Your brand is your organisation’s most valuable intangible asset, making up 18% of its market capitalisation on average. Strong brands positively affect company success by influencing customers, employees and investors – in fact one survey of marketers found that 74% believe brand strategy plays a bigger role than ever before.
However, organisations often focus more on their tangible assets like buildings and equipment, while neglecting their brand.
This means it can be difficult for brand owners or managers to seek investment from the board in brand marketing and related activity – despite the clear financial benefits of brand investment.
Here are a few tips to prove brand value when seeking investment from the board.
1. Speak the language of the boardroom
When making your case to the board, ensure the pitch is concise, to the point and evidence-based. Leadership teams are time poor, so they want to see the benefits up front and represented in financial rather than emotional terms.
Make sure to leverage performance data from different departments, which all hold a vast amount of data about how brand performance impacts the bottom line.
For example, digital marketing holds strong proof points about your online presence, or HR holds information about what attracts high-quality candidates.
Your challenge is to turn those insights into tangible benefits. Brand dashboards that merge different data sets to provide real-time insight on brand analytics will be an invaluable tool, as they make it easy to visualise and communicate what good brand performance looks like for your company.
2. Streamline and simplify processes
Within any organisation, there are always opportunities to simplify how it communicates and manages branded assets. Adopting practical tools like an online brand portal will help to streamline, simplify and boost coherency.
A good brand portal empowers teams in different regions to access the same information at any given time, making tasks quicker and possibly reducing reliance on external support from agencies.
This will directly benefit the bottom line by boosting productivity and cutting the need for expenditure. Streamlined procurement of expensive branded assets like building signage and interiors can also yield cost savings.
Typically, you will find a number of areas to simplify and streamline, which in turn can unlock annual budget savings. This will be vital information when justifying brand investment to the board.
3. Benchmark your brand
Your proposal should include competitor benchmarking to ensure the board understands where the brand stands within the marketplace and how brand investment can help to grow the business.
In truth, many organisations are not clear on the exact value of their brand or which analytics will best measure its performance.
A conclusive valuation of the brand should be a starting point. Agreeing on clear KPIs to monitor brand performance will then ensure you can prove the value of previous investments and justify any future spend.
Keeping up to date with tools, tech, news and competitor activity will be vital in representing the value of brand investment in financial terms.
4. Focus on company culture
Besides improving external perception of the business as a whole, brand investment can also change company culture for the better. With many businesses competing against each other for top talent, particularly in technical roles, a strong brand’s ability to attract and retain the best talent can be hugely valuable.
When a brand has the power to unite employees under a shared company culture, the business is breaking down barriers between teams, boosting collaboration, creating a better environment for constructive disagreement, increasing productivity and employee satisfaction.
According to Forbes, marketing messages reach 561% more people when shared by employees rather than the brand itself, and brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when distributed by employees compared to the brand.
This underlines the value of strong employer branding, employee engagement and a more dynamic approach to employees’ use of social media. In the long run, this could be a significantly cheaper approach than traditional communications channels.
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