22 June, 2016
The US writer John Steinbeck once said that anything that just costs money is cheap. Over the past 11 years BrandZ reports have looked at the link between brand – something which cannot be bought by money alone – and company valuations.
The latest study, conducted by our sister company Millward Brown on behalf of WPP, has just been published entitled “BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands” and looks at this phenomenon in detail. The data clearly shows that brand value is tied to business success. Companies which grow their brand loyalty and the value of their brand, enjoy increased sales and market share while shareholder returns grow at a much faster rate. Brand value has also risen 133% over the past 11 years, despite market instabilities, financial crises and political upheaval.
The importance of Brand Purpose and Brand Experience
Just two of the many factors critical for building and sustaining strong and valuable brands are Brand Purpose and Brand Experience. By purpose, we mean the reason why your company or organization exists: going beyond merely making money and satisfying shareholders on a quarterly basis. It also encapsulates your organisation’s legacy, how it develops its people and its contribution to improving society as well as the life of the consumer. Regardless, the purpose must be authentic, clearly articulated and consistently implemented. Moreover, by brand experience we mean the quality of the in-store experience, as well as users’ experiences when they interact with products and services.
It is also important to underline that purpose and experience are equally important for B2B brands. These areas are no longer the preserve of B2C companies. This is intensified by the fact that the old distinction between B2B and B2C is becoming increasingly blurred and therefore outdated.
Trends that drive brand value
The two main drivers can be distilled into the concepts of transparent innovation and the ability to disrupt. Companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook – who fared very well in the report, and are seen as fast-rising brands – have mastered these traits, and fully exploited the potential of digital technology and social media. Equally importantly, the best companies act like challengers and are constantly looking to move forward and disrupt the status quo. They also communicate their actions and planned activities, in order to be perceived as being innovative.
How to sustain and grow Brand Value
There is no universal blueprint and indivisible set of rules, of course, but valuable lessons can be learned from brands that have fared well during this current period of disruption. These can therefore be distilled into the following three elements:
• Disrupt before you are disrupted
• Excel in digital and social media
• Express a clear and consistent brand purpose
We at H+K believe in the power of purpose to drive Brand Value. Together with performance this drives preference across audiences. Consumers – particularly millennials – positively respond to brands that communicate a purpose beyond making money and we at H+K therefore advocate purpose driven communications. This can cover the consideration of future legacy, public engagement planning, as well as social curation and publishing.
Please get in touch with us if you want to find out more about the BrandZ study, or to discuss how we can help your brand.Back to News