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Picture: 123RF/outstyle
Picture: 123RF/outstyle

A brand’s value is based on three factors, according to Forbes. These are the financial performance of the brand (or service), the role played in purchase decisions, and the competitive strength.

A recent “FM Redzone in discussion with …” event, moderated by TILT chief creative officer Arye Kellman, put the spotlight on what makes a brand valuable, what brands can do to improve their value and what this value means to consumers. The discussion also homed in on how leading brands differentiate their marketing tactics from those of their rivals to ensure they are constantly competitive.

It’s a mistake for marketers to assume that marketing alone can build a valuable brand, because brand value is ultimately determined by consumers, said Discovery Group chief marketing officer Firoze Bhorat.

Bhorat, recently named the marketer of the year at the Marketing Achievement Awards, added that it is critically important for brands to deliver functionally, though this has become a hygiene factor. If all a brand is able to do is deliver functionally, the relationship with the consumer becomes transactional in nature. The holy grail of marketing and advertising is the ability to deliver emotively – though that is not always easily achieved.

Head of marketing, PR and product at Audi SA, Tarryn Knight, said brand value is about understanding what customers and stakeholders are looking for while remaining true to the brand’s heritage and history. The automotive industry is entering an exciting period of experience being the product, especially as autonomous vehicles become more mainstream.

An important – but often overlooked – part of brand value is to create organisations that are sought after as employers so that they attract leading talent, said Knight.

Valuable brands ensure that all the customer experiences of the brand are good, added Mia Roets, experience design director at Joe Public. This means that the product or service needs to be a quality one and the customer experience needs to be good; and the advertising and marketing has to reflect this. “A gorgeous ad on its own is not enough, particularly if it’s for a poor-quality product or if the customer experience is bad.”

Critically important is creating an emotional connection with consumers in order to build brand loyalty, Roets added. The priority for advertising agencies is to partner with clients to achieve this.

Zach Nossel, digital marketing manager at Woolworths, agreed that marketing is not just about selling a product or service but rather about selling an experience. Brands are no longer the sole custodians of their own conversations, with consumers now able to introduce and even lead these conversations. Nossel’s advice to brands is join social media conversations but to remember not to talk down to consumers.

Each touchpoint with the customer is where brand value resides, Nossel concluded.

To watch the recording of the event, click here.

The next instalment of ‘FM Redzone in discussion with …’ will focus on the evolving definition of beauty in advertising and communications. Join us on September 20 at 9am. Register here.

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