Building brand equity at board level

Driving brand value within an organisation should not be the sole responsibility of the marketing department, a gathering of leading finance industry professionals was told in Adelaide.

According to brand and marketing expert Marc Makrid, marketing and finance executives need to work more collaboratively to maximise brand equity and with it improve sales and overall business performance.

Mr Makrid was speaking to an audience of 250 Chief Financial Officers and finance professionals at the William Buck CFO Symposium held in the William Magarey Ballroom at the Adelaide Oval on 11 April 2018.

“CFOs and CMOs share the same agenda,” Mr Makrid said.

“Both want more customers to buy more products, more often. Making it happen requires serving customer needs profitably and better than your competitors do.

“Unfortunately businesses to a large extent have convinced themselves how intangible marketing is. That firmly illustrates a pressing need for better clarity and tangibility when it comes to brand investment.”

Mr Makrid explained that a study by Mercer Management found that the key drivers to shareholder loss were overwhelmingly due to strategic brand-related causes.

“These can include questionable strategies such as discount pricing in tough times when it’s hard to retract original value down the track, poor channelling decisions such as chasing short-term revenue streams to the brand’s long-term detriment or cutting investment in marketing in tough times,” he said.

Marc identified a range of internal and external factors that drive brand equity. He noted that these drivers create a pragmatic framework to drive brand decisions in a manner that creates visibility and measurability.

Marc strongly emphasised and demonstrated how everything a company does impacts brand.

“There is a strong business case to expand the responsibilities for brand beyond the marketing department,” Mr Makrid said.

“It’s important to ensure that everyone in the business can see what value they can add to the brand. While there will always be a subjective aspect to brand performance, it’s more measurable than most organisations realise.

“While the financial valuation methodologies for brand can vary widely, the ultimate measure of a powerful brand is what the market will pay for it.”

Marc Makrid is the CEO of Marc Makrid & Associates. Marc has extensive experience in advising on brand strategy at the board level to a national-based and diverse client base. His roles include Chairman of Campion Education, FP Agriculture & Angelakis Seafood as well as a Board Director of Seeley International and ECH.

Marc can be contacted at marc@makrid.com.au