The concept that branding is to value is a well established idea.

To effectively brand you need to treat your product and its name like a person, with a consistent look and personality.

It means spending a part of your advertising dollars on the long term development of that look and personality and not just shouting “BUY NOW!” with a desirable price point.

People are willing to pay more once they have confidence in the quality and consistency created by the brand name.  They are loyal to personalities, not to prices.

But there is more value than just the hardcore values of quality and consistency.  There is the image that surrounds the brand.

The image of the brand can be transferable, in part, to the purchaser.

Simply put, when you see my Rolex you are supposed to think I am important… or in my case I guess I am not that important since I don’t have a Rolex.  The same is true of Maseratis, Cadillacs and Rolls Royces.  Each brand makes a statement not only about the product, but the owner of the product.

There are many brands that we flash to let others know how we stand in society.  Conspicuous consumption, a notion over 100 years old, has usually been associated with luxury goods.

There is a new class of luxury – and that is environmental responsibility.  There is social currency to be gained by keeping up with the greens and leaving the browns behind  — and not just keeping up with the Joneses.

People pay a premium for products like the Prius that immediately communicate “good guy green” to everyone who sees them driving it.  That’s why Prius looks distinctive and commands a greater premium than a hydrid that just has a plaque on the back of it.  It is also one aspect of why Tesla can establish itself quickly.

The value of a company’s image has no real balance sheet accounting value, but a positively viewed company commands a greater premium for the company’s products and services or higher multiples when the company is bought.  If your retail store has a positive image, customers will seek you out rather than stumble upon you.  That increases sales as well as the value of the store.

Look at the stock value of a company like Apple and you can see that in place.  A positive image increases the price buyers will pay for its products and shares and that’s real value.

So how are you building your brand’s image?

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