The full picture: what value does branding actually have?
Obviously, we believe in the power of branding but sometimes it’s so hard to quantify. If you could measure ROI on brand, we’d be millionaires. Sure, there are rankings across the internet that put logos next to numbers with lots of zeros but it doesn’t mean much. Numbers don’t give the full picture of what a great brand can do and we don’t think they ever will because who can measure an essence? In a digital world where everything needs to be proven with a numerical value, it can sometimes be difficult to highlight the value of branding but it should be a no-brainer.
Brands let companies differentiate themselves from their competition. A good brand at least makes a company individual, memorable and something that people buy into and trust. A great brand can make people fall head over heels in love, connecting with someone on a much deeper level. Brands can become a means of self-expression, even part of a person’s identity. They can build a sense of community and become something people are truly passionate about.
Take Star Wars for example. It’s easy to say Star Wars has been successful by looking at all the money it’s made over the years. But those numbers don’t mention how many fans spent their nights camping outside cinemas for tickets, even in 2015 when tickets could be booked in advance. Fans felt like they had a tradition to uphold. They wanted to be a part of something. Part of the Star Wars world.
Apple is another brand people are head over heels for. Just recently, people lined up outside stores across the world to get their hands on an iPhone 7. Some walked out lifting their purchases above their heads like a trophy. It may seem bizarre to some that parting with over £600 for a phone feels like a win, but not for an Apple lover.
A brand like Harley-Davidson has become a true American icon, and dedicated Harley owners have been known to name children after the brand. Can you put a number on the value of that?
As we can see from examples such as these, brands can do much more to people that create customer loyalty. A brand essence becomes a guide to everything that a company wants to communicate, creating an individual way of connecting with their followers. Business decisions and branding decisions go hand in hand, so having a great brand strategy can help provide direction over the long-term.
Brands can do a lot for companies. Sure it might be a long game, and it can take some time to reap the real benefits of investing in branding but a great brand can become your greatest asset, so putting in the time and effort to develop one is NEVER a bad idea...
It might not be straightforward to calculate the value of branding. But we know if it’s done right, it’s invaluable.