Brand Management versus Brand Leadership
There are basically two different orientations toward brand: as images and as promises. It’s not surprising that there are two fundamentally different approaches to brand development as well. These two approaches, brand management and brand leadership, are codified by David Aaker and differ in a variety of ways.
Brand management focuses on the short-term. Its primary tool is promotion. Brand managers never have enough money and seldom have true control over the dollars they do have. Brand leadership is about the long-term. Brand leaders understand that building brand equity takes time, money, and talent. They know that a successful brand is not built in one budget year or one product launch. Brand leadership is based on the premise that brand building not only creates brand equity, but is also necessary for institutional success. With brand leadership, the institution’s most senior leaders recognize that building the brand results in a competitive advantage that pays financially.
Brand management is tactical, visual, and reactive. It’s preoccupied with the 3 Ls of branding: look, letterhead, and logo. Brand leadership is visionary and promise-driven. It concentrates on building brand value that translates into loyalty and market power. Metrics are in place to measure progress. The goal is brand equity.
Brand management and brand leadership represent two ends of a vast continuum. For many marketers, brand leadership ...