Home Business Brand is an asset: How and why companies should prioritize their brand value
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Brand is an asset: How and why companies should prioritize their brand value

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By Brooke Burdge, SVP of Brand Marketing at Attentive.

Brand value is critical to every company. It plays an important role in helping accelerate business growth, drive and maintain customer engagement, and ensure competitive differentiation. These are only some of the reasons why all companies should think about brand value as a business asset as early as possible.  

But how do you even begin to define a brand? A brand is much more than a name, a logo, or a color palette— although those are all very important ways that a brand comes to life. In reality, a brand is built from every interaction someone has with a company. When people say they love a brand, they are not speaking about a tangible thing— rather, they are reflecting on the impression they have based on all of their experiences with the business.

It is for this reason that, for a brand to reach its highest potential value, it must be thought of as a partnership between marketing, sales, design, product, and any customer-facing teams. It is important to unite the brand’s identity across the product experience (quality, performance, and support) and how it presents itself externally (visuals, messaging, campaigns).

One of the most important considerations when building a brand is longevity. A brand needs to last the test of time, and for this to happen, a brand needs to be future-proofed wherever possible. A good exercise for companies is to picture how their brand could look in 5-10 years’ time. I like to think that there should be foundational aspects that stay relatively consistent (like a brand’s mission), but the identity and expression of a brand should evolve as the product itself does over time. 

One area where this evolution often happens is in brand voice– which is not just what you say, but how you communicate. When originally developing your brand voice, you should consider your target audience today, but also how that could change over time. As your product evolves over time to appeal to different customers, or you move into new markets– for example, if you started out by selling to small businesses but now target large enterprises– you’ll need to re-evaluate if your voice, tone, and overall messaging still resonates.

It is no secret that for any company and brand to be successful, whatever the sector or focus, a key priority should be to continually find new ways to acquire and retain customers. I always think businesses should be “customer obsessed” from the very start. By listening to your customers, you get a deeper understanding of their needs, motivations, and challenges. This is a win-win because it allows you to build a product or offer services that they want, and in turn, your customers will feel a sense of positive affinity towards your brand by knowing they are heard and valued. Your customers are your biggest brand advocates, and so developing a relationship with them is critical for a company’s long-term success.   

For a brand to successfully acquire and retain customers, it needs to be at the forefront of consumer trends. And, we need to acknowledge that the way people shop has fundamentally changed over the past few years— from how they discover and research products, to where they purchase (primarily online and, increasingly, on mobile devices). The way they want to connect with brands is changing, too. Nowadays, consumers face more and more choices, and, therefore, have decisioning power. Successful brands that stand out among the crowd are often the ones that evoke emotions. As marketers, we care deeply about creating long-lasting connections with our customers. Striking the perfect balance of right message, right time, right audience is what we all strive for— and that means really knowing our audience (and which channels to use to best engage with them).

In my experience working for a conversational commerce company, I’ve seen firsthand the importance of using data to build relationships with consumers. Through SMS marketing— which allows brands to collect first-party and zero-party data from their audience with their consent— companies can infer and directly collect customer needs and preferences and use that information to help strengthen the customer relationship. Gathering data and feedback from customers through direct marketing channels—including SMS, email, and loyalty programs—helps brands create personalized experiences and reach the right consumer at the right time. These channels don’t just strengthen customer connection to build brand value, they drive revenue. Using SMS marketing platforms for example, brands can deliver outstanding return on investment driving up to 30% more online revenue by providing relevant, personalized, and localized communications that better engage their customers.

As well as a great customer experience, consumers increasingly want to understand the “why” behind the brands they are interacting with and choosing to buy from. Building trust with your audience means putting your brand’s purpose front and center. Having a good—even great—product is no longer good enough to create long-term brand value. A business that’s made to last is one that has built a brand that consumers want to rally around. Increasingly, communicating your brand’s purpose (your mission, what problem you solve, and any philanthropic ways you give back) is playing a major role in that effort. 

One of the first pieces of a brand a company defines is its name. But before you jump into selecting a name just because it sounds nice, you should deeply consider if it represents your purpose and has longevity potential. The name you select could be abstract, or could intentionally tie back to represent your core goal in some way. For example, our company’s name, Attentive, was selected to do that: we focus on being attentive to our customers’ needs, while delivering thoughtful, engaging experiences to their customers through personalized messaging. 

Lastly, let’s touch on the importance of measuring brand value. While it is challenging to measure a direct correlation between brand value and business success, there are ways to identify the impact of brand-building. For example, awareness can be measured with surveys– which can be conducted on a regular basis to measure awareness lift in target audiences, or also done pre- and post- specific marketing campaigns. Monitoring your organic website traffic growth, or share of voice on social media or in press, are other indicators of increasing brand value. Research tools such as NPS (net promoter score) can help measure the customer experience of your brand. 

Brand awareness, and positive word-of-mouth from existing customers, can play a really valuable role in encouraging new customers to make that first purchasing decision. When faced with a number of different options, people are more likely to be drawn to a company they have seen or heard of before. 

What’s most important to keep in mind is that creating strong brand value is a long-term commitment, and one that’s worth the investment. Afterall, brand (or “goodwill”) is considered in a company’s balance sheet as an intangible asset. Having a strong brand can accelerate a business’ growth, help build a competitive moat, and strengthen customer relationships. Brand identity should be prioritized from the onset, and closely evaluated as a company grows– developed in close partnership across teams.  

 

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