With the emphasis on demand generation, attribution, and account-based marketing, it may feel as if brand has taken a back seat. In today’s world of deteriorating product brand power, rising perceptions of parity products, reduced employee and customer loyalty, and increasing competition, it may be worthwhile to renew your focus on brand. Many organizations have come to realize that demand generation requires brand strength.
A weak or strong corporate brand can make a significant difference in terms of a company’s sales volume and its stock price. It will also affect the marketability and acceptability of your company’s products and services. As noted by Morgan Stanley in their article Measuring the Contributions of Brand to Shareholder Value, “a strong brand, a brand with energized differentiation, can raise a company’s market value by increasing not only its current revenues and profits, but also analysts’ and investors’ expectations for future profits.” Brands with energy have what they refer to as a palpable sense of movement, that is brand momentum.
Work by Millward-Brown found that as brand momentum grows, the probability of market share growth also increases. Thus, brand momentum serves as a measurement of future earnings potential and financial performance. So, what is brand momentum? Brand momentum refers to the quality of a brand’s market position and its ability to consistently beat competitors.
Ron Ricci and John Volkman in their book, How Companies Become Unstoppable Market Forces suggest that that the attributes of momentum, when combined with a compelling value proposition, differentiate brands so much that they become the customer’s inevitable choice.
Six Elements Impact Your Brand’s Momentum
According to Ricci and Volkman, six elements have the greatest impact on brand momentum. These are the six and their relative weights:
- How important is your brand promise to customers? – 28 percent
- Do you help customers make money? – 20 percent
- How important is the category to customers? – 18 percent
- Does your CEO or CIO bring the brand to life? – 19 percent
- How well do you create/manage market changes? – 8 percent
- Do you practice what you preach? – 7 percent.
It’s important to note, that over half of your brand’s momentum is related to whether your brand creates customer value and the importance and relevance of your brand and its category to your customer. Relevance, reputation, trust, and the ability to demonstrate market agility are factors that impact your customers’ purchasing decisions.
Does your brand have momentum?
How to Measure Your Brand’s Momentum
There are three variables associated with creating a brand momentum metric: mass, speed and direction. Let’s define each of these variables.
- Mass: The relevance of your product’s value proposition, its ecosystem potential, and its category leadership.
- Speed: Your product company’s market agility. This variable indicates your company’s ability to keep up with change.
- Direction: This is what customers perceive as the sum of your management’s vision plus brand integrity. It provides a framework for managing customer expectations. A brand’s reputation is the customers’ perceptions of how well the brand lives up to its promises, which in turn determines the brand’s integrity. Brands with management vision have a well-articulated view of the future and visionary leaders who act as evangelists.
William J. McEwen, Married to the Brand, reminds all of us that “brands have momentum, and it’s important to be aware of it. And, of course, to understand how it’s achieved, and what it means.” Positive brand momentum tends to spur brand growth and enhance trial visits or purchases. Why? Because brands with momentum and energy enjoy greater word-of mouth (WOM). Referenceable customers and WOM provide proof that the brand is relevant. The relevance of your brand is strongly related to your ability to penetrate existing and new markets and achieve growth.
If growth is an imperative for your company, now is the time to validate and accelerate your brand’s momentum. It is an essential to your ability to generate demand. Start by establishing the baseline for your brand momentum metric then identify and close the gaps.