As marketers, we feel very strongly about the concept of brand management. Almost on a daily basis I see brands treated with little to no respect by the very people who, funnily enough, have the most to loose by having a brand go in a wayword direction – I’m speaking of the owners of the brands themselves.

It’s astonising to witness an organisation that has invested significant resources into developing a brand which is to represent them in a public arena, only to turn around and treat their brand with such casual disregard, allowing it to be stretched, squashed and re-coloured as it is executed in various forms of marketing. I am consistently horrified to see when a logo has been left in the hands of someone who has no understanding of the branding process or who does not understand the notion of brand consistency. The result – usually a deformed logo that is manupulated into the space allocated.

As brand managers, the onus is on us to ensure that our clients’ brands are executed in a consistent manner to maintain a level of communication consistent with the entire branding process. At Jack in the box, checks are made throughout the process, from when a client’s branding is supplied to us, all the way through to when the material comes off the press, goes online or goes to air.

In one of my recent trawlings on the internet, I happend upon some recent technology which could help brand managers keep a closer eye on how their brands are being executed. Advanced image recognition technologies are making their ways into consumer products. If you thought your compact digital camera was intelligent with its “face detection” modes, you’ll be easilly impressed by the tech in Apple’s iPhoto ’09 product, which once trained, can automatically identify and tag faces through your entire photo album. Similar technology has been implemented into Google’s latest photo management software called Picassa. There is no reason this technology could not be utilised to locate and check images of your brand which have been uploaded, with our without permission, to the web. I can imagine a set-up similar to Google Alerts that operates with images rather than keywords.

To see an early implementation of image recognition technology yourself, check out the links below –

Google Image search for “microsoft”

Google Image search for “microsoft” showing only faces ( “&imgtype=face” added to the end of the URL).

Update: 11-02-2009

The newspaper advertisment below is a good example of what can go wrong….the mistake? There was not enough space to show the full brand “Woody Nook”, so it has been shortened to “Woody Noc”!