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Selling the Brand and Brand Impact
There would be thirty different definitions of branding and even more so when it comes to the concept of brand impact. But ‘sales’ is one such factor which doesn’t ace the list of what sells the brand a.k.a. the indicators of brand impact.
The most important factor when it comes to brand impact can be experienced by imagining yourself as a consumer.
We did a small survey with ~110 randomly chosen people and asked them what aspects they would consider before buying something as small as a bar of chocolate when they had a craving.
These are the attributes, arranged from most important to least important, that people preferred in the survey
It is very clear that people who think about calories or advertisements before purchase are a minority. Aspects like past experiences with the brand and packaging matter in customer decisions- both aspects of brand value and hence, investing in these will build a brand in a manner advertisements can’t. Advertising is a process often used for instant popularity of your product/service, to bring instant but random sales.
Read on to know more about brand impact analysis through various aspects of brand-building rather than marketing exclusively through processes that build brand loyalty instead of giving sudden sales spikes.
Brand as an Asset
“The brand is rightfully considered as the most important corporate asset,” is something you would hear at a board meeting. This fact not only proves its long-term quality but also differentiates branding with marketing. Marketing is short termed and usually, it is the marketers who confuse the brand impact with sales generated.
Let us use a hypothesis to understand this better. For a business you started, your priority could be either brand building or profit-making in the primary stage.
It cannot be both. Why? Well, brand building is a process that takes the investment of time whereas profits can be gained exclusively by pouring monetary investment in the marketing process. You could either push your product in the market or expand the brand to have a profitable market later. Or you could have a balance of both with half the impact on each.
To understand this even better, imagine a ball in your hand. You must have imagined a small palm-sized ball, right?
It’s a basic human instinct. The bigger the ball, the lesser the grip.
Branding, Marketing, and Sales
Marketing is advertising your product whereas branding is advertising leadership- something that instigates favorable customer behavior.
This will eventually show up as sustainable profits by having a loyal customer base rather than a random sales-only approach.
There are a million quotes that say things like “patience is a virtue” and as cliched as this might sound, but their overuse itself proves a point. In this era of “get-rich-quick” schemes, even more so.
Authors of The 22 immutable laws of branding say, “Ask not what percentage of an existing market your brand can achieve, ask how large a market your brand can create by narrowing its focus and owning a word in the mind.” This is where most people fail. They do not have faith that their product or service could create a market. If the current version of your product can’t, then strategy conversations with our CBO definitely can upgrade that. More on that later.
The Business of Branding
From the experience we have had, the questions business owners have for branding studios usually are on the lines of does the brand affect the financial statistics in any way at all? or even if the brand is an asset, how to measure something intangible like brand impact?
To answer these questions, let us introduce you to the concept of, (take a deep breath) ‘perceived risk of purchase’. Once again, perceived risk of purchase.
Experts believe that a customer chooses your product/service after they ask themselves these four questions:
And a few other subconscious questions and we’ll just let them be.
Now, these answers solely depend on the actual strength of your business idea and the quality of service or product you provide. But in a market with saturated amount of alternatives of equal or higher quality, the brand helps a customer choose from a bewildering array of choices.
The best example to support this comment could be Coca-Cola. When Coca-Cola launched Diet Coke, Pepsi Cola already had its Diet Pepsi in vending machines and stores.
It was the power of the Coca-Cola brand that made the customer pick it up off the shelves.
Branding in the Balance Sheet
It is difficult to isolate the impact to brand, but when you look at successful businesses, there is always a common factor, you guessed it right, The Brand.
Perception drives behavior which drives performance and perception is built through brand identity, not sales.
David Aaker in his book titled ‘Brand Leadership’ rightly says, strong brands command a price premium. It becomes evident that every great idea is an individual brand with a unique brand personality and it should develop its own measures for success. But you have to invest heart in defining a vision.