2.1 Brand Management
2.1.3 The role of brand management
The ultimate evaluation of a brand is in the consumers or users mind (De Chernatony and McDonald 2005). To facilitate this, a structured approach to the management of a brand is needed, with consideration to a full range of planned activities (De
34 Chernatony 2010; Kapferer 2012). The role of brand management can take several different forms.
184.108.40.206 Brand ownership
The management of brands to signify ownership was one of the earliest roles (Moore and Reid 2008). Management was needed to distinguish brands, generally in a visual way with symbols, colour and logos.
Not only is signalling ownership important, but the legal ownership of a brand is also key (Brownlie 1988; Davies 1995; Mitchell and Kearney 2002). Protection of a brand via legal is regarded by some as the main role of brand management (De
Chernatony and McDonald 2005). However, strong differentiation can also offer protection against competitors by providing consumers with clarity and consistent messaging about the associated added values of that brand (Levitt 1980; Aaker and Joachimsthaler 2000). Therefore managing the differentiation of a brand through continuous development and communication is essential (Simoes et al. 2005).
The role of brand management to clarify and protect brand ownership has expanded to incorporate the full remit of brand identity (Aaker 1991). Brand management has to consider how that identity translates in many different ways across multiple points.
Brand identity is fully explored in the following part of this literature review chapter.
220.127.116.11 Brand Communication
Successful brand management needs to consider what customers and users are wanting from a brand and then manage how that is communicated. Brands can be symbolic devices in which users can express something about themselves or their linkage to a certain peer group by using or being associated with a brand (Belk, Bahn and Mayer 1982; Kay 1995; Fournier 1998; Elliot and Wattanasuwan 1998).
35 Therefore how the functional and emotional aspects of a brand are managed and communicated can enhance (or damage) the symbolic association. As customers look to brands as a way to help them in their decision making, both by acting as a risk reducer and by providing a quicker way for them make those decisions, brand management must ensure that activity is developed which meets these needs (Veloutsou and Guzman 2017).
As well as the importance of external communication to consumers and users,
internal communication and engagement with employees is also identified as key (De Chernatony 2001; Tosti and Stotz 2001; Hatch and Schultz 2003). The rise of
branding has raised awareness of the crucial role that employees play in the
branding process (Punjari and Wilson 2017). Internal communication can help build knowledge, passion and loyalty amongst employees (Meyer, Stanley, Herscovitch and Topolnytsky 2002; Papasolomou and Vrontis 2006) and has emerged as a key process to align the behaviours of employees with the brand values. Employees can influence how a brand is portrayed as they are responsible for actually delivering the brand promise in their interactions with other staff and in their external interactions with customers, suppliers and other partners (Hatch and Schultz 2003; King and Grace 2008; Balmer, Mukherjee, Greyser, Jenster, Vallaster and de Chernatony 2006 ). Having employees who embody the brand can lead to superior brand performance yet employees can also have the converse affect. If employees fail to understand the brand, the role they play in developing the brand, and the importance of representing the brand at every touchpoint (Balmer et al. 2006) this can have a negative impact on the brand. In some instances employees can actually damage a brand when they intentionally act against the brand ethos (Ind 2001; Wallace and De Chernatony 2007). The importance of engaging employees and getting the right
36 approach to internal communications is therefore a key role in brand management.
Training programmes and internal communication are the major mechanisms used in internal branding (Punjari and Wilson 2017).
Brand management not only involves communicating about the brand, but it is crucial in determining the structured approach to oversee multiple brands under the remit of an organisation.
18.104.22.168 Brand architecture
Many organisations do not just have one brand which they manage but have a
portfolio of brands that they need to organise and structure. This organising of brands into a coherent and manageable framework is referred to as brand architecture and has been the focus of much academic attention (Aaker and Joachimsthaler 2000;
Kapferer 2012) (See appendix 2 for an illustration of brand architecture). Approaches to brand architecture influence the management of a brand and are a key
determinate in the creation and on-going development of brands.
The organisation of brands range from what is termed a ‘Branded House’ whereby sub brands have the same or a different yet identifiable identity to the corporate brand, through to a ’House of Brands’, whereby brands standalone without an
obvious connection to the corporate organisation. Media brands can be considered at multiple levels of brand architecture varying from the corporate brand, through to the channel brand, to programme, talent and personality brands (Drinkwater and Uncles, 2007; Baumann 2015; Bryant and Mawer 2016). In the example of TV broadcasting a
‘Branded House’ approach can be seen with the corporate Channel 4, which has programmes such as Googlebox and Big Brother which are identifiable back to the Channel 4 brand. Media management researchers (Chan-Olmsted and Kim 2002;
37 Chang et al. 2004; Chang and Chan-Olmsted 2010; Stipp 2012; Doyle 2015) have given some attention to brand architecture with recent debates challenging the value of the corporate brand as either a driver or strong endorser (Chan-Olmsted and Shay 2015). This contradicts brand research in other contexts which argues for the move away from the house of brands model to a branded house approach (Hatch and Schultz 2001; Greyser and Urde 2019).
22.214.171.124 Strategic brand management
The strategic role of brand management in creating, developing and maintaining a media brand which contributes to financial and market success is well recognised (Chan-Olmsted 2006;Rosenbaum-Elliott, Percy and Pervan 2015). Having the skills required to build and strengthen a brand in the dynamic media industry is key to build and retain competitive advantage (Aris and Bughin 2009). Media organisations with strong brands are typically able to charge more than the competition, are more resilient in times of economic and social crisis, and can recruit and retain a motivated workforce (Ind and Schmidt 2019). In short therefore, the strategic management of media brands is key.