The idea of putting a tangible value on your “brand” may seem as absurd as trying to turn a subjective concept into an objective fact. Branding, by its nature, is intangible. You can’t see it in the same way as inventory or bricks-and-mortar retail space. But accountants have created a category called “goodwill,” which, of course, is a manifestation of trust, and that is what branding is all about.
McKinnsey and Company in a white paper asserts that an effective brand can add 20 per cent to a business’s value. This obviously is not a bad return on some thoughtful marketing investments, especially if you see marketing more as a customer-centric initiative than in terms of the mechanics of advertising, logo design, and sales channel development.
This observation shows the topic’s relevance for the AEC community:
We believe that reputation managers should observe and understand the trends and topics that drive their industry. In much of our work for business-to-business clients, we see how leading companies make extensive use of frontline interaction and market research to stay in tune with customer needs.
Some of the smartest players, such as Hilti, a maker of professional tools, have their sales force doing double duty as distributors and hands-on market researchers at their customers’ construction sites. However, we also find that strong brands never submit to passing fads. While trends come and go, brand identity is about projecting an image that will remain recognizable, credible, and sustainable over extended periods of time. Best-practice companies build their brands around attributes that set them apart from their competitors.