Home Blog Qualitative Research What is brand value and how to measure it

What is brand value and how to measure it

What’s your worth? Well, that kind of depends on who you’re asking. Is it your customers, or your investors? An employee, or someone eyeing you up for a takeover?

Your brand value can be many things to many people – but there are ways to pin it down, understand it, and influence it. In this blog, we’re going to help you get to grips with your brand value, learn how to raise the stakes, and take your company to the next level.

Excited? We sure are!

What is brand value?

In the basest of terms, your brand value is simply the amount your brand is worth on paper: that is, the amount someone would have to pay you if they wanted to take it off your hands, or what it would cost you to build up another brand to the same level. The latter would include considerations around the cost of designing, marketing, advertising, and promoting a new brand of equal worth.

However, there’s another school of thought that your brand value is what you’re worth to your customers. In this sense, your brand value is how much influence you have over your customers when it comes to choosing your products or services over a competitor’s: the higher your brand value, the more likely you are to take market share.

So, as well as financial worth, your brand value is also about the perceived worth of your brand in the eyes of your customers. Both are important, and both can be built.

Why is brand value important?

Brand value is important because if you ever want to sell, you need your value to be as high as it can possibly be. However, if you’re looking at things from a customer value viewpoint, your brand value is important because it is your level of brand awareness and brand equity.

Before the big marketing boom of the 1960s – that quite frankly changed everything – people judged products based on their quality and value alone. Imagine that? Since that time, companies know that to be truly successful, they need to become household names.

People make their purchasing decisions with brand front of mind: often judging a product’s worth based on the value they attribute to its brand name (and everything that goes with it). It’s a tough gig, but that’s the modern-day market for you.

Brand value vs brand equity

If you’re looking at brand value as a financial indicator of how much your brand is worth, it’s easy to see how this differs from brand equity.

Your brand equity is far more focused on customer perceptions, and their willingness to choose your brand again and again. Loyal customers contribute to your brand equity, which also ties into your brand value: if your brand equity is strong, your value – both financial, and customer-centric – will be stronger, too.

When you build brand equity, you’re building the factors that will also make your brand more valuable – such as brand recognition, customer satisfaction, and loyalty. But it is possible for a brand to be valuable without the presence of brand equity: your company could be in pre-release phase, with time and money invested into it, but no customer recognition yet.

The brand would still hold value, but not brand equity.

How to measure brand value

Your brand is an incredibly valuable asset but measuring brand value can be a bit of a complex business; this is largely because there are so many differing perspectives on what makes brands successful, and even what a brand is (try not to fall into a philosophical black hole here).

Despite the confusion, one of the best ways to measure your financial brand value is the easiest: ask other businesses what they’d pay for your brand. Ta da! Job done.

Well, not quite.

You’d need to ask a range of companies and average out their answers. This would give you a figure that should be reflective of your market value: remember, the financial value of anything is only what someone would be willing to pay for it. Much like houses. You could also ask for quotes to understand how much it would cost to build a brand equivalent to your current one from the ground up.

When calculating your brand valuation, it’s important to factor in your brand’s total net worth. This should include influential factors like brand loyalty, brand image, brand recognition, and brand understanding. You can get to the heart of these through brand awareness surveys, or if you want to be truly accurate, brand insights software.

This type of software can be incredibly valuable for monitoring how customers perceive your brand, how much value you hold in their minds, and how people are responding to your marketing efforts – allowing you to take any necessary steps to boost your brand value.

What contributes to a valuable brand? 

A valuable brand is one that has a loyal following (customers stick with you and tell their friends and family about you), is easily recognised in the marketplace (you stand out because people know who you are), can boast popularity (you have customers that actually use your services or buy your products), and carries an aura of positivity (customers think highly of you).

Your brand will also be seen as more valuable if you have a decent share of the market – and brand loyalty, brand image, brand recognition, and brand understanding all feed into that.

Some of the most valuable brands are those who really stand out from the crowd and set themselves apart from the competition: that could be through your price-point (being exceptionally good value), having a distinctive personality, or bringing something totally new to the market. In these cases, the brand becomes more valuable because customers have a clear draw.

How to build brand value

Right then, now you know what contributes to a valuable brand, and how to measure brand value, what steps can you take to increase the value of your brand?

