When it comes to branding, what gets measured gets done.
One of the clear benefits of brand valuation is that it provides a scorecard around a brand, provoking actions and strategies that build brand value. In principle, this is done through a vigilant understanding of the levers of brand value.
The financial element of a brand valuation is largely a forecasted EVA (Economic Value Added). While this is a key component of a brand valuation, it is usually out of the remit of most marketers.
Assessing a brand through a Brand Strength scorecard illustrates its connectivity and importance to the whole enterprise. Brand Strength dimensionalizes brand management above and beyond more cosmetic aspects and drives brand-led behaviours into the organisation. A stronger brand will also enable it to play a more important role within the purchase decision process, thereby creating further opportunity for the brand to increase its overall value.
Beyond brand valuation, it’s important for the brand to live in a framework that provides a context for its success within the business. Giving the brand the domain it deserves within the business is vital for its ongoing health. A brand is “a living business asset which comes to life across all touchpoints to deliver identification, differentiation and value.” The key elements of this are ‘living’ (i.e. value can be affected up or down) and ‘all touchpoints’ (i.e. recognises that everything the business does can have a positive or negative impact on the brand’s health). Brand management, therefore, is a job that cannot be taken lightly.
So, if we are to embrace all touchpoints, staff satisfaction surveys and customer satisfaction surveys need to be viewed alongside the business’ financials. Determining the dependencies across these three crucial measures of a business’ ongoing health enables the moments of maximum impact to become more clear across the customer’s journey. By undertaking this measurement through your people, your customers and your financials, the objective business case behind every action is locked into the business/brand agenda. This provides vital insight into the levers that connect and make brand success a replicable process – and one that can define hallmarks at the precise moments of maximum impact.
Graham Hales is the CEO of Interbrand’s London office.