Today companies have more options than ever when it comes to appealing to customers and meeting their obligations to their stakeholders. However, even in today’s fast-paced market, the art of brand management is critical to the success of any company. This is doubly true for emerging brands that do not have the benefit of capitalizing on their parent brand, but it also applies to established companies. Despite its importance, many companies are placing short-term gains ahead of long-term profits. To succeed, business owners need to realize these key facts about brands.

Brands Are a Long-Term Strategy

Modern marketing strategies have shifted away from an approach emphasizing the brand to one more focused on sales. This shift is driven primarily by the rise of digital media, where it is easier to establish clear metrics on customer engagement. This often comes in the form of an upfront incentive to a would-be customer at the cost of profit.

A strategy such as this can be effective for getting customers in the door — provided you can retain them, which is only possible with consistent brand management. It is for this reason that the brand should always be a fundamental principle in long-term strategy so as to avoid conflict with short-term sales goals.

Brands Are Crafted Everywhere

The representation of a brand no longer just means TV commercials or radio adverts. While mass media is an important facet of building and maintaining a brand, advertising is not the same as managing a brand. Advertisement creates brand awareness, but it is the customer experience that has the most significant effect on brands. Social media is often the landscape in which the public comes to conceptualize a brand. This is both in the form of word-of-mouth marketing through customers with positive experiences as well as the way more traditional strategies operate in the social media ecosystem.

Brand Accountability Is Critical

The potent power of social media at establishing and maintaining a brand image also comes with obligations. Customers have more power than ever when it comes to both positively or negatively affecting a brand. This means companies must be accountable to the brand image they cultivate and how they deliver on that image. It can be challenging to meet all customer expectations, but avoiding the trap of overselling and underdelivering can save companies from a deteriorating brand image.

Proper brand management is about consistency. It requires delivering to customers just as much as was sold to them, if not more. Creating ambassadors through positive customer experiences creates a better, stronger brand that, in turn, improves all your marketing efforts.