The Brand Bank

The simple metaphor for owning your industry.

Have you ever tried to get your head around how to maximize your marketing impact? I once came across a metaphor for how to optimize the efficiency of your marketing activities. It is beautiful in its simplicity and makes good food for thought. It’s the idea of the Brand Bank.

Deposits and Withdrawals
Imagine your brand is a bank. To strengthen the brand, you need to deposit money into the account. If you only put money into the account, you will have a lot of assets in the brand account. But if you never withdraw money to implement marketing and sales activities, the brand money is useless. It’s a waste; they need to be used.

It’s all about balance
If, on the other hand, you only make withdrawals for marketing and sales activities, the brand bank will eventually go bankrupt. There is nothing left in the account. The trick is to create a balance, but how do you do that?

Keep two balls in the air
This is what makes it difficult. There is a general difference between marketing communications and sales: Marketing communications are evaluated in the long term; increasing the market share from 17.2 to 18.8% might mean a huge success. Sales are measured on short-term sales performance. They want to sell as much as possible today to prove they are doing a great job. And the two compete about the brands’ resources. So, how do you balance these two driving forces?

Be a juggler
To run the company efficiently, you have to be a juggler. Top management needs a holistic perspective. If you have some funds in the Brand Bank, you are better off in tough times. You can make withdrawals to increase sales when competitors struggle. And in good times you continue building up strength in your Brand Bank.

It sounds very easy in theory. But we know from experience that this is one of the most complex challenges to balance. Healthy brands manage this over time – that’s their key to long-term success.

What is your experience with the Brand Bank? Is it a challenge to balance the differing objectives? If you want our input on how others handled this, please send us a note. We’d love to talk to you!