I recently conceptualized brand management functioning like a prism.
A prism is an optical element that refracts light and is used to break up that light into its spectral colors (the colors of the rainbow).
Prism Analogy for Brand Management
The beam of white light is the organization’s value proposition. It is an identifiable, focused and engaging offer of value. This beam of light is a bundle of the brand’s identity: strengths and weaknesses.
The prism represents the brand manager whose duty is to interpret the value and translate the brand message to consumers. The brand manager uses marketing to refract the light of value into spectral colors that appeal to different consumer types.
The spectrum of colors represents the image of the brand the consumer experiences. Different types of consumers experience the brand in different ways. For example, a consumer viewing the brand from the red end of the spectrum may be most interested in the level of service the brand provides while a consumer viewing from the violet end may be more price conscious. The brand message speaks differently to different consumer types.
The brand manager owns the understanding of both sides of the brand; the organization’s brand identity (white light) and consumer’s brand image (spectrum of colors). It is through this knowledge that the brand manager best positions the brand to consumers.
It is important to understand that the brand manager isn’t altering the content of the white light and isn’t creating a color of the spectrum that doesn’t already exist within the white light. The different colors the consumers see are not a fabricated image by the brand manager rather, like light, are already imbedded in the organization’s identity. A strong brand manager has the ability to see and focus all of these elements.