Tips on making savings when building a world-class brand
Marketers, brand guardians and business owners will have spotted that more businesses than ever before are investing in brand-related activity to drive profitability. This is no surprise when you consider that an organisation’s brand accounts for an average 18% of its total market value.
The shift from short-term results to long-term brand building is driven by changes to the consumer mindset, as they soak up more information online, become vocal in criticising brands on social media and take more care to vote with their feet when it comes to purchasing decisions.
All of which means investments that shape brand perception are now vital for growth, competitive advantage and shareholder value.However, return on investment can be greatly diminished if the brand spend, organisation and implementation are not managed properly.
In my experience working with global brands on big brand change projects, there are always ways to find savings and efficiencies within the brand management budget and the secret lies in structure, control and efficiency.
1. Make the brand the strategic starting point
According to VIM Group’s Brand Performance Study, businesses perform better when brand is taken as a strategic starting point. However, we found that only 7% of organisations use brand as a starting point for business decisions.
While management teams increasingly recognise the value of a brand, this does not always translate into investment.
Without backing from senior leadership, the brand will never achieve its full potential and brand-building could be limited to the marketing team. To facilitate a change, the brand should be elevated to the boardroom as a key talking point.
Representing the impact of brand investment in financial terms will help. The brand should also be considered a collaborative area of focus for all internal stakeholders such as IT, HR and Retail rather than just the marketing team.
2. Governing the brand
Good brand organisation requires a continuous cycle of investment, but it can also be one of the soundest investments a business can make when managed effectively.
Establishing a brand steering committee is a good starting point, as this will ensure the brand is central to all activities across the business. Make sure managers from all relevant departments are represented.
Led by a brand manager, the committee should monitor how the brand delivers its promises based on KPIs and will determine the best way to improve. This collaboration is the foundation of a coherent brand experience. Updating the approach to internal brand ownership is also recommended.
This means saying goodbye to the ‘silo structure? between different teams with a stake in brand management.
Brand managers will become more like community or relationship managers, aggregating input from internal stakeholders to influence brand development, rather than writing the rule book on brand activity.
Greater oversight of the brand from all internal stakeholders will also make it easier to identify cost-saving opportunities within pre-existing procurement cycles.
As Managing Director of leading brand implementation and strategy specialist VIM Group, Jo Davies helps some of the world's biggest brands save millions through better structure, control and efficiency of their brand organisation. Over the last 25 years, VIM Group has saved its clients more than ?100m.