The term ‘brand’ is more than its ephemeral outputs or outwardly facing appearance. A company’s brand is a commercial asset – one that has financial value and has enabled brand-led businesses to outperform the stock market benchmark by 28%”
We deem a brand to be successful when its name, persona and reputation continually attract and sustain relationships with customers, employees and stakeholders. In other words, when it has generated a level of ‘Brand Pull’ that delivers revenue security, increased margin and market cap.
Our Brand Pull model identifies what builds the currency and equity of a brand to create demand and drive the cultural engines of brand loyalty and business growth.
In referring to a brand, we must first recognise that the term ‘brand’ is more than its ephemeral outputs or outwardly facing appearance. A company’s brand is a commercial asset – one that has financial value and has enabled brand-led businesses to outperform the stock market benchmark by 28%1. Amongst other things, the ‘brand’ encompasses the corporate strategy, competitive positioning and overarching brand purpose, as well as driving decision-making and business efficiency. Investment in these areas is what pushes a brand beyond a commodity product or service in the hearts and minds of audiences.
In analysing the foundations of a brand’s currency and equity, we started with insight from research with over 6,000 people (CultureQ2) that identified a spectrum of consumer and stakeholder needs. These broadly form a sequence that starts with audiences requiring a brand to act as a trust point and continues to the point at which they demand brands deliver a wider community contribution. Fulfilment of each need at each stage is imperative, particularly as decision-making processes evolve and emerging generations continue to demand more accountability from businesses and brands.
Together, these core needs satisfy what today’s consumers and stakeholders regard as having value to them – a brand currency with equity that trades on the basis of:
– Personal Value & Identity
– Social Impact & Connection
– Cultural Progress & Belonging
Our processes, as a business and brand development consultancy, focus on increasing a brand’s currency and equity by generating the personal, social and cultural drivers that create loyalty and growth. Where brands need to strengthen, align or further embed these drivers within their business, culture or products, our experience has demonstrated they are best delivered through:
– A credible strategy and authentic brand purpose that provides clarity and trust as the start point
– Brand touchpoints delivered across channels in ways that enhance and enrich experiences
– Operating principles that benchmark behaviours, inspire initiatives and determine action and responsibility
– Communications that express shared values to engage and connect audiences in a unified culture
– The momentum and inspiration for profitable change and progress from which to innovate and grow
In conclusion, the journey towards creating demand for a product or service, being an employer of choice, or a brand that partners want to do business with, must be taken from the audiences’ perspectives. It must encompass personal value, social impact and cultural progress; and it must trade on this and convert it into specific behaviours that lead to engagement, motivation, advocacy, loyalty and demand. The resulting brand is one with clarity of purpose, strength of reputation and a considerable sphere of influence. It is both visionary and actionable, and its brand value is of financial and profitable impact.
For further insight into how to create demand through social connection and cultural belonging, please contact us.
1 Over the last 7 years the BrandZ Portfolio of the strongest brands appreciated 58% against S&P 500 of 23% i.e. outperforming the stock market benchmark by 28%
2 CultureQ research conducted across six thousand people over four years by our partner Onesixtyfourth.