Rational reasoning is a necessity for business. The more we make a case and use words like we use numbers, the more we can rationalize our decisions in business. This pushes words like "feel" and "believe" out to the edges of our corporate language, because they can't be proven or rationalized. So, if you can't beat them, join them. Let's rationalize the importance of brand. BusinessWeek offers us the fundamental metrics for now.
Think of your brand as a $1,000,000 piece of machinery on the manufacturing floor, or a multi-million dollar hotel property, or any other seven-figure asset in your organization. Brand assets like Coca-Cola have been estimated to reach 70% of current market capitalization. And, on the other side of the spectrum, brands like GE at 25%. Pull out a pencil and do some cocktail napkin math, get to a range of what your brand could be worth. Got it?
Now look around and ask yourself, what do we know and who knows it? Does your agency of record know the most? As a shareholder in your organization, I hope not. They are accountable to another board. Who should know the most about your brand assets? You. Not the marketing department or the sales department or the operations group, but you, the employee. You the director, chief officer, or manager of important aspects of your organization.
If you've spent enough time understanding the concept of brand, you know it’s intangible and yet a very real asset to an organization. As an asset it requires management, consideration, and plenty of thought. Now, here's where it gets interesting. As an asset that doesn't appear on the balance sheet, it can be leveraged for revenue without all the other considerations. But it also needs the oversight of your board and should be important to your shareholders, if its asset value is of any significance. Because if you leverage your brand incorrectly and damage it, the rest of the organization suffers.
The FUSE conference offers the best blend of content, covering the spectrum of current brand and design subjects (in my humble opinion). If you think you know everything, there's no hope for you. But, if you have a philosopher’s view of the world, you know the pursuit of knowledge doesn't end at the graduate school doors.
If you need a numbers-based argument, take a look at the full price of attending FUSE. What is the percentage of your napkin calculation of brand asset value? If there are more than two zeros to the right of the decimal point, you should sign up immediately. Your shareholders will thank you.
Get smarter about brand management, both the rational and emotional aspects.