Feature Post by Mitch Lipon, CEO of Ignite XDS
A company’s Brand value can be perceived as intangible, or subjective, and is sometimes difficult to quantify. One thing is certain, however, it’s either an asset or a liability. A strong, well-developed Brand enables a company to extend sales to larger and broader markets, pricing can be optimized, margins increased, talent can be more easily attracted and retained, and new opportunities realized. Conversely, a weak or under-developed Brand is frequently the underlying cause of obstacles on the road to sales, growth, or even corporate existence.
Common sense tells us that in an age of abundant information, consumers will seek out and find comfort in Brands they trust…Brands that exude confidence, Brands that just “feel good”, Brands they can emotionally bond with, and Brands that live up to their expectations. This holds true in B2B vs. B2C, Service vs. Products, and Transactional vs. Transformational. Analyses show that deliberate investment in strengthening a company’s Brand will lead to consistently stronger sales and higher yields. To illustrate this point, use the very simple example of two homes sitting side-by-side for sale in a neighborhood. Imagine one is well maintained, with up-to-date colors, kitchen, flooring, and a nicely manicured landscape; while the other is simply “lived in”. Not bad, mind you…just “lived in”.
Which would command the higher price, and likely be sold sooner? The answer is obvious. Ask yourself: is your Brand just “lived-in”, or have you invested wisely to create a presence, an organizational culture, and an offering that commands your market?
It is easy to agree that the mission of any C-level team is to build and sustain shareholder value over the long-term. There is no argument that precise attention to financial management, operational efficiency, and a quality product, are critical to that objective. Yet in all that, many companies still view their Brand as a secondary, and often purely visual exercise that is given passive attention. As consumer sophistication grows, that sort of mindset could prove fatal to your organization.
Your Brand is more than just visual. It’s the essence that makes you meaningfully different and exciting. Yes, the visual part of your Brand has to evoke some emotion in your consumer. It has to deliver in a hidden buying cycle when someone first notices you, and you’re not there to explain things. But it can’t end there. It can’t only be a pretty picture. Your Brand, your culture, has to be deeply woven into the fabric of your organization, it has to have the strength to carry your consumer from interest, to purchase, to advocate. Your Brand must touch every aspect of consumer contact and interaction. Your Brand is the way you answer the phone, your sales pitch, your production process that allows you to deliver on-time and on-budget, and every other aspect of customer interaction. Your Brand is the foundation upon which you will build and grow your company.
So you ask – What is the value of your Brand? The answer is most likely; It’s invaluable!