A brand is a complex concept.

“Brand” doesn’t refer to just a logo, product line, or a series of advertisements. It refers to every interaction that a marketable entity has. Through these interactions, a brand creates the promise of specific benefits and experiences. These promises are represented by the information, images, memories, meanings, products and other elements that are associated with the brand.

That may sound broad and big — but it has to be. It’s hard to imagine Apple without any of the sleek design elements that define its brand, or Coca-Cola without its signature red logo.

Managing those interactions and resulting emotions was simpler when an organization had only a few ways to engage audiences. For many decades, products, packaging, out-of-home and print advertisements, and eventually broadcast advertisements were the principal ways that potential customers would interact with a brand.

But the number of ways for brands to reach out to customers — and the number of places where potential customers reside, both physically and online — has exploded in recent years.

It’s impossible to shepherd a brand through today’s digital world, building awareness and convincing audiences around the globe to start a customer relationship with you, without having a system in place for doing it methodically. That includes having a system to:

Ensure consistent interactions with your brand Plan, produce, and distribute branded content quickly Understand what customers think about you Collect actionable information that will help you plan more effective interactions

This post provides an overview of what brand management really is, as well as some resources to help you define and execute against your brand identity.

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