The Business of Branding

Myles explores why in challenging times branding and promotion needs to be prioritised to ensure your future survival and success.

As any business owner knows, balancing the financials is an imperative to ensure future survival and success. Whilst branding and promotion may not always be high on the budget agenda, especially when trying to manage inflationary factors such as wages and materials costs, when it comes to budget allocation it can often be the critical success factor. Like any business, it is important to align your marketing budget with your business objectives and optimise long and short-term brand planning.

The econometrics for budget optimisation suggest a good rule of thumb is to invest between 5% and 10% of turnover on promotion to gain the highest return on investment. The temptation will always be to go for the lower percentage, whilst the reality will depend on the current state of your brand and its ability to deliver a competitive advantage. A simple technique to assess the effectiveness of your brand is to ask, if you took your logo off your current packaging and communications, would you still be recognised…

The next step is to optimise that investment and work out how much of your budget to spend on long-term brand building versus short-term promotional activation. Another good rule of thumb would be 60% on brand and 40% on activation. In the case of the brewing sector, probably only 20% of brewers are fully brand fit and are properly investing in their brand, which means that there is a lot of catching up to be done for the many. There is often a lack of proper brand planning and a short-term approach – it is important to think beyond the 12 month annual cycle and apply a longer-term strategy. The evidence is clear, if you plan wisely and invest properly in your brand, you will make more money. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail… and he knew a thing or two about planning, as well as enjoying the odd tipple.

The proof of the pint is in the drinking. Or in this case, don’t just take my word for it, track your ROI and see for yourself how, in the right hands, your brand can make the difference between success and failure. However, be warned, if you don’t get you brand basics right in the first place, it’s as good as pouring money down the drain.

As specialists in brand building for the brewing sector, WPA Pinfold has been awarded over 160 global design awards – helping create up to 300% sales increases and significant ROI.

Myles Pinfold is brand and strategy director at WPA Pinfold, he has in depth insight into the world of beer branding and has written extensively about it too.

Get in touch here if you would like any help with your brand and strategy.