What Makes a Brand Strong
brand-as-business bit: By now you’ve probably read about Interbrand’s latest report on the Best Global Brands. While most people were focused on the rankings, I was more interested in the piece about the valuation methodology which was buried in the report.
Interbrand’s methodology is part art and part science, as evidenced by the inclusion of a “Brand Strength Score” in the competitive analysis portion of the valuation process. The firm judges Brand Strength on ten key factors:
- Clarity – internal clarity about what the brand stands for, its values, target audiences, etc.
- Commitment – internal commitment to brand as evidenced by the support it receives in terms of time, influence, and investment
- Protection – legal, proprietary ingredients or design, etc.
- Responsiveness – ability to respond to market changes, challenges, and opportunities
- Authenticity – based on internal truth and capability
- Relevance – fit with customer/consumer needs, desires, and decision criteria
- Differentiation – perceived differentiated positioning
- Consistency – experienced without fail across all touchpoints
- Presence – feels omnipresent and is talked about positively by customers, consumers, and opinion formers
- Understanding – in-depth knowledge and understanding of distinctive qualities
While different from the factors I usually use in my brand evaluations, these seem to cover all important dimensions of brand strength except perhaps the most critical: operationalized — brand is driven into the culture and delivered in the customer experiences.