The cost of time and the value of brand investment
Lack of investment in brand strategy is more than just short-sightedness. Mobas CEO Rob Bryant argues that too many directionless brands are wasting money on marketing activity that can’t hope to deliver reward.
A brand, we often have to remind people, is much more than a colour and a logo. It’s a promise that mustn’t be broken, and is founded on an essence that influences everything from culture, personality and purpose to how we answer our phones and welcome people in store.
The brand, it’s fair to say, is the biggest deal for any business that wants to differentiate itself so it can stand out from, and be more competitive than, its rivals. So it follows surely, that it deserves a level of upfront thought, care and reasonable investment in time if nothing else?
Yep, I thought so too. But I find it incredible that so many brands continue to start throwing good money at market share with no discernible brand strategy to provide essential differentiation and direction.
Spend enough money on something like pay-per-click, the thinking seems to go, and we’ll eventually flog enough stuff to see some sort of return on our investment. But that’s costly, wasteful thinking. Take a look at my ‘cost of time curves’ below to see what I mean.
Brand A has a colour and a logo but makes no investment in brand strategy and starts spending on marketing and advertising. As time elapses, so the never-ending curve of cost creeps upwards as the brand buys revenue. It has no differentiation or stand-out in its sector, so audience connection is a constant battle, with every engagement starting from scratch.
Brand B, on the other hand, makes a reasonable upfront investment in brand and strategy. If that’s with Mobas, the strategy will emerge from the brand essence. The essence will be contextualised by the competitor and customer landscape to make sure it is different from others, and as compelling as possible for clients and customers. And it will inform absolutely everything from brand voice and go-to-market strategy to media choices, key messaging and digital strategy.
The result is maximum audience engagement and a curve that gets Brand B to where it wants to be, with an increasingly diminishing marketing cost. At Mobas, we make sure that all strategy reflects tangible business objectives, so we can target success. That’s the part we call Brand Transformation. We are here to transform opportunity into success for our clients and – as the graph shows – we’ve got a plan in place to make it happen!