Branding is a long-term commitment – And it’s not easy
By Ted Wright November 11, 2019
By Ted Wright
I don’t think there is any question that in this information-dense world, branding is more important than ever.
You always have to be thinking about continuously building your brand. And It’s harder than ever now. It’s more expensive. It takes more time. Everybody wants growth quarter after quarter after quarter. You’re never going achieve that unless you’re investing in the brand.
If you look at every brand that is successful, they’re investing in the brand all the time. Look at Apple. They’re making decisions to put more and more functionality into their watch. And that watch does $15 billion a year. So branding doesn’t have to be ephemeral. It doesn’t have to be fake, it doesn’t have to be smoke and mirrors. They are systematically and continuously making the brand more valuable.
How to invest in your brand
When considering a long-term investment in your brand, keep two things in mind.
One, does this expenditure create more conversations (thus increasing the value of my brand)?
Let’s go back to the watch example. Think of all the people who would be talking about a new heartbeat monitor in the Apple Watch. Athletes. Physicians. Anybody with a heart problem or is concerned about their heart or just likes to have more information about their heart. That’s a lot of people.
I recently read where a person was in a bike wreck and they were knocked unconscious. The watch automatically called 911 because it detected that the cyclist had stopped really suddenly, and his breathing was much more shallow, the heart rate was irregular. The emergency first responders found the cyclist and that person didn’t gain consciousness until halfway to the hospital.
So think about this. How many people have a loved one who goes on bicycle rides? How many people have heard this story? What do you think they’re going to buy them for Christmas this year?
New functionality equals new conversations equals more brand equity.
Branding and financial commitment
The second thing on every marketer’s mind is, “how do I invest in the brand while continuing to help the company meet its financial obligations?”
Your job as a marketer is to sell more stuff to more people more often for more money. The only way you’re going to do that efficiently, is to get people to understand what your company stands for, even when you’re not marketing to them, right?
The trick is balancing that consistency and marketing continuity with the financial demands of the business and that is never easy.
The most important asset in a business today is an executive leadership team that truly understands the long-term nature of marketing and is committed to marketing in a way that truly resonates with today’s consumers.
Netflix and branding
I think a good example of this is Netflix. This is a company investing in their brand in a way that will pay off in the long term. They built a brand built on content and the distribution of that content, and they have not lost sight of those imperatives.
The companies that are losing brand equity today make knee-jerk reactions that sacrifice the long-term value of the brand. I would name Facebook as a company that is lost. They are making financial decisions focused on quarterly earnings and have lost sight of the fact that they have lost the trust of the world.
Committing to a long-term marketing strategy is hard, especially when you are under economic pressure, but there really is no choice in the world we work in today.
Ted Wright is the founder of Fizz, the world’s leading word of mouth marketing (WOMM) agency. Ted is also an acclaimed WOMM keynote speaker and the author of Fizz: Harness the Power of Word of Mouth Marketing to Drive Brand Growth.