California just entered the “Yellow Tier” which is the least restrictive phase of the pandemic lockdown. If our COVID infections keep dropping as they have been, we’ll soon have an economy that is wide open again. But demand won’t immediately jump to pre-pandemic levels because people will still be cautious. There will still be a lot of unvaccinated people out there and it will be a while before people – especially older people – will be comfortable mixing it up at movies, sporting events or concerts. Still, notwithstanding some parts of the country that are trailing California, and some parts of the world that are still suffering horribly in the emergency, things are finally starting to look up, at least here in the US. But everything will be different in the new economy. There is not a single enterprise that has not changed the way it’s doing business. The market is now more mobile, more digital and more agile. And one thing it won’t tolerate is a stagnant brand.
There are many firms that evaluate the commercial worth of businesses. Senior management turns to these firms for a variety of reasons: partnership disputes, regulatory reporting or establishing fair market value, to name just three. These firms use a variety of tools and formulas to assign monetary value to tangible property like equipment, real estate, inventory and every other thing that a business may own. They also account for the value of intangibles like intellectual property, i.e, copyrights, patents and trademarks. But very few of these firms really specialize in intellectual property valuations. Many underestimate brand value because they don’t completely understand what a brand really is and where its full potential lies. One firm that does specialize in precise evaluations of intellectual property (IP) is San Diego-based Nevium. Brandtalk had the recent pleasure of talking to Brian Buss, co-founder and principal of Nevium, about its unique brand assessment rubric, the Nevium Brand Score Tool. What follows are the salient points of our conversation, lightly edited for length.
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.
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Best Branding Reads
Week of May 10, 2021
Rebranding Made Easy I – Eight Reasons for Change in Turbulent Times
A really great article by Marc Cloosterman. Wish I had written it.
Solving Brand Crisis By Breaking Patterns
Not a good look to "attack" Greenpeace but this case study makes a smart point about doing the unexpected.
Yum! Brands CMO on why brand purpose is not marketing
Agree that purpose is not marketing. But sometimes it’s fine to leverage your purpose in your marketing.
Strategy For A New Era In Retail
Every retailer should ask themselves where they fit on this grid.
What Brands Can Learn About Music Through Film and Television
Sound is still underrated in branding. Everyone remembers your jingle but almost no one can draw your logo.
Christian Siriano’s debut furniture collection is a revelation
Showing us again that a brand’s success in one market opens the door to the next.
How Brands Are Built With Cultural Credibility
Society needs gatekeepers. Render one obsolete. Another one magically appears.