Excerpt from The Meaningful Brand by Nigel Hollis


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The Meaningful Brand
How strong brands make money


Why do consumers pay a premium price for a brand? Is it better quality, the look and feel, or the brand’s social standing? Author and brand expert, Nigel Hollis believes the answer to all these questions is "yes." In his new book The Meaningful Brand: How Strong Brands Make More Money, Hollis shares the importance for marketers to identify a brand’s meaningful difference and focus on amplifying that meaningfully different brand experience for the consumer.

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Excerpt from The Meaningful Brand by Nigel Hollis

  1. 1. Share An excerpt from “The Meaningful Brand” By Nigel Hollis A Crisis of Confidence in Marketing Buy the Book Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Available October 22, 2013 Amazon.com Kindle iBooks Barnes & Noble 800-CEO-Read The world of marketing is infinitely more complex than it was when I started my career over three decades ago; that much is indisputable. But the essential process by which marketing builds a brand and adds value to a business has not changed. Why? Because human nature has not changed. And that means the potential to build strong, valuable brands is as great now as it was then—perhaps even more so. In spite of this continuity, the value of marketing as a practice is under greater scrutiny today than ever before. Marketers are constantly asked to prove their return on investment and to do more with less. My own observations suggest that instead of rising to the challenge, the marketing profession is shooting itself in the foot. At a time when brands are more valuable than ever, bought and sold for many times their annual revenues, we are losing sight of what makes brands enduring, valuable From The Meaningful Brand by Nigel Hollis. Copyright © 2013 by the author and reprinted by permission of Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
  2. 2. “THE ULTIMATE ROLE OF A STRONG BRAND IS TO COMMAND A PRICE PREMIUM OVER COMPARABLE PRODUCTS” assets. We ignore what makes people want to buy brands and be willing to pay a premium for them. Why? Because so many day-to-day tasks demand our attention. We are so busy executing that we have forgotten why we are doing what we are doing, and we rely on metrics to guide our actions without judging their relevance or utility. Consumer motivations have not changed, and neither have the ways that brands make money. There are five basic ways to create more value from a brand: 1. Encourage more people to buy the brand 2. Encourage people to buy the brand at a price higher than that commanded by the alternatives. 3. Encourage people to keep buying the brand. 4. Encourage people to buy the same brand but for new occasions or in new categories. 5. Do all four, but more efficiently. Unfortunately, many marketers and CEOs appear to be fixated on the first and last of these strategies to the exclusion of the middle three, and they particularly overlook the strategy of justifying a price premium. The ultimate role of a strong brand is to command a price premium over comparable products. All too often I observe brands chasing additional volume at the expense of their price premium and future profit stream. It is debatable whether such tactics pay off in the short term, and all the evidence suggests that they undermine long-term value. Again, what is brand building about if not creating sustainable financial value, a reoccurring profit stream over years, not just months? From The Meaningful Brand by Nigel Hollis. Copyright © 2013 by the author and reprinted by permission of Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
  3. 3. A Roadmap to Building Financial Brand Value That is where this book comes in—to provide a clearly documented roadmap to make sure that your brand is adding sustainable financial value to your business. The roadmap is based on a conceptual framework called ValueDrivers, jointly developed by Gordon Pincott, chairman of global solutions at Millward Brown, and myself. Our framework for building brand value is not informed by experience alone. We have been fortunate to be able to draw on all the resources at Millward Brown’s disposal, including access to some of the best marketers in the world today; insight from colleagues with specialist knowledge in neuroscience, brand equity research, and brand valuation; and analysis of the world’s largest brand equity database, BrandZ™. Since 1998, Millward Brown has interviewed people around the world about their attitudes toward brands, and the database now includes data on over ten thousand brands from over two hundred product categories and over 40 different countries. In addition to these company resources, I have drawn on a number of other sources of information. Most important among these are our From The Meaningful Brand by Nigel Hollis. Copyright © 2013 by the author and reprinted by permission of Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
  4. 4. clients. Gordon and I have discussed the framework detailed in this book with some of the most experienced marketers in the world. We have used the ValueDrivers workshop to explore specific brand issues in-depth for a wide variety of international clients, and in preparation for writing this book, I interviewed senior marketers in China, Brazil, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the United States. Last, but not least, in order to illustrate specific ways in which brands have created demonstrable value, I have drawn on case studies from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and winners of the Effie Awards sourced from the invaluable Warc knowledge bank. Euromonitor has also proved a useful source of information on trends and market share data. By drawing on all of these resources, I aim not only to illustrate what makes a strong brand but also to document its impact on the bottom line. In the first third of this book, I will lay out our general knowledge about brands, specifically why and how they create value for consumer and brand owner alike. In the remainder of the book, I will condense that learning into a set of guidelines for generating financial value growth from any brand. Amazon.com Kindle iBooks Barnes & Noble 800-CEO-Read From The Meaningful Brand by Nigel Hollis. Copyright © 2013 by the author and reprinted by permission of Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.