Building intangible brand value

 All our efforts must empower the principles we learn about a company. 

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Today’s key purchase question is no longer “what does it do” but “how does it make me feel.”

Let me give you an example. Let’s imagine a startup that has successfully developed a new kind of running shoe that has a better all-round grip than any other running shoe currently on the market. And everybody wants it because it’s absolutely great and it’s relatively cheap. Cheaper than Nike.

Do you think that because of this, the startup is going to be able to compete with Nike? I don’t think so. Even if they have the same marketing budget, their chances are nihil. Because, first of all, sooner or later, Nike might bring an improved version of the product to the market. But more importantly, Nike already owns top-of-mind when it comes to running shoes, and they will continue to hold this status for many years because it is an iconic brand that people want to associate themselves with. People buy into brands.

This is exactly why strong brands spend their time and resources on exploiting powerful ways to improve customer relationships. This involves creating a story, signaling identity and authenticity, and creating a sense of community. 

Because when customers have trust and believe in something, they’re way more likely to consume your products and services.

So Intangible value is essential. But how do you invest in your brand’s intangible value?

When working for a client, I always remember the following: All our efforts must empower the principles we learn about a company. 

And this requires fundamental research. For example, you could start by asking the following three questions.

  1. How will your company make its mark? Why does your company exist, and how will your company affect the future?

  2. What are the functional key values based on which your products and services are designed to support this? How is your company committing to this vision?

  3. How will your impact make your customers feel? What are the emotional key values? How do you want to be perceived?

Without such information and without fundamental research, it’s impossible to know how to make consistent decisions in support of the brand.

If you can’t make consistent decisions in support of the brand, customers will experience a disconnect. This negatively influences the customer relationship. In some cases, more drastically than in others. But remember, people are pickier than ever. We’re spoiled because there are so many options to choose from. This is why we all prefer only to spend time on products and services of brands we feel connected to.