With the internet now at the centre of our every-day lives, there are constantly new and exciting ways to run and promote your business that simply didn’t exist a few years ago. But whilst new and innovative methods are great, it’s also important to remember the basics. And that’s where brand governance has always been and still is extremely important to a company’s identity and survival.
What is brand governance?
Let’s start with the basics. Brand governance refers to the organisation of a company’s brand and/or sub-brands. This includes the tools and processes used to manage the brand. So, in short, brand governance is the management and maintenance of any given brand.
Why is brand governance important?
In the digital age, it has become increasingly difficult to control the way a brand is perceived by customers online.
In today’s climate, many companies and brands will sell their products via numerous e-commerce sites and vendors. A lack of standardisation and compliance on how products are represented can lead to brand erosion. Brand governance is about having systems, tools and processes in place to protect your brand identity from unauthorised merchants or sub-par representations of your brand online.
Your reputation as a brand and as a company is key to your continued success. That is worth protecting.
How can you keep your brand governance on track in 2019?
Brand governance remains an important factor in the success of any startup or established company. Although brand governance is not necessarily a new thing, the way we carry it out has evolved over the years.
Know your brand identity
For startups, the first step in brand governance is knowing exactly who you are as a company and what you want your brand to represent. Without clear knowledge of your own identity as a brand in the first place, how can you be expected to manage it?
Did you know that up to 30% of products online are displayed below the agreed Minimum Advertised Price? This is not only harmful to a company’s brand but also their profit margin. How much your products cost is a key indicator of your brand’s value and integrity. Wildly fluctuating prices can deter customers and seriously damage your brand.
Ensuring that your minimum advertised price is being honoured by all merchants and vendors is key. Monitoring any MAP violations in your product portfolio will help keep pricing consistent across the board which will help gain trust from your customers. Analysing historical MAP violation trends to discover patterns and anticipate violations by online merchants will help prevent fluctuations in pricing.
Closely analysing various merchants will do much more than help identify those in breach of your MAP policy. It will also help you discover any unauthorised merchants who are selling your products and potentially harming your brand’s reputation.
Merchant analytics can also be used to enhance your business. By tracking and analysing merchants who are selling your competitors’ products or products similar to yours, you can actively build new relationships and get your brand and products out to a wider customer base.
The more successful and high-profile your brand becomes, the more likely you are to find knock-off, fake and counterfeit versions of your products online. Actively searching for and tracking the merchants selling these will help protect your brand and profit margin.
Whether you sell one or a thousand products, keeping track of all your product titles, descriptions and images can be tough. But making sure all of these are displayed properly across all merchants and vendors is key to protecting your brand image as well as optimising your online discoverability and conversion quality.
It’s also important to track and analyse your competitors’ catalogs to keep up with the latest visual merchandising and SEO trends.
Brand governance is the proactive approach to managing your brand. And in today’s digital-centric society, it’s more important than ever to have a robust and effective brand governance strategy. Although the work can seem overwhelming at first, staying on top of your brand governance is far less work than the potential damage control you would need to do without it.
Proper brand governance requires specialist expertise and a level of dedication. Many companies may not have the time or skills to devote to this and therefore may require outside assistance. Outsourcing your brand governance or seeking consultant advice is a smart move if you don’t have the knowledge required to carry this kind of maintenance out. The money you invest in proactively protecting your brand will pay off ten-fold in the long run.