Data-based brand management

Data-based brand management

Data-based brand management

Data-based brand management

The term data-based brand management describes the ability to combine big data and artificial intelligence (AI) with brand-strategic expertise and use them in brand management. It is about the merging of human talent with learning machines to make the best possible decisions.

How important is data-based brand management?

In a nutshell: Doing business without data may make a company's life easier—but it will definitely make it shorter. There is just no getting around data-based brand management these days. Fact-based knowledge is replacing the good old gut feeling.

Companies using current market and consumer data for their brand management have a decisive advantage. Because based on these data, they can predict developments and act with foresight.

Such companies use up-to-the-minute facts for their decisions. They don't analyze the past—like many organizations still do—to set their course for the future. This gives them a superior position in operative marketing and strategic brand management. They gain an edge over companies practicing conventional, primarily experience-based management.

Is the Net Promoter Score enough for brand management?

The current holy grail of brand managers, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures hypothetical behavior—not real actions. It is an unrelated snapshot. The NPS is not an observation over time that could indicate a certain development. It only shows the effect of things past, but not the causes.

How do I recognize companies that are practicing data-based brand management?

Platforms like Zalando, Chrono24, Tesla, AirBnB, Uber, or Netflix show us how it's done. They have easily pushed the old top dogs out of every sector. Companies like Daimler, Otto or HolidayInn are painfully aware of the effects of these competitors.

Such data-focused newcomers change markets permanently. Their dominance results from superior knowledge, not so much from new products. They don't re-invent the wheel, but address the needs of their existing and potential customers.

Taking advantage of enormous amounts of data, these young companies get a clear picture of the market. They can do without opinions or moods. They don't think in terms of silos like sales, product or marketing, but create a brand experience that is perfectly tailored to the user.

Data-based brand management means ...

  • knowing your markets and customers better,
  • learning more quickly,
  • acting more resolutely,
  • noticing market trends earlier and assessing them better,
  • and not letting experience slow you down.

What happens when a company decides to do without digital brand management?

Despite the apparent urgency of having to change: In our experience, most companies are far from reacting adequately—in terms of both technology and culture. The effects analysis of brand-marketing-management is often more wishful thinking than fact.

These days, however, it can be absolutely fatal for a company to make decisions about target groups, competitors, media and the like based on yesterday's information. Not everything that was good and successful in the past will necessarily be so in the future. That's a fact that brands like Nokia or Kodak learned the hard way.

Costs, effort, time, competences—the reasons for the lack of transparency are understandable, but no longer acceptable. This is what companies need to know:

  1. In today's business world, change happens daily, not year to year. Experience and gut feeling are only a hypothesis, not a certainty.
  2. The desired clarity provided by today's measurability of the market can be had without additional effort, high costs and long waits.
  3. A single bad decision, numerous meeting loops (due to lack of clarity), or a simple poster ad campaign cost more nowadays than a targeted data analysis.
  4. A company may invest money and energy into projects for months without noticing market changes and without getting a sense of whether they are still on the right track.
  5. Introspection and orientation toward the past reduce competitiveness and future earning power.

A word on our own behalf: BrandTrust supports data-based brand management

We at BrandTrust are convinced: Brands have to start immediately to generate and understand market and consumer data, and use them to make decisions. To do that, we have developed a method of analysis, our "Performance Branding". It is based on artificial intelligence (AI) and takes just a few clicks. It requires no elaborate processes and provides insights in real time (not after a long period of waiting). But: We don't trust these "ones and zeros" blindly. We evaluate them additionally using our expertise from more than 1,000 brand projects.

Do you have any questions or suggestions regarding this article? Then we look forward to receiving your e-mail.

Design Thinking with Brands

Design Thinking with Brands

Design Thinking with Brands

Design Thinking with Brands

A strong brand can be perceived and experienced at all brand touchpoints. Brand-based design thinking helps make it happen: It is a powerful and stimulating method for optimizing the brand touchpoints in line with the brand and guaranteeing results.

What exactly is brand-based design thinking?

The method combines the central idea (positioning) of the brand with creative methods of design thinking. Design thinking was developed in California, and many successful startups and Silicon Valley corporations are using it.

Brand-based design thinking has 5 phases:

  1. Discover: Here we use empathetic methods to determine the needs of customers: What makes them happy (gain points)? What makes them sad (pain points)? What does that mean for our industry and our brand?
  2. Define: In the second phase, we define what problem we want to solve for the customers to make us even more relevant and attractive to them. We do this based on the "Discover" phase and the brand positioning.
  3. Ideate: Then we apply creative methods to gather new ideas for solving the problem we defined in phase two. We use, for example, the "revolutionary perspective": How would Steve Jobs, Walt Disney or Elon Musk approach the problem?
  4. Prototype: For the best and most promising ideas, we build a "touchable" prototype, perhaps with Lego blocks, Styrofoam or modeling clay. It visualizes the solution to the problem defined in phase 2—from the customer's perspective and in line with the brand positioning. This helps to simply explain complex issues like cloud solutions.
  5. Testing: The prototype is tested at brief intervals and with different methods to determine its relevance (customer feedback, non-customer assessments, evaluations by colleagues, etc.) and brand fit (brand rules). The tests are repeated until no more suggestions for improvement can be inferred.

