Accelerate brand growth with agile brand equity measurement

Whether you are fighting for marketing investment, protecting your brand from the effects of rising inflation, or just trying to be a better marketer, there’s one imperative in today’s world: connecting your brand to its full value.
10 August 2022
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Graham Staplehurst

Director, Thought Leadership, Kantar BrandZ

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There are three ways of connecting your brand to its true value. First, marketers need to connect to their brand’s financial value. It’s often overlooked just how substantial an asset your brand is. In the 2022 Global Most Valuable Brands report, even the smallest brand in the ranking – AirBnB – was worth $21,276 million. Your company needs to appreciate the intangible value in every brand that deserves the right investment and strategy for growth. Second, marketers need to connect to consumer value. Although your company might legally own the brand, it only exists because of the thoughts and feelings in the minds of consumers: without them, it would be worthless. Third, it’s important now that marketers think about the value of their brands to people and planet – to the world outside their business. Every brand has an impact it must take responsibility for, and every brand can give something back.

Connecting the brand to its financial value

Not every brand is worth billions, of course. But every brand has equity. This is the connection between your buyers and users, and the brand’s financial value. Brand equity has a proven relationship with better financial outcomes on many levels. Kantar’s brand equity framework helps you measure the impact your activity is having on long term market share – your ability to recruit and retain customers. And it does much more than this. There is also a proven connection between equity and consumers’ willingness to pay. Stronger brands can command higher prices and improved margins. Kantar BrandZ annual rankings have gone further. They have demonstrated the connection between companies with strong brands and share price growth. These companies consistently outperform the stock market: they grow faster in good times and are more resilient when times are tough, such as during the global financial crisis in 2008 or the pandemic more recently.

A framework for understanding your consumers

To improve your brand equity, you need to better connect with your consumers. BrandEvaluator on Kantar Marketplace will help you do just that. It quickly allows you to see if you have connected your brand to the things that consumers value.

A strong brand is built on mental connections. These can be things people have learnt or know about your brand, the experiences they have had with it, or the emotions and feelings associated with those experiences. What’s important is to build broader and deeper connections of all these types. Mental connectivity adds meaning and difference to your mental availability. And our BrandEvaluator solution captures all of these vital aspects in a simple framework.

There’s no single formula for success with brands since each one is different. Your brand’s heritage, current life stage, relative size against competitors and many other factors will affect your equity. But it’s only by understanding where and how you’re connected to consumers that you can properly formulate an effective strategy to create value in the long term.

Three simple dimensions within the evaluation give you straightforward guidance. A brand that’s Meaningful has deep connections to its buyers, they have confidence it can meet their expectations and they like what it does – and this sustains your Demand Power. A brand with Difference has qualities that mean consumers won’t want to swap it for something else. It’s a key driver of your Pricing Power. Salience is the ability to access those mental connections quickly and easily, so that the brand – and its benefits – jumps to mind when faced with a choice.

Business beyond profit

We live in a much-challenged world. Companies today have evolved to do more than just chase profit at any cost. They recognise the cost of their success to society and to the planet. Consumers expect brands to respect the environment, to treat workers and suppliers fairly, and to give something back to society in return for their permission to operate. An analysis of the massive Kantar BrandZ database by the University of Oxford Saïd Business School identified corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an increasingly important driver of exceptional stock returns since 2016, as more consumers feel brands with these attributes are worth paying more for.

To manage a brand successfully, marketers need the best understanding they can get of the connections they have made with consumers. Connections that create demand, that justify price, and that underpin their claims to responsibility. Kantar’s uniquely validated framework for brand equity puts all of this together in a simple output to guide marketing decisions.

To discover how BrandEvaluator on Kantar Marketplace can help you improve your understanding of consumers and allow you to find more value, request a demo today.

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Brands with strong equity are destined to grow. Knowing your equity and how to build it is the foundation for success.