I’m delighted to announce that The Conference Board® (TCB) has published my study Brand Equity Risk: Challenges in the Digital Marketing Era. Thanks to all at TCB who made this possible, and to those of you who responded to the survey.
TCB is making copies free to download once you create a free user account:
Brand equity, a significant component of enterprise value, is increasingly volatile and at-risk in a digital world. Members of The Conference Board and other organizations participated in a study conducted by research consultants The Knowledge Agency® (TKA) to determine (1) the impact of digital and social marketing on risks to brand equity, and (2) the ways organizations are addressing such risks. We tested eight types of brand equity risk for their estimated probability of occurring and their estimated impact.
Within the organizations responding to the survey:
Brand equity risk management is an emerging discipline. We noted significant variability among leading companies in how this enterprise risk is being managed. We attribute this to the relatively recent and significant increase in high-impact adverse brand events.
Concerns about brand equity risk are widespread. All eight types of brand equity risk we tested for were deemed significant in both probability and impact. Two of these (public issues risk and disinformation risk) were deemed especially high risk.
Each industry has a unique risk profile. The responses were widely distributed in both probability and impact, indicating a heavy influence of industry and other factors.
Brand equity risk is a concern in the present, not just in futuristic scenarios. Adverse events related to all eight types of brand equity risk have occurred already within the companies responding. Four of the risk types have occurred frequently, reported by one-third or more of the respondents.
Brand equity is subject to ever-increasing risk. Organizations report that while they are doing more than previously to identify and mitigate these risks, the risks are growing at an even faster rate than these counter-efforts.
The sense of vulnerability is rising. Brand equity risk is of growing concern at senior executive and board levels. While organizations seem generally supportive of the tools and approaches they currently have in place, such support is not strong in most cases.
We note that there is little safety in numbers; just because a risk is not rated highly for one organization or group of organizations does not necessarily mean it should not be rated highly for another. Experiences and exposures vary widely across industries and organizations.