Marketing and Branding – Deriving Value

Marketing tells a story about your brand. To many, this seems like a very qualitative function. But to us, we see this as an opportunity to drive quantitative success.

To many businesses, marketing is used only as a tool to build product awareness and drive sales. But for the most successful businesses, an additional objective for marketing is to shift paradigms, which can lead to an increase in sales greater than that of mere product promotion. Sales will eventually occur as a by-product of your branding strategy, so your branding focus should always be at the forefront of your product campaign.

Branding – Shifting the Consumer Lever

There are two “levers” that drive consumer decisions. Every single purchase decision is driven by the function of:

The objective value of [Attribute X] as seen in [Product Y], multiplied by the desirability of [Attribute X]. This function is repeated for all attributes and tallied up in a consumer’s head.

This means that for every single customer decision, your product is measured based on how well an attribute “performs” compared to a competitor’s, as well as how much the customer values that attribute.

Let’s look at the consumer decision to buy a car, for example:

Red “Hot Rod” Car

  • Mileage: Decent (3)
  • Appearance: Excellent (9)
  • Cost: Decent (3)
  • Safety: Poor (2)
    Total Points: 17

Blue “Cool” Car

  • Mileage: Good (4)
  • Appearance: Great (5)
  • Cost: Good (4)
  • Safety: Great (5)
    Total Points: 18

Objectively, these two cars are pretty similar. An individual who values every point evenly would barely choose the Blue “Cool” car over the Red “Hot Rod” car. But most consumers are not this objective. Let’s look at Bob, a consumer who likes to drive fast and look cool while driving. His individual “consumer multiplier” may look something like this:

Bob’s Opinions:

  • Value of Mileage – 0.8 “Mileage is important, but not the most important trait”
  • Value of Appearance -1.2 “Right on, I love driving hot cars!”
  • Value of Cost – 1 “I’m not rich, but I’m willing to spend some money if it’s on my car.”
  • Value of Safety – 0.6 “You Only Live Once – YOLO”

Based on Bob’s consumer preferences, we can see his decision as follows:

Branding Strategy - Before

We can see that Bob will clearly choose the Red “Hot Rod” car over the Blue “Cool” car, even though the “Cool” car had a better overall score.

Branding – What Kind of Marketing Campaign?

Let’s say that you’re the person in charge of marketing for Blue “Cool” cars. Knowing that a large portion of the market have similar consumer preferences to Bob, how do you formulate your branding campaign? If you invest in promoting Mileage, Cost or Safety, your marketing dollars will be spent on a sub-par investment since Bob’s consumer multiplier is low for those attributes. Yet, if you spend on Appearance, you’ll never overtake Red “Hot Rod” cars. What do you do?

Play to your marketing strengths. Try shifting your consumer's perspective.

Instead of spending so much money promoting your product’s attributes, spend money on shifting the consumer’s perspective. Your product has a clear advantage in the Safety department. Instead of spending money trying to compete with other attributes, focus on shifting the consumer paradigm to favor your brand. Let’s say you launch a marketing campaign that changes Bob’s perspective. Some sample campaigns could look like this:

Catchphrase: You Only Live Once – Don’t risk it all for looks!
Reaction: Man, maybe appearances aren’t everything.
Value of Appearance from 1.2 to 1

Catchphrase: Blue Cool Cars. Built like a Tank. Never fear the road.
Reaction: Oh wow, safe cars can be pretty cool, too!
Value of Safety from 0.6 to 1

Let’s look at the effect on Bob’s decision chart:

Marketing Strategy

By implementing either of your marketing campaigns, you tip the scales from your competitor’s product to your own. That’s the power of changing your consumer’s perspective! Without spending additional funds to boost the objective value of your product, you’ve won the battle in your consumer’s eyes.

Branding Your Marketing Strategy

Your branding strategy is integral to your marketing success. By branding yourself as the “safest car in the market,” you can always win over the consumer decision chart if you can tip “the value of safety” in your favour for each consumer.

Qualitative Prowess Leads to Quantitative Success

If you’re skeptical about the viability of your branding strategy, you need to quantify your results. Your marketing campaign should always improve one of three metrics: Traffic, Conversion, or Loyalty. Each metric can be measured using their respective Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s): CPC/CPM, Conversion and NPS Loyalty Score. Overall, your Return on Investment (ROI) should not only be positive, but should also be larger than that of all possible alternatives.

The beauty of an integrated marketing strategy is that a well-designed campaign will push the right qualitative messages to all the right mediums, pushing the right buttons for your consumers to notice, buy, and love your product.

Want to talk more about how we can quantify success for your business? Contact us and we can discuss ways to grow your brand.