The Value of Good Advice.
Recently I re-read Confessions of the Pricing Man by Hermann Simon, arguably the best book ever written on the subject of pricing. I’ve always seen the subject of pricing as directly connected to branding. As Simon says: “People have asked me a thousand times to name the most important aspect of pricing. I answer with one word; ‘Value’. The price a customer is willing to pay, and therefore the price a company can achieve, is always a reflection of the perceived value of the product or service in the customer’s eyes”.
When it comes to customer or client perceptions, brand should always play a lead role. At the heart of every brand should be a differentiated customer value proposition and layers of strategic brand definition that provide the guidance for the business as to how to bring that unique value proposition to life in everything the business does. This brand strategy should then be supported by ‘brand messaging’ and ‘brand visual language’ – the brand mark (logo) brand colours and typography as well as supporting visual assets such as imagery, patterns, textures and layout.
The advice we provide our clients as a brand agency guides them to position themselves to establish the optimum perceived value in the minds of their audience in order to price their products or services accordingly to maximise profit. As we did successfully with the rebranding of Marshell Aquaculture into The Coffin Bay Oyster Farm. In the process we re-positioned a perceived commodity product which sold at $3.50 per kilo into a premium range of oysters which were then sold at an average per kilo wholesale price of $7.50, transforming the business and it’s profitability (you can read the case study here). This price premium is an example of the value we provide our clients.
A few years back we worked with TOM Organic, a brand of women’s hygiene products. We advised TOM on a rebrand and packaging redesign that took advantage of their unique consumer value proposition. The new brand was quickly picked-up by Chemmist Warehouse, Coles (who the business had been courting for years) and then Woolworths with sales increasing 1500% in the first six months. This case study has been covered amply across industry media or you can read our case study here.
So how exactly do you put a value to that kind of advice?
Our view is that every branding project should have a clear business case. The value question is directly related to the commercial benefit rebranding will provide the business. In the case of Coffin Bay Oyster Farm, it was tonnes of product each year with a $4 per kilo greater profit margin. For TOM Organic it was the profit margin on an additional $4m+ in top line sales.
Too often the ‘how much should I invest in my branding’ question is asked with no commercial end-point in mind, and thus no way to calculate value.
To quote Simon again: “I learned that good advice is not expensive. It’s quite affordable, if you can recognize its value”.
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years of experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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