Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Brand Managers - Drive Passion Using Your Brand Essence

Brand Managers are perennially in search of ways to not only maintain their standing with their customers, but increase excitement and strengthen passion for their products.  I have found articles reiterating the importance of allowing insight gained from your customers to drive innovation; ideas introduced to me as a graduate student at Northwestern University's Medill IMC program.

In the beauty world, there is the tale of two entities. There are the main industry titans and the newcomers garnering lots of buzz with their unique perspective yet both are fighting to attract customers, old and new. The most important action for each is to build desire, a thought expressed by Revlon’s CMO Julia Goldin.  This desire for the newest shades, trends and products helps your brand remain relevant. This is the charge for your brand; build, create and sustain desire.

After listening to your customer, the next and most crucial step is what you do with what you've discovered.  Translate this newfound information into customer-friendly innovation improving the customer experience with the products as done by cosmetic titan, L'Oreal.

How do we create this elusive desire?  The aforementioned articles and my studies in IMC have guided me towards these three items to implement and achieve your desired results. Listen to what your customers are saying and uncover what they are not able to express directly.  This can be done in several ways but none more important than engaging via social media, which provides a unique opportunity to learn more about the ways customers interact and use your product.  Capitalize by listening to your brand community on sites where they interact with each other most; the major social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Read comments left on YouTube video tutorials and gain a deeper understanding never before accessible.  Respond accordingly to customers needs and employ cutting-edge technology to create their desired iterations of products helping you retain and attract them.

In the cosmetics world with infinite possibilities for self-described "beauty junkies" companies are faced with the daunting task of differentiating their brand from competitors. Using the above actions will help your brand achieve the distinguishing qualities that build desire to draw your customer in and keep them coming back for more.

Jaclyn Bivins

Jaclyn Bivins hails from Chicago, Illinois and is a graduate student at Northwestern University in Medill's Integrated Marketing Communications program. After graduation, she hopes to work in brand management and marketing strategy in the cosmetics and beauty industry. 

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