A brand is the foundation of your company’s marketing and advertising strategy, helping to define your identity for consumers and partners while simultaneously anchoring your messaging strategies.
But just how valuable is a brand for a business? And what steps can you take to increase your brand’s value?
The Value of a Brand
According to NewPoint Marketing, a branding agency, the value of a brand manifests in several different ways, including:
- First impressions. Having a stronger, more authoritative brand in place can lead to more positive first impressions. If your branding communicates strength, trust, or excitement, it’s going to look much more attractive to people who are seeing it for the first time. In some cases, powerful branding alone can help you close a sale. In other cases, it can be the foot in the door that allows you to build better relationships with clients. Conversely, if your branding is amateurish or people have already grown to distrust your brand, it can turn them away before they even see your products or services.
- Competitive swaying power. A stronger brand also leads to more competitive swaying power. If your product is next to a competitor’s product on store shelves, how do average consumers compare and contrast these products? What is it about your branding that distinguishes you from your competitors, and does that do a good job in persuading people to choose your product over the competition? Strong brands can sometimes persuade consumers almost immediately.
- Familiarity and trust. Over time, and with enough repetition of messaging, people can grow more familiar with a specific brand and more trusting of the people in control of it. If you have bought a specific product consistently for the last 30 years, and the product has always been good, why would you ever switch? You know the logo and tagline of this company so well that it’s instantly recognizable, and it would feel weird if you bought something different. Similarly, if you promote your brand enough, even people who have never used your products may know you exist and trust your brand name.
- Messaging effectiveness. A powerful brand is also valuable because it increases the effectiveness of your messaging. If people trust your brand, they’ll trust what your brand says. If people like your brand, they’ll like your advertisements more. This effect compounds with time; as you gain more trust and recognition, your messages will become more powerful, and as your messages become more powerful, you’ll gain more trust and recognition.
Calculating/Estimating Your Brand Value
How do you estimate your brand’s value?
This is a somewhat subjective question since there’s no clear standard for measurement. You can also estimate your brand’s value in different ways.
- Investments. You may be able to estimate your brand’s value based on what you invest in it. How much did you spend on initial branding efforts? How much are you spending on ongoing promotion?
- Income. Another suitable way to estimate brand value is to look at how much income it generates for you. This can be tough to delineate; did a customer buy your product because they like your brand or because the product was conveniently available to them? Still, with enough data, you should be able to ballpark this.
- Customer sentiment. How do your customers feel about your brand? With the help of surveys, you can better understand customer satisfaction, customer retention, and other variables tied to the average customer’s overall experience with your brand.
How to Increase Your Brand Value
What steps can you take to increase your brand value?
- Assess and tweak the foundation. Before you get much further in your brand value strategy, take a moment to analyze and tweak the foundation of your brand. Does your logo sufficiently capture the essence of your business? What about your tagline, mission statement, and brand colors? Working with a branding agency can help you figure out if you need a brand overhaul – or introduce you to some valuable changes that could elevate your brand as is.
- Improve your understanding of your target customers. The better you understand your target audience, the better you’ll be able to build a brand for them. Ideally, your brand will be fine-tuned to target these specific people, rather than a general audience. What are the values, perspectives, and philosophies associated with these demographics? And how can you appeal to them?
- Improve the overall customer experience. People will think more highly of your brand if they have more positive experiences with it. From initially hearing about your brand to dealing with customer service, you should be optimizing for more positive, consistent interactions.
- Invest in your branded assets. Whenever you produce assets designed to be used by and for your brand, invest in the quality of those assets. It’s better to write a single, comprehensive, and powerful piece of content than many pieces of lackluster content. It’s better to invest in high-quality printed materials, even if that means reducing the quantity you order.
- Competitively differentiate. Make sure your brand is competitively differentiated. What is it that makes your brand unique among the competition in this industry? Why would someone choose your products over similar options?
- Build transparency. Today’s consumers demand transparency. You can increase your brand value and improve customer sentiments by building greater transparency. Be open about how you’re running the company, issue sustainability reports, and address controversies head-on when necessary.
- Be consistent. Whatever your brand standards happen to be, make sure you follow them consistently. People won’t trust your brand if it has a fractured, schizophrenic voice.
- Increase promotion and awareness. With all these other principles in mind, increase awareness by stepping up your promotion efforts. You’ll reach more people and build familiarity faster this way.
With a better supported, more valuable brand, your company will be more persuasive and capable of exerting more influence over its target audience. In turn, this should support higher sales growth – and give you the competitive edge you need.