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When thinking of branding, a majority of individuals, including seasoned business professionals operate under the assumption that brand investment happens at the start of the businesses journey. Logo.. check! Business cards.. check! Website.. check! And so on. However, brand investment should be a continuous business activity, not a one-time deal. Unfortunately for some business leaders, this realization does not come until it’s too late.

One of the most unspoken attributes of successful companies is that leadership has made the investment in internal & external branding initiatives a priority. A strategic focus on creating & maintaining clear communication and emotional connections between their brand and their key stakeholders (employees & target audiences) have enabled countless companies to achieve lasting success.

As a leader, you must be aware of the fact that either you take the initiative to control your brand narrative or someone else will, and when I mention someone else, I’m referring to those within your market (customers, competition, and so forth ). Thousands of companies each year fade into the background or out of business as a result of undervaluing the importance and impact of brand management and continual brand investment.

I’m sure by now you may be asking yourself, “Is it worth investing time and money into the development of an intangible asset?” That’s a great question, and the most straightforward answer would be “Absolutely”! Your business is made up of tangible and intangible assets. Cash may be a critical tangible asset, but your brand is the most valuable asset to you will own.

To validate this statement, one particularly compelling example looked at the value of S&P 500 organizations over a 30-year period, beginning in 1975. In just three decades, Businessweek found that the value attributed to these companies’ intangible assets jumped from 17% to 80%. This means that between the 1970s and the early 2000s, the most valuable assets that companies had were intangible, including their brand.

Some of the companies mentioned in the study were Coca-Cola, Apple, and Nike. Now it’s fair to assume that not everyone will achieve the brand recognition and success of these global companies, but you can follow their leads and place emphasis on the continual investment & management of the brands you lead.

I understand that this is at times easier said than done, but the importance of placing a focus on an area that increases awareness, boosts market recognition & differentiates yourself from the competition seems to be paramount. Do you agree? Please share your thoughts and comments below.

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