Building Brand Value – Part 4

Collective Brand Value and Continuous Improvement

Building brand value is an ongoing process that should never end, nor should it ever be de-prioritized. In Part 1 of the Building Brand Value series, I suggested that Apple and Disney would never de-prioritize building brand value, and neither should your company. If you missed that article, follow the preceding link to read it now. Be sure to read Part 2 and Part 3 as well, so you understand how to build brand value and meaning using features and benefits as well as about the kind of brand value market research you should conduct along the way. Now, it’s time to learn about collective brand value and continuous improvement.

building brand valueBuilding Brand Value as a Collaborative Discipline

Building brand value shouldn’t be “owned” by a specific department in a company. While it might start in the marketing department, brand value development should be “owned” by every employee. It’s a collaborative discipline with both internal and external stakeholders.

In simplest terms, collective brand value means that a brand is only as valuable as the sum of its parts. If all stakeholders aren’t equally committed to building brand value, then it’s unlikely that the brand will grow to become a powerhouse like Disney or Apple. While it’s true that consumers build brands, not companies, it’s also true that if companies don’t follow the three core steps of brand building — consistency, persistence, and restraint — then consumers will be confused and turn away from the brand. In other words, branding can again be viewed as a 360-degree circle where everyone needs to be on board and working toward common goals of brand development or value cannot grow.

Brand Value Continuous Improvement

disney brand value magicBuilding brand value is a continual process that never ends. Consumers change, categories evolve, and stakeholders come and go. A brand has to be flexible enough to navigate through these changes if it’s going to survive and thrive in the long-term. Therefore, a commitment to continuous improvement is a critical part of building brand value.

Think of it this way — brand value gives a company awareness, recall, differentiation, reputation, loyalty, advocacy, physical satisfaction, perceived emotional satisfaction, perceived quality, perceived trust, and perceive value. Notice that we’ve come full circle again?

Brad VanAuken of Branding Strategy Insider published a list of twenty considerations for building strong brands earlier this year, and it’s a great compilation of questions that can help you stay on track to build positive brand value. Some of those question include:

  • Do you know what motivates your target audience?
  • Does the brand stand for something?
  • Is the brand truly differentiated?
  • Is the brand trustworthy?
  • Does the brand build an emotional connection?
  • Are you presenting the brand consistently?
  • Is the brand vital and innovative and interesting?
  • Do people in your organization view the brand as an asset that should be grown?
  • Is the entire organization committed to delivering on the brand promise?
  • Is the CEO the chief brand champion?

All of these questions and more have been addressed throughout the Building Brand Value series, and one thing is for certain — brand value is a powerful company asset that should not be overlooked. An investment in your brand today could deliver significant returns in years to come.

If you missed previous parts of the Building Brand Value series, follow the links below to read them now:

Images: rigor789, Susan Gunelius

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Gunelius
Susan Gunelius, MBA is a 25-year marketing and branding expert and President and CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She is the author of 10 books about marketing, branding and social media, and her marketing-related articles appear on top media websites such as Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com. She is also the Founder and Editor in Chief of WomenOnBusiness.com, an award-winning blog for business women.