What’s the value of a good brand? To answer that question Aisha Kellaway travels to London to attend Brand Academy 2013. Follow Aisha on Twitter: @AishaKellaway
AS public relations professionals and students we understand our integral role in the representation of the brands that we work with; but how much do we know about the value of these brands, and the things we can do to ensure that this brand-value continues to increase?
Two weeks ago I ventured from Brighton to London and made my way to the Rosewood Hotel to attend Brand Academy 2013, an event presented by law-firm, Lewis Silkin, focusing this year on “Building Valuable Brands”.
There were five guest speakers who made a very impressive line-up. Each made their own presentations following which was a panel discussion and opportunity for Q & A.
- Mike Rocha, Global Director of Brand Valuation from Interbrand talked about the best global brands and the analytical process Interbrand use to assess a brand’s value.
- Anthony Mullen, Senior Analyst for Interactive Marketing at Forrester Research discussed the importance of trust and transparency.
- Marcus Taylor, CEO of Venture Harbour presented on how companies can use social media to build their brand value.
- Kelvin King from Valuation Consulting Co. spoke on the necessity of independence, innovation and transparency.
- Karl Bygrave, Director of Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics concluded with a discussion on whether ethics add or subtract from a brand.
Top takeaways from the evening:
Brands Should Deliver Three Things; Choice, Premium and Loyalty
The higher the demand for a specific brand in relation to its competitors, and the larger amount of choice driven by a brand, the higher the value of brand earnings, meaning a higher brand value.
Internal vs External Factors
There are both internal factors and external Factors which contribute to a brand’s overall strength. Internal factors align and prepare the organisation to deliver their chosen promise and the external factors ensure the brand’s impact on customer behaviour is maximised, relevant to competition. A brand will struggle if it only places importance on one of these areas. Strong brands generally start from within and then spread externally.
How Can You Be A Brand Leader?
Leading Brands have conviction, nurture their culture, surrender control – from B2B/B2C to B&B/B&C and deliver an experience, not just a product or service.
Be Real Or Be Rejected
Trust has become a cornerstone value, consumers are becoming more savvy about controlling and tracking their data. We are also using social media more and more often to verify claims made by brands and marketers as to whether providers are actually delivering their promises.
There Is A Window Of Opportunity
We’re facing a window of opportunity where brands can use technology to better understand and serve our customers in responsible way that engenders trust and loyalty. This in turn will build brand value.
Can You Re-gain Lost Trust?
After losing the trust of your audience, it’s hard to re-build it but it can be done with full recognition and acceptance of fault, an apology and transparency in how you will better serve your consumers.
Your Reputation Precedes You
Building your brand is another way of saying “improving your reputation”. Why this is so important is that your reputation precedes you. If this reputation is positive, most of your hard work is done for you.
Why Use Digital Media To Build Your Reputation?
It’s not only where the people are, it’s also where conversations and buying decisions are taking place. In such a competitive marketplace, if you don’t… it’s very likely your competitors will.
Use Social Media To Transfer Trust To Your Brand
Social media platforms are a place people share with those whose opinions and thoughts they trust. Embracing social media enables us to transfer some of that trust onto things people typically trust least, such as brands and marketers, through recommendations, shares and likes.
Create Conversations Around The Brand, Not About The Brand
People don’t want to read advertisements or marketing speil, they want to read what interests them. If you can connect your brand to a common interest shared by your target audience and create quality content surrounding that, your brand’s reputation within that field will rise and this engenders loyalty. A great example here is Red Bull and how the brand has embraced Extreme Sports.
Buzz Dies Down, Advocacy Doesn’t
Spend your best efforts engendering loyalty and creating advocates for your brand. This is what will drive trust naturally, and these advocates will do most of the hard work for you.
A Strong Brand Is Like A Building, It’s Built From The Ground Up
A lot of brands attempt to start at the top and build down. A strong, valuable brand needs strong foundations. Not just financial and economic, but to do with awareness, attitude, loyalty, strategies and management.
Not Everyone Believes In Everything
Learn that not everyone will believe what you preach and accept that this is okay. Focus your energy on the believers and grow their loyalty rather than attempting to convert those with opposing values.
Is It Okay To Upset More People Than You Appeal To?
In Lush’s case, Karl believes that anyone they upset, should be upset. Marketing campaigns surrounding ethics are naturally going to offend/upset people of opposing beliefs. Ensure you are doing it for the right reasons.
Do Ethics Add Or Subtract From The Value Of A Brand?
Ethics have the potential to add to the value of your brand, but they also have the potential to do a lot of damage and upset a lot of people. Ethics will almost always add to your brand if the brand openly communicate these ethics, show full transparency and have integrity.
Transparency was definitely the buzz word of the evening, and I came away from the evening with my head whirring in the best possible way, I’m certainly looking forward to applying this better understanding with any and all brands I represent, and analysing the choices I’ve made and where I place my own brand loyalty.