Of all the assets any company owns, its brand is the single most valuable.
A bold statement? Sure. But think about it: A brand is the only corporate asset that, managed properly, will never depreciate. Never depreciate. Those are magic words. Patents expire, software ages, buildings crumble, roofs leak, machines break, and trucks wear out. But a well-managed brand can increase in value year after year.
Despite this unique characteristic, branding has long been misunderstood. It seems soft and fuzzy. It’s often incorrectly defined. And (at least historically) it hasn’t been a hard, measurable internal metric like sales, market share, stock price, or price/earnings ratio that can be tracked on a spreadsheet or reported to the board. But neglecting a brand is both naive and shortsighted for any company.
In some ways branding is a victim of semantics; call it “reputation” and nobody in management would ever argue that it’s anything less than critical. All companies are careful to avoid doing anything that would harm their reputations, intuitively understanding Will Rogers’s quip: “It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can lose it in a minute.” But management teams commonly underachieve in the application of reputation management best practices—in a word, branding.
January 9, 2014 in Marketing