Finally, the tested prototypes are presented to a jury of executives. They decide whether a prototype should be implemented.

Brand-based design thinking, then, combines the brand with innovation at the brand touchpoints. It makes the brand tangible and—as a side effect, so to speak—makes the organization more agile: because ideas are developed locally by employees and brand ambassadors and taken to the decision-making level as a visible object.


Do you have any questions or suggestions regarding this article? Then we look forward to receiving your e-mail.

Destination Branding

Destination Branding

Destination Branding

Bildquelle: ©irimeiff -

The term describes the brand-centric orientation of geographical areas, such as tourism destinations (definition BrandTrust).

The goal is to position the destination brand attractively, credibly, and distinctly in the tourism market by means of a clearly defined brand identity.

The challenge of this special form of branding is its complexity: Destination branding has to bring a multi-layered range of services containing the individual performances of very different stakeholders to one common brand level.

Digital Brand Experience

Digital Brand Experience

Digital Brand Experience

Digital Brand Experience / Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

The term digital brand experience refers to the overall experience a consumer has with a brand at all digital touchpoints. Those can be for example: website, blog, social media channels, apps, chat bots and augmented reality.

The further digitalization advances, the more options emerge for brands to establish contact with their customers digitally. More and more digital touchpoints shape the customer experience.

Also, at more and more touchpoints the boundaries between the digital and analog world are becoming blurred. This is called no-line experience. One example is Nike's app Sneakrs Stash. Nike uses the app to publish locations in large cities. Fans then flock to those locations. The reason: Anyone who logs into their app at that location has a chance to buy exclusive and limited sneakers, on a "first come, first served" basis.

Nike is very good at staging this experience. Brand-specific management of digital experiences is the job of digital brand management and digital branding. Creating a consistent and specific experience in this digital world is crucial for a brand's credibility.

The brand, its values and its positioning form the strategic framework for digital brand experiences. They are the guiderails for creative implementations like Nike's Sneakers Stash. Some companies develop specific digital guidelines for their brands to address the special challenges of the digital world.

There are lots of factors to consider: What digital touchpoints do we really need? How do we talk online? How do we react to user-generated content? What type of persons do we want to reach? What are their desires? How does our brand look online? Do we need a voice and music for our online appearance?


Do you have questions or suggestions? We look forward to your e-mail.


Learn more:

5 Rules for more Brand Loyalty in the Digital Age

Customer Experience: The central success factor in the digital transformation

Why Brand Touchpoint Management is the better kind of Customer Experience Management

Digital Branding

Digital Branding

Digital Branding

Digitale Markenführung, Bildquelle: BrandTrust

Digital branding serves the strategic building and development of a brand in a digital context. Why? Because consumers want to experience brands digitally as well – even those that were originally analog. To make that possible, the digital design possibilities must be checked for brand fit and managed accordingly.

Companies who have an integrated cross-channel understanding of their brand use digital brand management to create a consistent and brand-conforming appearance. They work on merging the online and offline worlds of their brand.

Why is digital brand management important?

Analog and digital touchpoints have to be perfectly interwoven, at any time in the customer journey, so that consumers can clearly perceive the brand. They will take away a strong impression only if there are no contradictions or breaks.

Consumers are always looking for orientation and values – they want to trust, offline as well as online. That means: A brand cannot diverge from its performance promises in the digital context. On the contrary: Because digital transparency makes brands radically comparable, they have to work on their unique selling points with complete consistency. Only a clear and unmistakable positioning gives them the necessary brand strength.

Closer to the customer with digital brand management

Digital brand management offers broad opportunities for getting to know customers better than before, for "snuggling up" to them – for instance by watching a brand community, offering co-creation or an ecosystem that satisfies consumer needs. Brands that find out what life scarcities they can address have the best starting conditions for a strong trust relationship.

Digital branding, then, is no island solution. That means:

  • Remain consistent in your statement – across all channels, offline as online.
  • Dare to get to know your customers better: Listen to them closely.
  • Show them that you are close and approachable.
  • You cannot afford to be interchangeable on the web: Use it to communicate your peak performance and satisfy desires.
  • Work on providing one-of-a-kind brand experiences at all digital touchpoints.

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