Establishing Your Brand Value
If you have spent any time researching brand value (which I am sure you have), you would have seen the thousands of articles and opinions on the topic. It’s a hot one for sure. Every professor, analyst, and professional voice their own thoughts on branding perspectives, approaches, and values. But how does brand value affect YOU and YOUR business? Your business is your baby, it’s your life’s work, it’s your dream. Reading and understanding everyone’s point of view can make your head spin. It’s time to focus in on how your business can offer something so unique from every other business. Why? Because it has you– your vision, your goals, your team, your skills. So how do you take all of those unique brand aspects and develop them into your brand value? I have boiled it down to five core parts to help us understand the most important points! From these core parts, you can expand and develop your own thoughts and beliefs specific to your own brand, and create a strategy to better brand your business. Before diving into these core parts, let’s define our terms.
What is Brand Value?
To keep it simple, brand value is the worth society places on your business and the premium it generates from such views.
‘A brand’s value is merely the sum total of how much extra people will pay, or how often they choose, the expectations, memories, stories and relationships of one brand over the alternatives.’ -Seth Godin
The most common example of incredible brand value is Apple. We have all seen the variety of quirky, convincing and sentimental commercials that have aired throughout the years. I will be honest, I did tear up during their 2016 holiday commercial starring Frankenstein. We have also seen the billions of iPhones sold throughout the world. Do these two facets connect? 100%, yes! Not only does Apple offer phenomenal products, but they brand themselves to emotionally connect with their customers and evoke feelings of creativity, productivity and luxury with their products, thus developing their brilliant brand value.
You have a face to remember
Don’t be the person who has the face people always says looks like someone else. (“Oh wow! You look just like my middle school teacher!”) Be the person with the distinguished face and jaw-dropping style. Your brand should be different from the rest, but should also fit in perfectly with the culture. From the logo and web design, to packaging and marketing, the big picture is this: Be the business with the brand that entices people to want to know more and pursue your products/services. Your value will evolve from the responses of your customers. It is crucial that your customer’s opinions are strong, positive and long lasting. For some inspiration, here are some brands who stand out from the rest.
Adapt to the culture
Your company must be able to change with culture. This does not mean one must change their values and mission, but rather, how they communicate them. In modern day society, fads and trends last milliseconds before moving onto the next. As you design ad campaigns for your brand, think of some brands that have successfully transitioned with culture and others that have not. What can you learn from them? This article touches on a brand’s “social/cultural authority” and explains that brands, like Apple, have “guided” consumers, showing them that buying their product/service is “normal” and culturally accepted. These brands, such as Apple and Facebook, have grown in immense success because of their ability to predict and prepare for society changes. Other companies such as Sears and Kings have fallen dangerously behind because they lacked mobility. Don’t be outdated, don’t be trendy, be timeless.
Create an emotional connection
If a person can connect to your brand they are more willing to purchase from your business regardless of the price or quality of the product. I am sure you have seen the Verizon vs Sprint commercials where the brands go head to head showcasing their finest qualities in hopes to convince people to use their product and services. For many consumers, it doesn’t matter what the statistics or facts are. They will continue to purchase from Verizon because that is the brand they feel comfortable with. This article by Scott Goodson explains how branding adds meaning and connection to products and services. Without proper branding, the consumer is less likely to engage with the product/service. Brand loyalty requires a relationship first. Once it is established, maintaining and strengthening the relationship is even more important. Consumers are constantly being pulled in a thousand different directions by marketing tactics, so focusing their attention on your brand and product will develop a long term partnership rather than a one-time purchase.
…within your company. In order to be a strong and confident brand, your company must be filled with people who align with your values and mission. Only hire people who embody and believe in the brand. Only create content that clearly communicates the brand. Only engage in events and collaborations that align with the brand. Within this exclusivity, there is room for creative risks and thinking-outside-the-box. It is healthy to challenge the brand and ask “Why are we doing this?” or “Does this really have an impact on our customers?” But at the end of the day, when you make any type of decision involving your brand, ask yourself “Does this speak true to our vision and mission?” If it does not, abort mission. Don’t believe me? Read this.
Reflect the identity of your brand
All content created and shared with the world should reinforce your brand identity. [More on developing a strong identity here!] Each product, service, campaign, etc, should highlight the soul of your brand. This interview with Ann L. McGill, Pradeep K. Chintagunta, Ann Mukherjee, hosted by Hal Weitzman, dissects brand value. Within the interview, the scholars touch upon “brand messages”: They should be consistent and reinforced. They discuss how a brand message should be consistent, yet may vary due to a certain target audience, media platform, cultural trend etc. The interviewees also agreed that the brand message should always be growing and nurtured, yet never overpowering the consumer’s opinions. As you market your brand, the content should not feel monotonous and over played, but rather each message should feel fresh and new to the viewers. Surprise and impact your customers while maintaining those underlying core values.
Amidst these core parts, continuing to hone in on your company’s brand values is essential to growth. Be prepared to shake things up once in awhile. When culture shifts, shift with it. But throughout the growing pains and endless journey, never stray from the company’s mission and vision because that is what sets you apart from the rest.
This short video wraps up these 5 core parts with a bow on top. Take a few moments and press play!
What sets your brand apart from the rest? Share below!