understand people’s perceptions of your brand.

Source: Chubbies

Cultivate a brand-aligned workforce through a supportive environment, benefits, recognition programs, and training. Your employees are your strengths; if they are happy and proud of your brand, they become your brand’s advocate. Enhance your employees’ experience with your brand by fostering an inclusive and supportive environment. 

4. Constant Innovation with Research

Continuous innovation is key to success in a competitive market. Use data to explore creative solutions, develop products, and foster an innovative workforce. Stay updated on current brand trends and integrate suitable visual elements. Analyze first-hand customer information and buying trends and leverage tools like Facebook Insights and Google Analytics to make well-informed decisions.

Step-by-Step Strategic Brand Management

Once you have a clear idea of brand management principles, you can easily create a plan for strategic brand management with these steps. 

Step by step brand management process

1. Comprehensive Brand Audit to Analyze Its Current State

The first step is to analyze and understand the results of your marketing and strategic efforts and where you need to improve your planning. A brand audit is a deep analysis of your brand’s health in the marketplace. It’s like a checkup to assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis). This helps you identify areas for improvement and build a stronger brand.

A Brand Audit Typically Covers:

  • Setting Goals: What do you want to achieve with the audit?
  • Target Market Research: Who are you trying to reach, and what are their needs?
  • Brand Identity Evaluation: Core values, mission, and vision – what defines your brand?
  • Brand Communication Analysis: How are you reaching your target audience?
  • Brand Equity Assessment: Overall perception – how is your brand viewed?
  • Competitive Review: Who are your main rivals, and what are their strengths/weaknesses?
  • Action Plan Development: Practical steps to take your brand to the next level.

2. Analyze Your Customer Journey and Redefine Your Target Market

Understanding how customers interact with your brand is crucial. Analyze their journey, from initial awareness to purchase and post-purchase experience. Identify touchpoints and potential roadblocks.

Key Actions:

  • Map the customer journey: Visualize each touchpoint (awareness, consideration, purchase, experience) and improve your funnel marketing.
  • Analyze customer data: Identify patterns and pain points in their journey.
  • Refine your target market: Based on insights, make sure you reach the right audience.

3. Determine Your Brand Objectives, Identity, Positioning, and Values

The third step in effective brand management involves clearly defining your brand’s objectives, identity, positioning, and values. Here’s how to approach each aspect:

  • Brand Objectives: 

Establish clear, measurable goals for what you want your brand to achieve. These objectives should align with your overall business strategy and include targets such as market share, customer acquisition, and brand awareness.

  • Brand Identity: 

Develop a unique brand identity that differentiates you from competitors. This includes your logo, color scheme, typography, and overall visual style. Ensure that your brand’s personality and voice are consistent across all touchpoints.

  • Brand Positioning: 

Identify and articulate your brand’s unique value proposition. Determine how you want your brand to be perceived in the minds of your target audience compared to competitors. This involves crafting a compelling positioning statement that highlights your brand’s unique benefits and strengths.

If you want examples of brand positioning, consider Tesla. Tesla is a great example of effective brand positioning. The company has positioned itself as a pioneer in the electric vehicle industry, emphasizing innovation, sustainability, and high-performance technology. This positioning is communicated through its tagline, “Accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” By focusing on sleek designs, cutting-edge technology, and environmentally friendly practices, Tesla has successfully differentiated itself from traditional automakers and established a strong and unique brand identity. 

Source: Tesla motors

  • Brand Values: 

Define the core values that guide your brand’s actions and decisions. These values should reflect what your brand stands for and resonate with your audience. Consistently communicating and living these values helps build trust and loyalty among consumers.

4. Strategize and Implement Brand Marketing Campaigns

In addition to overseeing what the brand is marketing, the brand manager is also responsible for guiding the where, when, and how the brand will promote its message within the marketing strategy.

Key Actions:

  • Define campaign goals: What do you want to achieve (brand awareness, sales growth)?
  • Develop targeted messaging: Create content that resonates with your ideal customer.
  • Leverage Secondary Associations: Partner with complementary brands, celebrities, events, or distribution channels to enhance brand image and equity.
  • Choose strategic channels: Utilize the right channels (social media, email marketing, etc.) to reach your audience.
  • Implement & monitor campaigns: Execute your planned campaigns after strategically choosing content for the right channels at the right time.

Effective brand marketing campaigns drive brand awareness, engagement, and sales.

Here is a great example of a marketing campaign by Apple.

Apple marketing campaign
Source: Amani Willet

In 2014, Apple introduced the #ShotoniPhone campaign to highlight the iPhone’s camera capabilities. By encouraging users to share their photos on social media, Apple received millions of submissions on Instagram and X (formerly Twitter). The best photos were then showcased on billboards and buildings worldwide, celebrating the iPhone’s impressive technology.

5. Track, Measure, and Interpret Brand Performance 

Continuously monitoring your brand’s performance is essential to gauge marketing effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.

Key Actions:

  • Track key metrics: Brand awareness, engagement, website traffic, sales, etc.
  • Analyze campaign results: See what’s working and what’s not for your campaigns.
  • Interpret the data: Understand what the metrics mean about your brand health.

