Surprise! You’re actually a brand manager!


Coming out of an existential funk, I’m finally reading the books I’ve accumulated over the past few months but havent had the passion to pick up. It’s no mistake that two of these are by David Ogilvy.

No, I’m not an advertiser, although I’ve often dreamed of working at an ad agency (pre-Mad Men craze). But, I am an integrated marketer, so I know that advertising, marketing and public relations all need to work together. These days though, the lines are blurred on which is which. Understanding the mind of an ad man only helps to push you that much further – especially when his decisions are based entirely on what works, not what’s pretty or makes the client/agency ‘feel good’.

In beginning Ogilvy on Advertising last night I stumbled upon this gem:

“every advertisement must contribute to the brand image”

He goes on to state that the brand image is the brand personality. In all of our work with social media we often discuss tone, voice and even personality. But how many of us see ourselves as brand managers?

Too many times social media is seen as a sales tactic: something to drive traffic and generate leads. For those who measure, these are what they point to as their outcomes. You hear much less about brand and brand personality, changing sentiment and perception over time. Are these less important because they do not sound tangible or businessey enough?

The thing is, we can measure sentiment and perception, as well as how it contributes to ‘sales’. But it takes a lot more effort and there is no one perfect equation that creates success for everyone across the board. It comes down to one thing and one thing only: do the work. Only you can determine what baselines are for your organization and how you need to affect them in order to meet organizational goals. No one can tell you how to do this, they can only tell you what has worked for them. It may not work for you. One size does not fit all.

The mediums may have changed since Ogilvy’s time but the principles have not: do the research, dont go by your gut alone and if it’s still selling dont trash it until its not.


One thought on “Surprise! You’re actually a brand manager!

  1. Exactly! Great post. You could even go down further and say that everyone who works at the organization is a brand manager.Faculty and staff at all levels should be able to know the brand and internalize it and portray it.

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