India: What Is Brand Value And How Can One Enhance It?

Last Updated: 17 January 2019
Article by Shubham Borkar and Neha Rani

Everybody wants it! Many Struggle to achieve it! Few attain it!

Brand Value is an enormously important subject matter amongst businesses, marketers, entrepreneurs and companies at large. It is an important issue to be dealt with, especially for the start ups. Brands have become so important for customers that hardly anything unbranded goes directly or indirectly to the market today. Brand Value in layman terms can be understood as the sum of how much extra people would pay or how often people will prefer a particular commodity over the other available alternatives.

The total value of brand 'Tata' has surged to $14.2 billion surpassing the total of second and third brand in the list. Yet very few people know that brands such as Jaguar, Land Rover, Titan, Tanishq, Fastrack and Westside are owned by Tata. It is the brand association strategy that the company has adopted to raise its finances. The company raised its Brand Value by becoming the corporate parent of brands that have lasting value in customer's mind.Around 40% of Company's value accounts for brand value1. Therefore it is very important for a company to inculcate business strategy that equally focuses on brand value. It is mandatory to note that brand value is equally important for small businesses.

You'll be surprised to learn that 1 out of 2 millennial have discovered and bought a new brand they knew little about by just searching on their phones2.

Impact of Brand Value

A strong brand influences customer choice and creates brand loyalty, motivates and retains talent and lowers the cost of financing.

Reliance diversified its company in various directions ranging from telecomm, schools to clothing. The brand value was an important factor to promote its subjects. It became easier to establish Reliance Trends- a clothing store which is altogether different from company main businesses because of the brand value that reliance possesses.

Apple is world's only trillion dollar company and  Apple's  iPhone has achieved supreme position in smart phones. The reason accredits not only to its product quality but also to the well executed brand message that it resonates. The Apple brand is about Luxury, Eliteness, Lifestyle, simplified use and power to the people.

Finding new customers becomes EASY.

Brand value helps in finding new customers all the time. This is the reason why although brand is not found on a balance sheet but it leads to long run profits to a company. Further, it eventually over the time, reduces the marketing and advertising costs. Most of the small businesses feel that brand valuation and promotion are meant only for the big fishes in the pond and their businesses would not benefit much from brand value. This is an incorrect understanding and business plan that remains void of consumer visibility is not a well executed business plan.

A positive brand value allows you to charge (premium value) for your product or service because people pay not for the product or service but for the loyalty they have towards your company. Brand value also provides with the upper hand in negotiation over goods sold or distributed which reduces the cost of selling.

Just as a positive brand name assists in business prosperity, a negative brand name leads to a major downfall in the profits of a company. When the sale of Maggie was banned, it affected its brand Nestle drastically. However it also act as a counterweight, for eg. heavy brand value that it holds against other noodle brands acted as a defense against all the negative exposures. Despite being an alternative, brands such as Yippee, Sun feast Pasta or Whi Whi could never compete with Maggie and it has continued to dominate the market since 90s. The same had happened with Johnson & Johnson, a few years back, when the product was alleged to cause cancer. Yet, it goes on to rule as the highest earning brand in baby care products. Such is the power of brand value!

Benefits of Having Good Brand Value

Besides recognition, there are various circumstances when valuation of a brand has an impact on the business strategies and its functioning:

  1. Financing- Although the brand valuation does not have a space on balance sheet, it is easier for companies with famous brands to obtain finances regularly than companies with poorer brands.
  2. Mergers and acquisitions- A buyer pays a premium amount over the book value of a business entity due to the goodwill that the entity has obtained. Goodwill determines the value of the business entity above the book value that is not attributable to the tangible assets or liabilities.
  3. Brand Reviews- Brand Valuation assists companies to gauge returns on the brand investment and allows businesses to prepare investment strategies against competing brand portfolios.
  4. Licensing- A licensing agreement for a strong brand is beneficial for both the parties as licensor can abstain from heavy capital investment and licensee is benefitted by lower channels and advertisement costs.

What Strategies should one adopt to promote Brand Value

Steve Jobs once wrote: "To me, marketing is about values. This is a very complicated world, it's a very noisy world. And we're not going to get the chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us."

It is necessary for any brand to understand what it intends the customers to know about the product. This would deliver a message that the brand cares about their customers' needs. For instance, Apple postulates buyers with lavish and elite lifestyle where Maggie uses the 2 minute recipe message denoting each and everyone out there can cook it

Appealing Policies

Leading shoe-ecommerce, is a market leader in term of policy, it provides a 365 days money back guarantee, it also provides free shipping both ways , as a result they don't have to work hard to promote it online, things are already getting viral for them.

Creating Open Forum

American Exchange identified the value of online- conversation and have created an open forum and has invited guest authors from varied fields to share their wisdom and created a content rich site lucrative for everyone without paying anything to content contributors.

