Unfortunately, the economic squeeze has transformed us from brand builders to marketing defenders always trying to convince management of the brand's contribution to the financial stability of the organisation. This is made even more difficult without recognised systems of measurement that would allow marketers to clearly define and evaluate brand value.
So how do we measure brand value?
At Gullan&Gullan we use digital more and more, not just because most consumers sit behind a computer all day, but also because it's the one channel with strong metrics that can prove our marketing activities success or failure. There are a myriad of analytical tools that can provide a direct correlation between online marketing activities and sales. Unfortunately, offline media do not offer the same measurables.
To help financial communities understand and appreciate the contribution brands make to the value of an organisation, brand-valuation standards should be established. This will ease pressure as an agency owner and for other marketing professionals as we will have the tools to motivate marketing investment.Understanding brand value
Brand value is the collection of positive and negative aspects that a brand adds to your organisation. Three of the most important are,
- Price premium
- Long-term loyalty
- Market share.
At the end of the day, the more your consumers move from being aware of your brand to choosing your brand and ultimately to insisting on your brand and recommending it to their community then your brand has value and may be in the position to charge a premium, to own substantial market share and expect a certain amount of long-term customer loyalty. To do this Gullan&Gullan have identified the major factors that lead to consumer brand insistence. We call them "brand value initiators". Brand value initiator #1: Brand awareness
Your brand should be the first one that comes to mind when associated with key consumer benefits. Consumers should also be able to identify your brand benefits. And should have an idea of where your brand is sold. Brand value initiator #2: Relevant differentiation
Relevant differentiation is a vital indicator of profitability and market share. Does your brand own consumer-relevant, consumer-compelling benefits that are unique and believable? Brand value initiator #3: Emotional connection
Consumers should not only like your brand, but also trust it and feel an emotional connection to it. There are many innovative ways to achieve an emotional connection, from your advertising to the quality of your front-line consumer contact to after sales service to public relations.
When it comes to measuring brand value, be sure to include,
- Top-of-mind unaided awareness (first recall)
- Position in the consideration set
- Emotional connection to the brand
- Perceived brand vitality
- Perceived points of difference (open ended question)
- Unique delivery against key benefits
Finally you need to correlate the results with market share and marketing financial investment to get the pin-stripes on board. Not an easy task, but as I stated up front, marketing professionals and their communications agency - that includes our team at Gullan&Gullan - have to skill up and become accountable.