  1. Invest in your customer experience

    Customers will be far more likely to keep coming back to you (loyal customers ahoy!) if buying from you is a straightforward process, your website is welcoming and easy to use, your employees are personable, and your communication and complaint-handling is up to par. The customer experience must be on point if you want to inject real value into your brand. Your customer is a human, so make sure their experience feels human too.

    No one is going to value a brand that doesn’t care about its customers, ignores complaints, has a terrible website, and makes buying from them more trouble than its worth.
  2. Focus on the right audience

    You can’t be all things to all people. To build a brand with real value, it’s imperative (see how serious we’re getting here?) that you understand who your customers are, and what they need from you. That way, your ads and any other customer communications can be tailored to appeal directly to those needs.

    And besides, once you start appealing directly to the right audience, they’ll find genuine value in what you’re putting out there.
  3. Find your USP

    If you really want to stand out in a marketplace sagging under the weight of competition, it’s time to break out of your comfort zone and focus on your uniqueness. So, what makes you different? What do you do better than anyone else? What do you stand for?

    If you’re willing to put your head above the parapet, break from the mould of your competitors, and challenge the status quo, you’ll carve out a brand identity that’s unique enough to add real value to your overall brand.
  4. Get your marketing right

    When you’re positioning your brand in the marketplace, customers need to see consistency. The most valuable brands have a clear personality that shines through in their tone of voice. All your marketing materials – from your website and blogs to social posts and ads – should have the same consistent tone of voice. This helps people to not only remember you, but to believe that you’re authentic. And if you want to know if your ads are hitting right, there’s a software for that.

    It’s also important to get your brand design right: your logo, colours, fonts, and the types of graphics you employ will all contribute to your brand identity, and in turn, your brand value.  
  5. Consider sponsorships

    If you really want to boost your brand value, it pays to capitalise on every opportunity for both brand-building and increasing brand recognition. Sponsoring an event or creating a partnership with a social media influencer can really help to put your name on the map.

    If you make this choice carefully, and sponsor something/partner with someone in alignment with your brand purpose, your brand value will increase in line with the perceived social and ethical value of your company.

Examples of a strong brand value

Amazon: strong customer experience

As one of the world’s leading brands, Amazon’s brand value is irrefutable – both financially, and in terms of the value they hold in the lives of their customers. With a net worth of $1167bn, Amazon can largely attribute its incredible success to prioritising customer experience. With speed and convenience front-of-mind, there’s no doubting the value that Amazon brings to the market.

Apple: strong customer understanding

Few brands can compete with Apple in the marketing stakes (or in any other area, for that matter). With a true understanding of its customer base, Apple has successfully built a brand value that goes far beyond the technical spec of its products. When it first launched the iPod with the tagline “1000 songs in your pocket”, there was no need to focus on product features, because Apple already knew what its customers cared about.  

Ben & Jerry’s: strong USP

Ice cream tastes even better when it’s doing good in the world! Ben & Jerry’s was founded on a social mission that sets it apart from its competition – and did so long before customers demonstrably cared about how socially responsible the brands, they were buying from were. As well as standing up for vegans with their dairy-free offerings, Ben & Jerry’s also stands strong on LGBTQ+ equality, climate action, racial justice, refugees, democracy, GMO labelling, fair trade practices, and peace building.

Brand value, in more ways than one.

How can Forsta help?

You can’t hope to build your brand value if you don’t know where it’s already at.

Forsta’s brand experience software can help you to measure and build brand value by going straight to the source: your customers. After all, when it comes to your brand, your ultimate success (or failure) depends entirely on how your customers see you.

With so much competition out there, you need to know what you’re doing well, and where you might be struggling; what your customers love about you, and what your haters which you’d change. You also need a reliable look at whether your ads are hitting the mark, and your marketing is doing its job. You need to gather, analyze, visualize and act – that is make sure you understand your customer’s full human experience.

Then, with all that insightful knowledge at your fingertips, you can put it to excellent use and start building on your brand value – both financial, and in the minds of your customers.

If you’re ready to get started, come along for a free demo.

Brand value, nailed

There’s just so much to think about when it comes to your brand, isn’t there?

If you really love your brand and what it stands for, it can feel crass to reduce it to monetary terms, or difficult to think that your customers might not be ‘getting it’ – but when all is said and done, you’re running a business.

The great thing about brand value is that, even if you’re the only one who sees it right now, it can always be built on. Even Amazon had to start somewhere.

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