The more loved the brand, the more powerful the brand and in turn the higher growth and profits it can generate.A beloved brand can use the connection with its consumers as a source of power. The tighter the connection to consumers, the more loved the brand. As a brand becomes more loved, it becomes more powerful and is able to wield that power onto all aspects of the market. A Beloved Brand can entice consumers to keep coming back, it can fight off competitors to win with key targets, it can generate earned media easier, it can challenge suppliers to come back with lower costs and it leverages its positional power to gain preferential treatment with real estate owners, government or tour operators. Even employees would rather work for a powerful beloved brand than an indifferent brand. Brands move along a “LOVE CURVE” going from Indifferent to Like It to Love It, and then they’ll make it their Brand For Life. The farther along the curve, the more connected to the brand. The “Brand Love Curve” can be linked to the Brand Funnel which becomes the underlying scoreboard. You can use the funnel to map out the buying process for the consumer, identifying both strategy and tactics to move them along the funnel towards being more loved. Used properly, the Power of the Brand can help drive profits with four important levers: driving increased price, lowering costs, increasing share, creating new markets. As a result, a powerfully connected brand is much more efficient. And that efficiency can leverage the P&L to invest back in the brand’s connectivity and drive profits and over the long run create value for the brand.
Here are the four ways the Brand Leader can drive profits:
1. Using price as a weapon to drive brand profits. It can be a price change, up or down, or it could be trying to get consumers to trade up or down.
- Price Increase: You can do a price increase if the market or brand allows you. It likely has to be based on passing along cost increases. Factors that help are whether you are a healthy brand or it’s a healthy market as well as the power of your brand vs competition and channel.
- Price Decrease: Used when fighting off competitor, if you need to react to a sluggish economy or channel pressure. Another reason to decrease price is if you have a competitive advantage around cost, whether that’s manufacturing, materials, or distribution.
- Trading Up: If you have a range of products, sometimes it can be beneficial to get consumers to trade up. Can you carve out a meaningful difference to create a second-tier that goes beyond your current brand? Does your brand image/ratings allow it?
- Trading Down: Risky, but you see the unserved market, with minimal damage to the image/reputation of the brand. In a tough economy, it might be better to create a value set of products rather than lower the price of your main products.
2. Managing cost as a weapon to enhance the brand’s profits. It can be either your cost of goods or the potential selling costs
- Cost of Goods Decreases: You are able to use the power of your brand to drive power over your suppliers, you find cheaper potential raw materials, process improvement, or find off-shore manufacturing.
- Cost of Goods Increases: Make sure that you manage the COGs as they increase. Watch out for suppliers trying to pass along costs. But realize that with new technology, investing in a brand’s improved image, going after premium markets, offering a new benefit, or a format change, that cost of good increases could be a reality.
- Selling Cost Decrease: To counter changes in the P&L (price, volume, or cost), it’s very tempting to look to short-term P&L management or look at changes in the go-to-market model. Where a brand stands on the product life cycle or how loved the brand is can really impact the selling costs. Even though we think that Beloved Brands have endless spending, they actually likely have a lower investment to sales ratio.
- Selling Cost Increase: When you’re in Investment mode, defensive position trying to hold share against an aggressive competitor or when you see a proven payback in higher sales–with corresponding margins.
3. Externally, the share and volume games are traditional tools for the brand. Either stealing other users or get current users to use more
- Offensive Share Gains: Use it when you have a significant Competitive Advantage or you see untapped needs in the market. Or opportunistic, use first-mover advantage on new technology.
- Defensive Share Stance: Hold the fort until you can catch up on technology, maintain profitability, loyal base of followers needs protecting.
- Get Current Users to Use More: When there is an opportunity to turn loyal users into creating a potential routine. Changing behaviors is more difficult than an enticing trial. It’s a good strategy to use when there’s a real benefit to your consumer using more. It’s hard to just get them to use more without a real reason.
4. Drive profits by increasing the size of the market by finding new users or creating new uses
- Find New Users: When there is an untapped or under-served need. There could be a significant changing demographic that impacts your base. Or you are able to translate/transfer your reputation to a new user group. There should be something within your product/brand that helps fuel the brand post-trial. Trial without repeat means you’ll get the spike but then bust. Substantial investment required. Don’t let it distract from protecting the base loyal users.
- Create New Uses: Format Line Extensions that take your experience or name elsewhere. Able to leverage the same benefit in a convenient “on the go” offering. Make sure the current brand is in order before you divert attention, funding, and focus on the expansion area. Investment needed, could divert from spend on the base business. Be careful because the legendary stories (Arm and Hammer) don’t come along as much as we hope.
Beloved Brands drive strong sales growth, which helps the profits work harder and more efficiently
- Higher volume helps you exert pressure on costs. That could be supply costs, operations costs, distribution over even media costs.
- Get More for Less From the Trade. You can begin exerting power over the sales channels to your advantage–trimming variable trade costs with retailers while demanding more display, prime real estate, coop advertising, and more control overpricing. ROI on trade programs.
- Smarter More Efficient Management: manage your inventories, meet customer expectations, control pricing and drive cheaper costs.
- Growth means you start outgrowing any fixed costs. This includes start-up costs, salesforce, product plants or R&D costs.
- Lower Cost of Capital: More certainty means lower risk and you can re-invest, knowing the ROI will be quicker and stronger.
Most marketers will tell you that branding is about positioning. I think positioning is a means of driving growth and profits
Beloved Brands is the playbook to keep at your fingertips
Our readers tell us they reach for Beloved Brands a few times each week as a reference toolkit to help them with the day-to-day management of their brand.
- To start, we will challenge you with questions that get you to think differently about your brand strategy.
- Then, we take you through our process for defining your brand positioning. We will open your mind to new possibilities for how you see you can differentiate your brand. And, we use examples of brand positioning statements to bring the learning to life.
- Next, we will show you how to write a brand plan that everyone can follow. Make sure all stakeholders know precisely how they can contribute to your brand’s success.
- Moreover, we will show you how to run the creative execution process, show you how to write an inspiring brief, and make decisions to find both smart and breakthrough work.
- Finally, you will learn new methods to analyze the performance of your brand with a deep-dive business review.
Above all, over 90% of our Amazon reviews receive five-star ratings, and Beloved Brands has spent numerous weeks as a #1 bestseller in brand management.