Ben Wise on Branding

Watching the world through the lens of the brand

Posts Tagged ‘brand strength

How Does Your Brand Make Money?

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At first glance, this looks a bit of a silly question. The brand makes money by selling a product or service. But a closer analysis will give you a deeper understanding of what should drive your brand.

When I was doing my MBA, a marketing prof asked the class what Disney sells. Being a group of young keeners, we heard answers like ‘dreams’, ‘magic’, and ‘fun’. My favourite answer was ‘characters’.  With the benefit of a bit of research and data, the prof enlightened us. Most Disney movies will gross a few hundred million dollars in theatres. But over the lifetime of the brand of that movie, they will often clear a billion dollars in other merchandise. Disney movies are really just a conduit to selling merchandise so their brand needs to create such a strong emotion connection that consumers are compelled to buy the dolls and video games.

I came across another example from a friend who worked in sales at a CPG company. His first day on the job, his boss told him that his job wasn’t to sell their products on the shelves, but to get their products on to the end-caps and promo stands in grocery stores. This is where they made their money.

Understanding the source of a brand’s profit should dictate almost all of the strategic decisions that you make. This may seem a daunting task at first, but if you can nail this then the tactics should follow easily.

What do you think? How do your brand make money?

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Written by benwisebranding

January 29, 2010 at 7:24 pm

The New York Times Pay Wall Will Test Their Brand Strength

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The internet has made news a commodity. The facts of what happened on a given day are available through literally thousands of websites. People will not pay for the facts; they are just too easy to find.

If you haven’t heard yet, the New York Times is expected to announce a pay wall on their content. It is the analysis and insight that the New York Times is hoping people will pay for. If the New York Times brand is respected enough that readers will believe their content can’t be found elsewhere, then erecting pay wall won’t be a problem. It may upset some people in the short-term, but having access to the unique analysis from the New York Times will win out in the long run.

Others have already done this. The Wall Street Journal and The Economist come to mind. Their brands are strong enough that people are willing to pay for their content because they know the value they will receive.

The New York Times will probably be fine, but I hope other news sites that offer just the facts don’t think they can follow suit. Unless your brand’s value proposition is unique, why would anyone pay for it?

What do you think? How will a pay wall impact the New York Times?

Written by benwisebranding

January 19, 2010 at 6:06 pm