Brand Building: How to maximize Brand ROI

Apr 20, 2012 by     2 Comments    Posted under: Branding, Business Success, Creative


We’ve  all said it before… but I’ll say it again.  Brand is so much more than a logo, than a positioning statement. These establish the brand premise and the foundation to build the brand culture.  A true brand must be bold, must stand apart every time it speaks to the consumer. It must always be authentic to its premise. It must reinforce its uniqueness and authenticity with every piece of communication… whether it’s an e-initiative, an ad, outdoor campaign, digital campaign, website, customer letter, greeting card and, yes, even a sign on the wall.

It has always been my belief that every detail that is viewed by the target market is an integral piece of the brand building process. I have always correlated building brand to building a house. The logo and the positioning statement are the foundation of the brand. Then the framework, dry walls, windows all have to be added…. to support and build the  “total vision”  of the house.

brand roi                   

This “building strategy” recognizes the need of investing a little more in say, a business card or a leave behind , and is as integral  as a full scale advertising campaign. Okay, I hear you asking the question… what do I mean by “investing a little more?” This is what I mean:  look at every communication piece and ask the number one question… “How do I make my brand the sole owner of this piece?”  Is it only colour? Is it simply by stating the brand’s offering? Does the initiative I am working on speak to my Brand and communicate my Brand solely… only and truly? Is it moving beyond the mundane, true and tried initiatives that have been done… offering no intrinsic value, no additional wow effect to my target audience? Does it assist in making my brand stand apart…even before they read it…as soon as they see it?


How to evaluate a marketing piece and increase the brand ROI of that piece  Here’s a simple way that will help you in answering the question.

If  a competitor can replace your logo with theirs, change the colour and the words and use everything else that you’ve developed than you haven’t created a unique brand piece. This question works whether you are evaluating an ad, a flyer, a billboard, a sales aid, a leave behind, brochure, etc…

So how do you create a brand piece that no one can “take” from you. The answer is easy:
Create it so that it reflects your Brand Offering and USP… and I don’t just mean plopping a logo, and making everything in your brand colours (although that is must!). The initiative has to speak to the Brand Culture, position in personality, in format, in copy style. This is the only way that competitors can’t mimics your brand or “take ” your  initiative and make it their own… because they can’t deliver on the promise or on your brand’s USP… only your brand can.

In short: creating brand ROI is the first step in achieving business success.It is obvious that Brand must provide ROI. But what should be the expectation of delivering on brand ROI? Is it reasonable to expect brand ROI immediately?  Is it reasonable because you have a website and a logo to expect that your brand initiatives are done and all other initiatives just need to follow through? Today, more than ever,  halfway measures and “me too look alikes” will damage the performance of you brand and believe me, that will definitely effect the brand ROI.

I look forward to your comments and discussing your point of view.  I invite you to join in the conversation! If you got here via a link from a friend, or Linkedin, I invite you to join the conversation on marketing, branding and design… sign up on  3H hoopla! here.

 

 

About the author

Miriam Hara Miriam is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of 3H Communications Inc., a full service branding and advertising agency. Her experience has enabled her to bring together strategic business savvy with an all-encompassing creative vision to product and service marketing, which she shares here, in her many posts. Join the conversation, register here. Miriam’s own brand of marketing experience and expertise is the basis of her marketing ebook series including Social Media Understood, the most recent addition. Download it here. You can also find Miriam on Google +.

2 Comments + Add Comment

  • So the framework, dry walls, windows have all been added….and you have a “total vision” of the house. But all you have is a house, not a home. Put in people to live in it and you have a home. By that, I mean, the buy in has to be channelled down to the people on the floor. The people that interact their clients. Take the difference between Air Canada and Porter Airlines. Both have the logos, colour schemes and the catchy media spots. But where the two companies take on different routes are their people. Air Canada staff have a notoriously poor impression with their clients, whereas Porter staff are viewed positively by their clients. That’s because Porter has trained their staff and they have bought in to the total image. Same can be said for the major US carriers vs. Southwest. Bottom line, companies stop after the marketing teams have done their thing, but lack the same planning and execution on training their staff to continue what the marketing campaign promises. All sizzle, no steak.

    • Miriam Hara

      Hi Stephen
      Thanks for added to the analogy of house building. You are absolutely correct… what is a brand worth if you don’t deliver on the experience? The experience has to be a total experience. Porter has taken the advantage of digging it’s own foundation from the ground up and setting its own home, if you will. The brand culture of Porter Airlines is everywhere you look… and in everything that it does, including apologizing when their aircraft is even 15 minutes late! Air Canada, I believe, lost its “total vision” when it took over Canadian Airlines…. and it never got it back. I also suspect that they stopped trying to please their customers. The internal brand or inward marketing is a must. In this post I concentrated on external parameters (advertising)… although your point is taken that the staff and employees are also part of the external communications to clients or customers. I will be talking about inward marketing in a new post in the next week or so. Stay tuned!

Got anything to say? Go ahead and leave a comment!

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 

Subscribe to receive the latest posts on marketing, branding and design!

Enter your email address:

Latest Posts

Designing Digital Properties For Business

Designing Digital Properties For Business

Designing digital properties is more important than ever for business, and no matter what industry ... Read more

Flexing Creative: Increase Brand Value

Flexing Creative: Increase Brand Value

Brand value is based upon the sum of all its parts. Those parts are: a brand name, its marketing, th... Read more

Web Design: Tiny Factors that Make a Big Impact

Web Design: Tiny Factors that Make a Big Impact

Web design doesn't only mean website design. If you're creating any digital product, be that a websi... Read more