According to John Gerzema and Ed Lebar in their insightful book, Brand Bubble, the key to building strong and enduring brand value is achieving brand energy.
Brand energy occurs when a brand has high levels of brand stature and brand strength, the two primary metric categories examined in Y&R’s well known BrandAsset Valuator (BAV).
Brand stature captures a brand’s current value—it’s a lagging indicator. The key metrics that go into it are esteem (“consumers’ perceptions of quality and loyalty”) and knowledge (“consumers’ awareness of and experience with the brand”).
Brand strength reflects the brands future growth potential and value. Relevance (“consumers’ perceptions about how appropriate the brand is for them”) and differentiation (“consumers’ perception of the brand’s unique meaning to them”) make up the key components of brand strength.
Brand value = Brand stature + Brand strength
The authors argue that increased pricing power, loyalty and brand value (as a percentage of a firm’s market value) are the bounty of achieving brand energy.
To attain brand energy they recommend focusing brand management efforts on the following:
1. Differentiation—This refers to positioning, product and marketing communications.
2. Vision—This concerns the parent company’s reputation. How does the company treat its employees, customers, and the world beyond its core business? Consumers increasingly look to the company beyond the brand in making purchase decisions.
3. Invention—This has to do with the “tactile and sensory associations that come from direct product and service experiences.” It can be built through “product innovation, brand iconography, package design, applied technology, retail environments and customer service.”
4. Dynamism—This has to do with the way brands present themselves to consumers in marketing communications, through advertising, promotions, events, guerrilla stunts, etc. The best in brand dynamism taps into the popular culture, excites consumers and facilitates word of mouth.
All in all, an excellent prescription for all of us charged with fueling our brands with energy, momentum and superior value.