By tracking and analyzing brand performance data, you can make data-driven decisions to optimize your marketing efforts and achieve your brand’s goals. This ongoing process ensures you’re constantly refining your approach for maximum impact.

6. Grow and Sustain Brand Equity 

Building brand equity is a continuous process. Here’s how to ensure it thrives:

  • Establish Brand Architecture: Define clear guidelines for your brand structure, elements (like logos and slogans), and overall strategy. This includes your brand portfolio (all your offerings) and hierarchy (levels of branding across products).
  • Manage Brand Equity for the Long Term: Make marketing decisions that consider the long-term impact of brand equity, ensuring the success of future campaigns.
  • Brand Reinforcement: Consistently convey your brand image through all marketing channels.
  • Brand Revitalization: Recapture lost brand equity or establish new sources by refreshing your brand identity or exploring new market opportunities.

This is a six-step guide for the brand management process. Like any strategy, these steps can be modified. 

Examples of Brand Management

Now, let’s look into the best examples of brand management to get a clear idea of this concept in the real business world. 


Nike’s brand management strategy is all about gripping storytelling, and it is backed by strong partnerships with athletes and cultural icons like Megan Thee Stallion, Travis Scott, etc. They lead the pack with innovation and sustainability, while their digital engagement keeps fans hooked with a fresh dose of confidence. Nike’s agility in responding to trends ensures they’re always one step ahead. Nike wins hearts and stays at the forefront of the sports apparel world by weaving narratives of resilience and empowerment, teaming up with influential figures, and championing both performance and the planet. In short, Nike’s brand management is the perfect example of the right strategic moves, connecting with fans while setting new standards in the industry.

Nike brand management example
Source: Pinterest


Let’s find some inspiration from the multinational corporate giant Apple! They’ve nailed the art of branding, from their sleek design vibe to their knack for pushing the innovation envelope. 

What’s cool is that Apple’s brand isn’t just a label—it’s a vibe. People gladly pay top dollar for Apple devices because they buy an experience that feels luxurious and progressive. So, let’s not forget their fanbase—this brand has built a colossal of customer loyalty through pioneering solutions and instant services! It’s proof that investing in crafting a major brand like Apple pays off big time.

Apple brand management
Source: Edrawmind

Brand Management Tool You Can Use in DocHipo

DocHipo, the design tool, can be part of your brand identity creation. You can create unique brand assets and manage them effortlessly with the brand kit. Moreover, you can use DocHipo for any type of marketing collateral to strike a chord with your audience and generate more conversions through effective brand management strategies.

Watch this short video to create on-brand designs easily in one place.


Hopefully, this article explained “what is brand management”, its importance, and the process flow. Brand management plays a crucial role in shaping a brand, utilizing a variety of strategies to ensure long-term sustainability. If you need to easily create impactful visuals aligned with your brand management strategies, start designing with DocHipo. Sign up to get started. 


1. What is the primary goal of strategic brand management?

The primary goal of strategic brand management is to build and maintain a strong brand that resonates with consumers, fosters loyalty, and differentiates the brand from competitors.

2. Why is brand management important within a strategic role?

Brand management is important within a strategic role because it guides the direction of the brand, ensures consistency in messaging and positioning, and maximizes the brand’s impact on business performance.

3. What is a brand management example?

An example of brand management is Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, which has effectively positioned the brand as a symbol of motivation and empowerment, resonating with its target audience.

4. What is the most important factor in brand management?

The most important factor in brand management is maintaining consistency across all brand assets, including messaging, visual identity, and customer experience, to build trust and recognition in the market.

5. What is the significance of brand manager?

The significance of a brand manager lies in their role as the guardian of a company’s brand. They are responsible for shaping and maintaining the brand’s image, ensuring consistency, and driving strategic initiatives to enhance brand equity, loyalty, and recognition.

6. What do you mean by brand management?

Brand management refers to the strategic process of maintaining, improving, and upholding a brand’s identity and reputation. It involves activities such as brand positioning, messaging, and ensuring that the brand resonates with the target audience.

7. What is the difference between marketing and brand management?

The main difference between marketing and brand management is that marketing only focuses on promoting products or services to drive sales and revenue, while brand management is centered around creating and maintaining the overall perception and identity of the brand. While marketing deals with specific campaigns and tactics, brand management takes a more holistic and long-term approach to shaping the brand’s image and fostering customer loyalty.

8. How to create a brand management strategy?

To create a brand management strategy, start by conducting a brand audit to assess your current brand positioning and perception. Identify your target market and understand their preferences and behaviors. Then, execute and implement marketing strategies to improve brand perception and engagement. Finally, focus on creating sustainable brand equity by consistently delivering on your brand promise and maintaining brand consistency across all touchpoints.

9. What are the differences between brand brand management and brand equity?

Brand management involves the overall strategic and tactical efforts to maintain and enhance a brand’s image, while brand equity refers to the value associated with a brand’s reputation and recognition, which influences consumer behavior and purchasing decisions.

10. What is the difference between brand management and reputation?

Brand management focuses on actively shaping and controlling a brand’s perception, while reputation refers to the overall public opinion and perception of a brand based on its actions, behavior, and the experiences of its customers and stakeholders.