Developing a brand doesn’t stop once you’ve come up with a name, logo and tagline. An ongoing investment needs to be made not just in marketing your business and products but also in marketing your brand. Over time, brands develop value. Some of the top brands in the world are valued at tens of millions of dollars. Brand equity is every brand manager’s ultimate goal, but how do you get there?
It could be argued that brand equity evolves organically as a result of traditional marketing of the business or product associated with that brand, but I believe there should be a specific investment in brand marketing each year. Marketing budgets typically consist of the traditional product and service marketing-related tactics, but what about brand-building initiatives? A portion of the marketing budget should be set aside for internal and external brand-building.
Companies with a separate P&L for branding spearheaded by a Chief Brand Officer have the right idea, but even if you’re company isn’t that progressive and hasn’t recognized the importance of branding, there are still ways to market your brand. Brand-building can easily be tied into other marketing events. Even charitable and good will events can be leveraged as brand-building opportunities. However, a conscious effort needs to be made to incorporate brand-building into these events. In other words, brand marketing shouldn’t be a coincidental by-product of these events. Instead, it should be a priority with its own list of goals, strategies and tactics to support it.
That brings us back to brand marketing as it relates to the marketing budget. What portion of the marketing budget should be invested in brand-building initiatives? 5%, 10%, 20%? What do you think?
Let’s face it. Brand marketing can be a difficult sell to executives who want to see tangible ROI from each marketing tactic listed in the marketing budget. However, companies that recognize the importance of brand-building and invest in it will reap the rewards.
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