How to Build a Brand

Brands are some of the most undervalued assets on our traditional financial statements.  Unless you bought a brand, it may have zero value on your balance sheet; and even if you bought it, the recorded value may be much less than the real value to the company.  Because brands are so ignored by our current accounting measures, many CPAs may not realize that how you go about building a brand is undergoing a dramatic change.

One of the drivers of that change is how media is consumed.  Today, 60 percent of media consumption occurs on a mobile device.  The problem that creates is that the consumption now has someone between you and your customer.  It could be Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or any of the other “social” media outlets your customers use. Or it could be Amazon, Airbnb, Angie’s List, Uber or any number of sites that create traffic for your products and services. The question in this new world is, how do you build a relationship with a customer when there is another intermediary between you and your customer?

It’s no longer about ads and positive stories. Content is in complete oversupply.  What is scarce is trust and attention. The traditional influence pyramid has been upended.  Influence no longer rests with the few, the authorities, the experts.  It now sits in the general population, or to put it another way, people like you.

The latest trust barometer reading from Edelman shows that trust is decreasing, but it is decreasing the least for “someone like you.”  Who do companies have that are like their customers–their employees, and I’m not talking about the CEO (whose trust rating dropped by a third in the latest survey).  Many companies have realized this and are asking their employees to be on-line ambassadors for their company.

The company can send out all the press releases it wants, but having employees share the information via their posts to their favorite social media sites not only gets the word out wide and far; it gets it out via a much more trusted source–someone like them.  So instead of trying to restrict your employees from talking about the company, you should be making it easier for them to do so. Help them out by providing information and links for their posting along with some ways to write it up.

Oh yeah, and you might want to keep them happy as well.

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