Brand management refers to the marketing of a certain brand or product to increase its popularity among consumers and increase market share. It differs from general marketing in that it concentrates on one trade name. This name may apply to only one product, but normally covers a range of products produced by one company or manufacturer.
There are several categories of brands in the marketing industry. The most costly brands are generally referred to as premium brands. Brands associated with cost savings that claim their products are as good as the more expensive varieties are typically called economy brands. If a product’s competitor makes a claim of superiority, a new brand deemed "improved" or "better than ever" before may be introduced. This is customarily referred to in the industry as a fighting brand.
Marketing that utilizes brand management as its basis commonly starts with recognizing the popularity of one product and building on that positive image. For instance, if consumers determine that the laundry detergent brand XYZ cleans their clothes better than any other product and its sales soar, the marketing department of XYZ may introduce a fabric softener product under the same brand name. If that product is also a top seller, they may next market a fabric bleach under the same name.
As the brand management cycle progresses, the company may slowly increase the price of the product. If the increased price has no negative effect on sales, the next step by the marketing department may be to slightly decrease the marketing efforts to reduce costs. The combination of increased sales and reduced marketing expenses increase the overall profitability of the product.
Brand management professionals typically apply a set of trade name principles to newly introduced products. These guidelines indicate that a brand’s success is highly dependent upon its name being simple to remember, easily pronounceable and highly recognizable. Other factors for success generally include the ability for the name to be easily and accurately translated into all languages of the target consumer market.
Naming of brands generally falls into one of three categories. If a manufacturing company’s name is used to market a product, it is called corporate branding. Family branding customarily refers to a group of products that are related, such as a line of laundry products. If no two products produced by a company have the same name, the term regularly used to refer to these items is individual branding.