That is a good question because it is hard to measure. In fact, in itself, in any single action you take, it is impossible to measure the result in isolation. Yet if you consistently adhere to the values of your brand, the equity in your brand will surely build.
This year, Interbrand announced the top 100 brands in terms of their financial equity. Unsurprisingly, Apple and Google were the highest for the second year running. However, their brand equity in terms of financial value is significant to say the least! Again this is not surprising considering that, either consciously or unconsciously, we are being exposed to both Apple and Google daily through smartphones and internet searches.
The criteria Interbrand uses to measure brand equity are:
The following is the top 10 brands from Interbrand’s 15th annual Best Global Brands Ranking from October 2014 with brand values expressed in US $ millions:
The brand equity values quoted for the top 10 are surreal aren’t they? They’re so high that you might think it’s inconceivable that your brand could reach similar heights.
Maybe this is true and maybe it is not. An old client of mine has ambitions to play at this level. Back in 2002, they started their own business with little capital. Some 13 years later, they are operating globally and are publicly listed. They have the strategy and skillsets to achieve this, but more importantly they have the mindset to pull it off.
I don’t know what game you want to play, but what I do know is that building brand equity does add real financial value to your business. Brand equity is recognised by financial institutions as being one of the considerations when determining the real value of a business.
What I also know is that building brand equity is about commitment to playing a long game. Call it a brand mindset. It’s a commitment the whole company has to buy into. Consider what Jez Frampton, Interbrand’s Global Chief Executive Officer says about what it takes to build brand equity:
“…create experiences that are seamless, contextually relevant, and increasingly based around an overarching ecosystem of integrated products and services, both physical and digital.”
“…products and/or services need to work in concert with one another, across supply chains, and in tandem with our own individual data sets.”
WHERE TO START BUILDING BRAND EQUITY?
So where to start? It seems quite daunting doesn’t it? Start with some basics and build from there.
Get the small things right like how your receptionist greets visitors and answers the phone through to how everyone in your business deals with anyone outside your business – how they behave, what they say, how quickly they respond to enquiries etc. The list goes on.
All of these elements have to be in alignment with the brand positioning you’ve created from the exercises I’ve given you in the previous articles. In particular apply the “Being Your Brand” diagram you’ve created (see the last issue).
Training your staff to be mindful of how they behave creates the perception in the customer’s mind of what your brand stands for.
The outcome is a consistent quality experience delivered to your customers time and time again.
This extends to your promotional activities and growth strategies. They have to be in alignment with your brand positioning. Get this wrong and all your brand building is put in jeopardy.
Now here’s the thing, you might be thinking, this is all too hard. It’s just not worth it. Well consider this, what are the consequences for your business if you don’t focus on building your brand?
They’re twofold. The first is you’ll have no chance in building any additional financial rewards through brand equity. The second and more important – whether or not you focus on building your brand – is that your customers will form a perception of your business, however right or wrong their perception is.
Do you want to take this risk? After all, to be perceived incorrectly will have a financial consequence to your business’s bottom line!
Michael Major can help you explore and leverage your inherent competitive advantage. Follow his articles over all of the 12 issues, answer his questions and email Michael on firstname.lastname@example.org for feedback. If you send answers for all 12 issues you can be one of four people to win a free half day consultation with Michael.