Brand value is more than the products or services a company sells; it’s what they stand for and how they are perceived. A good way to picture brand value definition is the worth of a brand in the eyes of its consumers - because, after all, it’s their opinion that matters most.
If you’ve done your reading, you may have seen articles differentiating between brand value and brand equity – perceiving the former to be the monetary value of a brand and the latter to be its emotional impact or positive associations. Opting for a more holistic approach, we adopt a definition encompassing these economic and emotional elements – viewing it as anything and everything that impacts a brand’s bottom line.
Successful brands must grasp their market value and emotional worth to consolidate their position as brand leaders, forge impactful brand identities, create meaningful customer relationships, and secure lifetime value.
In this article, we’ll review the importance of building brand value, highlighting how to identify it and build it into your brand strategy. By the end of this guide, you should not only understand company value – but should feel confident optimising it as a powerful strategy ensuring long-term growth.
What is meant by brand value?
Brand value is highly sought after: all brands and companies want to be deemed valuable. Although, it can be a difficult term to define – let alone measure. Before we get into the importance of the value of a brand and how to measure it – we first need to define one thing: what exactly is brand value?
Essentially, it refers to your brand’s perceived value. It’s how often customers choose your brand over the competition, how much extra their willing to pay for your products and services, and how they remember, engage, and relate to your brand. It’s their expectations and their customer loyalty, it’s a brand experience, an impression, a reputation, and a relationship.
But – despite our long list of intangible assets above, there are tangible assets – which can also be used as metrics when measuring value – that customers associate with the value of a brand, with these being:
- Logos, taglines, fonts and trademarks.
- Visual and digital assets.
- Advertising and marketing strategies.
- Customer retention.
- Social media engagement levels.
We can’t stress the importance of value enough. When customers find value in a brand, they develop loyalty towards it. Whether you simply want to sell more products – at higher prices – appeal to more customers, or attract investors, brand value matters. Having customers who perceive your brand to align with their personal values is a powerful competitive advantage. Here are a few reasons why:
Building brand value is central to cutting through the noise and securing that all-important repeat custom, future business development and the ability to stay ahead of new brands.
When it comes to new product launches, established brands are at an advantage, as customer loyalty makes it much less risky for brands to introduce new products. You’re also far more likely to get restocked if your brand is in demand.
Consumers continually gravitate toward products with great reputations. Consider Apple, one of the top brands in the world, who discovered this and employed it across their marketing campaigns. By consistently fulfilling its promise of being innovative, forward-thinking, and quality-led, whenever Apple releases a new product, customers camp outside the shop overnight to be the first to get their hands on the new product – despite a higher price point.
When it comes to making strategic partnerships, businesses are naturally more inclined to team with established brands that have an existing influence, dominant brand name, and reputable brand image.
Consider Coca-Cola – whose estimated worth is around $78 billion. If you were to partner with the brand giants, you’d be gaining much more than an in-demand product – you would benefit from the name, logo, and other brand elements that customers instantly recognise and trust. Such collaborations boost value and equity for both partners and are a win-win.
This perceived worth denotes not just how customers feel about and connect with your brand but also other businesses – and your own employees. Companies with higher brand value will find it easier to recruit and retain talent, as reputation affects the pride people take in their role.
The truth is that customers are more likely to pay the premium for brands they trust. It’s evident everywhere, from candles to food products – the price point between generic and premium products is clear. Companies who actively associate themselves with positive characteristics such as trustworthiness, authenticity, innovation, style, elegance and security earn customers’ trust, boost brand recognition, and repeat custom.
Consider Nike, a brand with incredibly high value, positive associations, and brand awareness. Nike’s customers trust the brand’s quality and feel confident that Nike will consistently deliver high-quality products and service: if it’s good enough for athletes, it’s good enough for us. This trust lays the foundation for brand loyalty, which allows Nike to achieve high profits consistently.
How to measure brand value
Today’s acknowledgement of the power of brands means that there’s a wide range of ideas about what makes a brand successful. Unsurprisingly, measuring a company’s value can be complex and confusing without a clear strategy in mind. There are several different approaches you can use when measuring brand value, and your brand should pick the one that works best for the size, scale, mission and values of your business.
