Unrealized Business Value
If you’re feeling thwarted by business value that’s falling short of its potential, the answer may well lie in your brand. It’s true that brand lives under marketing, not finance. But a sharp, well-aimed brand strategy can address critical business results from lagging market capitalization to margins.
At Emotive Brand, we believe that brand isn’t just about what you say. It’s also about how you behave, how you serve each of your audiences, and, fundamentally, what you believe. That means your brand strategy is a foundation you can use to build value holistically, across your organization.
Here are three ways brand can build measurable business value:
Apple shares were trading below $1 when Steve Jobs rejoined the company in 1997. Today Apple has the highest market cap of any enterprise, clocking in around $867 billion, or $187 per share. Its brand value is the highest too – $184 billion, according to Interbrand.
To put that into perspective, Apple’s brand value is worth more than the entire book value of Coco-Cola Co., according to this tally.
One of the first things Jobs did upon rejoining Apple was to redefine the Apple brand and articulate it to the world.
In a staff meeting revealing the Think Different campaign, when Jobs had been back at Apple just a few weeks, he gave a talk that brilliantly explains the value of putting brand first.
This might be the most inspiring explanation of the power of brand we’ve seen, so do yourself a favor and watch the whole thing. Here are some key points:
“To me, marketing is about belief…. [and] the things Apple believed at its core are the same things Apple really stands for today…. Apple’s about something more than [making boxes…. Our] core value is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better… And those people that are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that actually do.”
Jobs’ clarity about his brand and its audience of passionate individuals helped guide Apple’s innovation and success. Those in turn have helped create the mega-brand value and world-leading market capitalization that Apple enjoys today.
Apple is also sitting on some $267 billion in cash, according to its latest quarterly earnings report. That illustrates another way brand can help build business value: profitability.
The gross profit margin on the iPhone X is reportedly 64%, up a healthy 5 percentage points from the 59% margin on its immediate predecessor, the iPhone 8. Overall, Apple’s corporate gross profit stands at a whopping 38%.
Of course, many factors impact corporate margins. But it’s clear that Apple’s brand appeal heightens its ability not only to charge a premium, but to launch new products that its fans line up to buy.
Brand appeal has just as much power in recruiting as it does in sales – if not more. It’s not lost on any job hunter how much a gold-plated brand stands out on a resume.
Of course, hiring the right people is essential to the success of any business, but a strong brand also has a direct impact on costs.
LinkedIn reports that a strong employer brand yields 50% more qualified applicants and reduces both hiring time and costs by half. Three quarters of job seekers say they consider the brand before applying.
A strong employer brand even correlates to a higher retention rate. That both saves recruiting and training costs and contributes to higher workforce productivity.
You can learn more by downloading our white paper, How Emotive Brands Drive Business Results.
Emotive Brand is a San Francisco brand strategy and design agency.