Nick Cooper of Landor: why brand building is key to demand generation

Marketers often feel as though they are being pulled in opposite directions and they must choose, or prioritize, between investing to build brand equity or investing to deliver short-term demand generation. However, this is a false choice – marketers need to do both.

In order to understand how to get to the point where you are able do both, we need to debunk a few myths.

MYTH 1: Brand only pays off in the long-term

This is the biggest myth of all. While brand does work in the long term, brand also creates the conditions through which short-term activation works most successfully. Without brand, demand generation quickly runs into diminishing returns. In contrast, with brand, because it creates customer loyalty and stickiness, activation generates far greater impact – both in the short term and the long term.

MYTH 2: Brand doesn’t impact short-term business results

Not all short-term impacts are the result of short-term activities. While demand generation brings purchases forward and gains market share, this often sacrifices value for volume. When demand generation is combined with a truly strong brand, then impact and ROI are far higher.

MYTH 3: Brand cannot be meaningfully measured

It’s true that there are plenty of established tools for measuring demand generation. However, brand can be measured equally effectively, not least through quantifying brand equity and monetising the impact of brand. The challenge is that robust brand equity measurement requires investment – just as investment is needed to achieve robust demand generation measurement.

MYTH 4: Brand metrics are unimportant when it comes to setting budgets

A cohesive framework of KPIs that takes both demand generation and brand building into account often results in larger budgets (or makes it easier to defend existing budgets). By setting out how marketing investment grows brand (through brand attributes, category drivers and the Brand Asset Score) as well as the sales funnel, it makes it much easier for non-marketers to understand how investing in brand drives the business forward.

MYTH 5: Brand is not a practical guide to business decision-making

There is a clear relationship between businesses that invest more in brand building and businesses that grow faster. Brand helps businesses make decisions about entering new markets, expanding in existing markets, attract new customers, keeps existing customers loyal, and builds price premia. Therefore brand, far from being unrelated to business decision-making, is in fact the embodiment of taking the business strategy to market.

It’s time to put brand back into the core of business growth. The world is constantly evolving. And our understanding of brand building – and how it works with, not instead of, demand generation – should evolve too.

Nick Cooper is global executive director of brand performance, Landor.

One Comment

  1. WOW – charts based on 10 conveniently picked brands across categories or that are simply “illustrative”.
    Just poor practice or deliberately misleading?

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