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Harnessing the financial power of brand perception.

When it comes to making branding investments more accountable and linking branding to financial performance, CEOs, CFOs and investment firms are cautious when it comes to funding these initiatives to drive growth. However, research found that superior brand performance within a brand’s category directly improves profitability, market share and share prices, and commanded price premiums of 26% on average.

As an intangible asset for the business, there are several ways the brand and its perception can translate into increasing brand value, strength and equity for the long term.

For example, while walking through a residential area of Venice Beach, CA, I noticed that every 20 yards there was a branding imprint on the concrete path, which had been done by the contractor who poured the concrete. This was something—especially living in here in New York—that I had never seen before. It was incredibly smart on the contractor’s part to turn something so basic into a competitive advantage by creating brand value for his brand versus being seen as a commodity.

I don’t have any insight into the financial performance or profitability gained by this imprinted billboard, but I have to think it’s been a significant revenue stream, especially when you’re the only one doing it. Whether it was intentional or not, the contractor did these four things by not underestimating the financial power of brand perception:

Make sure that you’re connecting the dots across the entire end-to-end customer experience, from consideration, to purchase, to engagement post-conversion

1. Make a Brand More Meaningful

As demonstrated by the example above, to stand out, brands need to address emotional triggers and motivators in order to become more meaningful with their customers. Whether this is achieved through branding and design, content, or an offline or online customer experience, it’s critical for differentiation and increasing market share, while not commoditizing your brand or service.

2. Be Distinctive

In 2016, as Zipari’s Chief Brand and Digital Marketing Officer, I wanted to establish its point of difference with payers through its mission at the time of disrupting healthcare as the first customer experience SaaS platform specifically for insurance. While most competitor brand logos back then were primarily blue, ScheinerInc. opted for purple with an accent of red. Reinforcing the boldness and energy of the colors was bold typeface. Combined with an aggressive content marketing strategy, we created a perception of a 200-person company, when at the time it had merely 20. In December 2020, Zipari was acquired by Thoma Bravo.

3. Expand Your Reach

Don’t allow your brand and its marketing efforts to be siloed. In other words, make sure that you’re connecting the dots across the entire end-to-end customer experience, from consideration, to purchase, to engagement post-conversion. Best Buy is able to expand its reach through an omni-channel experience that connects consumers seamlessly to the physical store and to a frictionless scan to enable them to shop via the app, with multiple delivery options and 24/7 tech support from the company’s Geek Squad of installers and troubleshooters, allowing customers to customize how they choose to shop, purchase and receive support, which is further enhanced through real-time text and email updates.

4. Increase Brand Value

While all marketing is an investment, it needs to be actionable and, over time, demonstrate how it is lowering costs or achieving greater efficiencies in driving acquisition and increasing lifetime value. Sometimes, the value is created by a simple insight, like branding a concrete sidewalk or looking closer at the whitespace opportunity. This is precisely what Lululemon did to address the need of yoga instructors and members not to be distracted by constantly having to focus on getting into the correct pose. The company did this by designing a yoga mat with positional ripples across the mat’s surface, using several techniques to decide on their placement. These mats can be used for a variety of poses and deliver against Lululemon’s broader “Science of Feel” philosophy.

Questions? Email me here to understand how you can harness the financial power of brand perception for your brand or investment.

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