There are several key factors when it comes to measuring the value of a brand; brands need to look at recognition, usage and loyalty. Your brand’s success relies on setting goals and monitoring your progress towards them. The only way to know if your brand investments are working is by measuring your brand value and monitoring your brand’s audience to help better understand perceptions of your brand and help make future decisions.
There are six core approaches:
- Cost-based valuation: This involves analysing how much cost has been incurred or the amount of money spent establishing the brand. Essentially it covers the cost of everything spent creating a brand, including licence, registration and trademarking cost, promotional and advertising costs, and history of expenses.
- Market-based valuation: This method estimates your company’s value based on the current market climate, identifying how your brand stands out from the crowd. You could do this by looking at the sale price of similar brands, looking at stock performance, or by simply asking leaders of other companies how much they would pay for your brand. Surveys are a good means of gauging perceptions of your brand in the wider context of the market.
- Income-based valuation: This model looks at the amount of income incurred by your brand. Essentially, what money does your brand bring in? You will need to look at all of your company’s financial streams and then assess which elements can be attributed directly to the reputation your brand has earned.
- Revenue premium valuation: This is a more specific form of income-based valuation. It compares your brand to non-branded alternatives to determine how much people are willing to pay for a recognised brand. This is an opportunity to discover how many people use your brand based on your brand identity and core brand values.
- Customer-based valuation: This method involves assessing your existing customers and predicting the number of future customers. Customers are a great measure of a company’s value – as loyal customers stick with brands they identify with and connect with.
- Net promoter score (NPS): NPS is essentially a measure of how well your brand does at inspiring organic, word-of-mouth promotion. This can be calculated by surveying your customers, asking them how likely they are to recommend your brand and why.
What makes a brand valuable to customers?
Today, a brand is a promise that resides in customers’ minds about a product, service or business. Valuable brands have earned their positions as industry leaders by adding value to the lives of their customers. Brands that enable, engage and enrich their customers are often deemed as valuable, leaving customers feeling empowered, secure, stimulated, connected and validated.
Marketers can reinforce value by actively investing in the components that are felt as valuable, such as:
- Brand Recognition and brand awareness: Your brand needs to be instantly recognisable. The world’s most valuable brands establish a well-defined and unique purpose, consistently communicating to their customers through digital marketing, advertising and communications. Aim to create positive, strong and unique brand attributes that your customers will retain in their minds.
- Brand loyalty: This could be viewed as the measure of the connection between your brand and your customers. How likely are they to consistently choose your brand over competitors, and what can you do to ensure this?
- Effective communication: Today, customers want brands that are effective communicators and that offer engaging online and offline conversations. Social media is a fantastic tool enabling brands to build meaningful relationships with their customer base and communicate directly with their customers. Be sure to stay in touch with your customers, flex your communication skills and listen and respond to any feedback you might get.
- Brand association: Your brand should stand out from the crowd, and your brand’s culture should remain consistent across your beliefs, values, UPS and so on. Today’s most valuable brands focus on building a brand experience which differentiates them from their competitors and has unique, positive, and memorable brand associations. These associations with people, places, and things define positive brand association and are what customers will buy into.
- Authenticity: Valuable brands have established trust with their customers and communicate candidly through authentic messaging that aligns with their voice, values, mission and the aspirations of their customers. Social media is the perfect place for you to flex your authenticity, demonstrate how you enact your values and create real-world impact.
How do you build brand value?
There are many steps you can take to increase your brand value, so we’ve put together a list of steps to get you there:
A firm understanding of your target customers is crucial to your success – no brand can succeed without understanding the needs, wants desires, and pain points of their customers.
Start by researching your customers, where they are buying, what they are buying, and who they aspire to, and think deeply about the nature of your product and service and how your target market will interact with it. What problems does it solve? Who will be facing these issues?
As brand builders – it’s your task to present the right solutions to the right people. Once you have a firm understanding of who will be buying from you – and why – and have an idea of their strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes, you can tailor your messaging to cater directly to their needs.
Brands are built on reputations, but reputations are flexible – always changing and moving as the market changes. So, once you’ve built your brand and launched your product – be sure to continue to conduct market research so that your brand is ready to adapt to market changes as and when they appear.
High-quality brand design not only shapes perceptions of your brand but is crucial when building brand value. From your logo to your website – your visual assets should grab attention, communicate your promise, stand out from the crowd, and appeal to your target audience emotionally.
