BtoB Online reported today that, more than half of senior marketers (55%) lack a quantitative understanding of brand value at their organizations. This is according to an Association of National Advertisers / Interbrand Corp survey of 118 CMOs and senior marketers.
Another sixty-four percent (64%) said their brands do not influence decisions made at their companies.
There are two reasons why I’m not surprised by the survey results… the use of marketing Metrics, and the confusion between brand, branding and brand development.
Marketing metrics are used to influence budget, determine and evaluate strategy, gauge adoption, and measure overall success.
While metrics are considered mainstays of marketing, brand management measurement just doesn’t receive as much attention as the measurement of public relations, product marketing and advertising programs and campaigns.
Brand v Branding v Brand Development
Brand, branding and brand development are often confused… interchangeably used, so… In addition to Businessweek’s Practical Guide to Branding, The Blake Project – Evaluate Your Brand and AndaPR – Branding Architecture: Grab the reigns, I thought the following definitions might help to guide your brand/ing/development philosophy. This is by no means a conclusive list, as I’m sure definitions and opinions will vary.
A brand is a combination of attributes, communicated through a name, or a symbol, that influences a thought-process in the mind of an audience and creates value.
Branding is deeply anchored in psycho-sociology, it takes into account both tangible and intangible attributes, e.g., functional and emotional benefits. Therefore, those attributes compose the beliefs that the brand’s audience recalls when they think about the brand in its context.
Brands personify organizations and their products and services. That is, brands allow non-human entities to take on human qualities such as trustworthiness, authenticity, vitality and reliability.
In this way, brands enable entities to create emotional connections with customers and potential customers, resulting in more frequent usage and greater loyalty. Brands are also the sources of promises to customers.
Brand is “a claim of distinction.” Without distinction, your brand would be generic, or in the worst-case scenario, simply a commodity. Without a point of distinction in your advertising and other external marketing initiatives, the message will more than likely be about features and benefits. When this occurs, you’re competing with other law firm’s features and benefits, not with your brand.
(Branding is the) constant and consistent use of color, graphics, type and brand message.
Brand development is the discovery of a firm’s distinction – what makes it different from all other law firms-and the communication of that distinction. Both Branding and brand development are mutually exclusive functions, branding being tactical and brand development more strategic. But both are essential in professional communications.