Word of Mouth Publicity

WOM is a means to promote the brand by spreading product communication through customers. It includes buzz, virals, and other social media advertising. In order to create a successful word to mouth campaign, the company has to give customers something to talk about that highlights its key features. For instance, restaurants use ambience and hospitality, mega marts such as Big Bazaar and Pantaloons use grand free exchange offers to generate word of mouth publicity for the business. A company needs to have smart professionals to analyze the evolution of the entire process and gather data of related behaviors and trends.

Easy Accessibility

Making your accessibility easy anytime anywhere also plays a key role in creating a big brand value. Dominos launched a campaign "Dominos Anywhere" which gained much publicity. This campaign of dominos focuses on making it convenient for a customer to order Pizza anytime and anywhere.

Social Media is the Key Factor

Now is the time of social media be it Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Airbnb completely transformed the way we travel by providing homely accommodations, their strategy of digital media mainly focuses on Instagram and Facebook and other such popular site, results are clearly in front of us.

In order to use the social media effectively, involve the company's network, create some interesting content and discuss by listening and responding to your customers. Furthermore, promote your company to raise awareness and track and monitor product or service users to find out the most effective ways to increase the social media network and capture the market. People want to connect with brands on social media. They like it more if brands are responsive. Besides, social media is a big traffic referral source. When you optimize your social profiles and posts on social media, you become more visible and searchable on social media. Social sites like Facebook and Twitter are the new search engines. People are no longer looking for keywords just on Google. They are using Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest, LinkedIn and many other social sites.

Digital Promotions over social media via advertisement videos and promotion through movies are few trending methods to promote a brand effectively. Haldiram had a tie up with movie Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo to promote its delicacies. Zivame has a tie up with a number of website to appear as a pop up box on their web pages. Platforms such as LinkedIn, Quora and Plaxo have emerged as professional networking platforms for brand value promotion of firms and individuals

Public Relation Agencies

Another way to build brand is through Public Relation Agencies. Public Relation is a planned and sustained way for organizations, companies and persons to enhance their reputation. It captures a very small portion of marketing budget but has a much stronger impact on customers than an advertisement. PR professionals use various tools to bring the brand into news; events organization, publicity, advertisement, promotion are some of these tools. The aim of public relations is to influence and in some cases, change people's knowledge and feelings regarding a company and its offerings, including its identity and image. PR agencies are hired for communicating the company with the media. They create frequent press clippings, increases website traffic and make the brand visible on social media mentions etc.

You can be build brand recognition that your target audiences is craving and cater to their moments of need. You can become their PREFERRED brand. But, for this to happen, you need to optimize your content marketing and brand image. Optimization brings our focus back to user experience because that's what Google cares for

So, how do you cater to both the search engines as well your potential customers?

It is done through inbound methodology. Instead of calling out to prospects, the inbound methodology draws them in by giving them what they need during different stages of their buying journey.

A whopping 84% of small business owners use the inbound methodology predominantly. By adopting the inbound methodology, 92.7% companies saw increased leads.3 If you want to build strong brand recognition using the inbound methodology, you need to work on your SEO, content marketing, networking, social networks and other such things.

Traffic, leads, engagement — these are the lifeblood of a building brand.

In order to build your brand and enhance SEO, it is pertinent to choose the right social media platform. For instance, you run a law firm and your target audiences are companies, law students and law graduates, LinkedIn would be a beneficial platform for it. In order to improve visibility and boost engagement, it is necessary to optimize the posts through right hash tags and mentions. Google shared in a study how 55% of millennials ignore brands that have poor reviews4 In another research study from BrightLocal, 88% of consumers stated that they trusted online reviews as much as personal recommendations5.

Conclusion

To sum it up, creating a brand and enhancing its value is critically important for every business today as customers prefer to purchase products or avail services from a business that has been consistent and effective in its services. Brand value works as a back bone to the sustainability of any company. Therefore, it has become a pertinent business strategy for proliferating business to analyze the valuation that the brand holds in the market. According to Interbrand6, Brand Valuation comprises of three main factors: the financial performance of products or services (return to investors), role of brand in purchasing decisions and brand's competitive strength. Another method is known as 'part-worth' analysis determines how much extra a buyer is willing to pay for the brand. The awareness-attractiveness-availability (3A) analysis determines the extra market share that is captured by the brand7. It has been a cumbersome job to calculate the exact valuation of brand in the market. There exists various factors that add up in its valuation. One of such ingredients is the Intellectual Property Assets that a business beholds. The second part of this article focuses on methodologies and ways to identify a company's IP Assets and the role that it plays in Brand valuation.

Footnotes

1 Dr. Gerhard Hrebicek, Brands are more valuable than ever! Why brand value is more important than ever? https://www.europeanbrandinstitute.com/home/articles/brands-are-more-valuable-than-ever/

2 https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-aunz/

3 Ryan Ghods, ROI Report by Hubspot, https://blog.hubspot.com.

4 https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-aunz/

5 https://searchengineland.com/88-consumers-trust-online-reviews-much-personal-recommendations-195803

6 https://www.interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/methodology/

7 Ryan Erskin, What is a Brand Really Worth? https://www.forbes.com/sites/dassaultsystemes/2018/11/13/whats-the-future-of-manufacturing-an-expert-view/#5d250cd8365a

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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