How does your brand develop its full strength? The answer lies in what we call the four "Ws" of brand management:
1. Building a brand starts with value creation.
This is the prerequisite for effective brands: They must create benefits for the customers. Companies need outstanding performances, because only someone who can do something better than everyone else – consistently and verifiably – will become a brand.
2. Only what is perceived creates value.
Such values can only have an effect if consumers perceive them. In over 20 years of brand consulting, all of the companies we worked with, without exception, did something better than anyone else – but quite often they were not aware of this value – or they were unable to use it effectively. That made their superiority essentially worthless.
3. Appreciation is a prerequisite for selling.
As soon as customers recognize the value of a brand, they can assess it and develop a sense for its price: What is the offered performance worth to me? How much am I willing to pay for it? If that assessment is higher than the asking price, nothing can stand in the way of a sale.
4. Value added is the result of appreciation minus price.
When appreciation and price are managed properly, value is added: Customers receive more than they have to spend. The game of service and return service works. Value is added for the customer and at the same time for the company. It receives an appropriate yield for its work.
So far, that's all logical. But there is a catch.
The value added is a result. Value creation is usually not the problem, because usually there is a value surplus, which too often is associated with high costs.
The problem lies with perception and appreciation: Because we live in a world of overabundance, consumers find it difficult to sufficiently assess the value of all of these offers. The solution to the problem is effective brand management: A perfectly managed brand allows companies to bundle their peak performances and connect them with associations. Such a highly condensed brand system is perceived by customers, they grasp its benefit, and are able to assess it.
Well managed brand systems are not just decoration (unfortunately, they are still considered to be just that all too often). They are value drivers that allow companies to grow even in saturated markets.