Design is where your brand can communicate itself visually with its customers. How you adopt shapes, colours, fonts or layout elements on your website, packaging or emails will determine if your brand is deemed valuable or not. Your design elements should consistently communicate your brand in a way that is engaging, inviting and assuring. Establish your brand image from the start and use high-quality designs that demonstrate your brand personality and foster impactful customer connections.
High-quality design really does make a difference, so it might be worth using a design agency to help you create impactful and unique designs that capture the essence of your brand.
Advertising and marketing
Advertising is where your brand has the chance to shine. It’s where you can express yourself, display your brand values, show customers what you’re all about, and forge meaningful connections.
Don’t shy away from using all possible platforms to advertise your brand and run the risk of alienating potential customers. Spread the word, and make sure that people everywhere know all about your business and where to reach you.
Through advertising and marketing campaigns, brands can consistently highlight what they stand for, establish a reputation, build brand awareness and prompt brand recognition. By establishing yourself as a trustworthy and reputable brand, your business is more likely to be promoted through word-of-mouth marketing – an organic form of marketing that builds trust, consolidates a brand community and enables you to reach new customers without incurring the cost of increasing sales.
Strategic sponsorships are a great means of boosting brand awareness and credibility. Sponsorship marketing provides brands with a unique opportunity to align themselves with the causes and events that their target audience cares about and views positively. This association helps generate a positive reaction to your brand and ultimately improves how your brand is perceived by your target audience.
Sponsorship opportunities are also a great chance to demonstrate your company values. You should choose events or causes your company feels passionately about, that your customers care about, and that strategically complement your brand’s values. This not only increases awareness of your brand but exhibits your ethical and social values.
Now more than ever, brands face the challenge of capturing and sustaining market share, keeping their customers loyal, and reaching new audiences. Providing great customer experiences is vital to incurring brand value. Products and services go a long way, but as more and more brands lean into lifestyle offerings and provide 24/7 communication – customers increasingly expect a good brand experience and are willing to pay more for brands that provide this. Great customer care, smooth user experiences and easy interactions between your brand and customers are great ways of creating positive customer experiences that will keep customers coming back for more.
Consumers are always on the lookout for brands to connect with, so it’s good for companies to offer consumers something that they can relate to. This goes beyond an appealing logo or beautiful website. Although external brand elements like this can help to shape brand awareness, it is the perceived value of your brand that will drive real engagement and help you create powerful bonds with your target audience.
Tone of voice
Your tone of voice defines how your brand communicates with its audience and influences how your message is perceived. It should express your brand’s personality, goals, values, and areas of expertise and be distinctive and recognisable.
Chiefly, your brand’s tone of voice allows you to cut through the noise and makes a lasting impression on potential customers. You can’t create a unique brand personality without a clear and distinguished tone of voice which appeals to your target audience and kickstarts that vital dialogue. Your brand’s verbal identity is where you have the chance to express your brands’ unique persona and seamlessly build up relationships with your customers.
How you present yourself and communicate with your customers is important in building brand value. Consistency is key. Not only does it allow you to communicate your brand in a way that is personable and relatable, but it allows customers to associate communications with your brand easily. Through a set brand voice and tone, your audience can get to know and understand your brand.
Build your brand value
A company’s value is more than its products or services; it’s what they stand for. It’s what helps them forge long-lasting bonds with their customer base. It’s their perceived worth, their reputation, and their financial value. Most of all, it’s the reason that customers choose your brand above all of your competitors.
In the past, consumers relied on product quality and value when making purchasing decisions. Still, today, brand value plays a crucial role in earning customers’ trust and driving brand loyalty. Building brand value is the foundation of your business’s long-term success.
Without having brand recognition amongst customers and customers that are willing to recommend you – your company won’t be able to maximise its value. Taking the time to build and consistently measure value is a surefire way to increase sales and prestige – both of which are needed to solidify an industry-leading position.
Now that you’re armed with the information on the importance of brand value, it’s time to create your own. We have a wealth of experience and knowledge in creating memorable and imaginative branding and establishing company values that resonate in the hearts of your audience. If you’re looking to build, or bolster the value of your brand, get in touch – we’re here to help.