You decided you’re done “winging it” with your brand. You’ve opted to do a little research and find out exactly what your market wants of you. And now that you’re clear on that, you’re determined to be exactly what your market needs you to be. So you realigned your business with your market and created all-new touch points guaranteed to resonate with your best customers. OK so when does it pay off? The answer is (of course) it depends. It mostly depends on the size of your market. But other factors come into play as well. How well was the new brand promoted? is one key question. The good news is a new brand is likely to start paying dividends almost immediately. For instance, after a rebrand or a brand refresh, there is often a corresponding upward tick in sales. This can be a subtle little bump or a significant increase. We’ve written on the Eight Benefits of Branding before. So this article will focus not on what the benefits are but when you could expect to enjoy them in full.
In our last post,we showed how the brand is the most valuable asset of any business. Today, we want to take a few short paragraphs to drive that point home. Especially attentive should be private equity investors. Why? Because they are on a constant quest to drive up the market value of the companies in their portfolios. And attention to brand value is one quick and relatively inexpensive way to get significant results. Founders, owners and others may want heed this advice too but it’s PE investors to whom we speak directly. And to them we offer, as a guiding principal, “It’s the brand, stupid.”
Repeat after me.
“Our brands are our most valuable assets … and our only assets that appreciate over time.”
Try saying it aloud a few times.
Your brand, unlike your tangible assets, will never depreciate. Your brand, unlike your patents, will never expire. Your brand, unlike your copyrights, will never pass into the public domain. Your brand is yours to keep and grow – forever. If you are the owner or manager of a brand asset, it is your job to define your true brand promise, to communicate it to every corner of your market, and to empower your employees to deliver on it. Do this and your brand will grow like wild vines. Fail to do it and your brand will wither and, possibly, even die. You owe it to yourself and everyone who counts on your organization to do everything possible to drive up the monetary value of your brand. And it turns out driving up brand value is the quickest and most assured way of driving up the overall worth of a business. Driving up brand value all but guarantees more multiples when it comes time to exit the investment.
A brand strategy is actually an extremely powerful decision-making tool for management. And senior executives should be using that tool to help with every decision. All too often, after a business successfully completes a branding or re-branding initiative, they roll it out, throw a party and then forget all about it. “Hey, the new logo is out there, right? Let Marketing run with it.” With this kind of attitude, is isn’t long before their brand is in the weeds again.
I don’t pretend to know a thing about the recent GameStop trading debacle. From what I gather, and please know that there are better sources on this than me, all the big investment banks, brokerages and hedge funds were selling GameStop short. That’s an unsurprising tactic because it’s a mostly obsolescent brand. A consortium of day traders who hate short sellers, hedge funds (or both) organized on Reddit to buy up GameStop stock. That sent the price skyrocketing and caused massive losses for all the short sellers and the day traders got to enjoy their stick-it-to-the-man moment. Let’s ignore the morality of all this. The system is unfair, to be sure, favoring institutional traders at the expense of the little guy. But the losses from this gambit won’t be felt by the big fund managers. It will be felt by all the fixed-income retirees whose pension funds are managed by the hedge funds, etc. So, to me, this feels like asymmetric warfare, like killing a fly with a shotgun. But, again, let’s ignore that and, like I said, I don’t really understand, completely, what I’m talking about anyway. But I do know a branding disaster when I see one, and there’s a doozy here.
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Best Branding Reads
Week of April 12, 2021
Building A Values-Based Competitive Advantage
We see more of it every day. Consumers pushing brands to reflect their values.
Why Are Brands No Longer Keeping Their Guidelines Under Lock and Key?
Why did they insist on keeping them secret in the first place?
4 Timely Rules For Hotel Brand Strategy
Pandemic-slammed industries “FACE” their new reality.
How to Build Brand Awareness Using Customer Support
Serve your current customers well and turn them into enthusiastic brand ambassadors.
Did Target steal this Black creator’s branding?
Uh oh, Target. This does not reflect well on you.
Country as a Brand – The Case of Slovenia
Sharing this in memory of my beautiful Slovenian grandmother.
Moving Beyond Owned, Earned And Paid Media
Shift your mindset from “campaigns” to “data exchanges”.