In my previous post, I introduced the observation that though Digital/Social Branding is fast becoming the dominant model, its financial implications for Brand Equity are neither well-known nor (as a result) well-managed.
I’m currently testing my hypothesis with a survey fielded by The Conference Board. The survey will be open through Friday, December 7th, and I encourage you to contribute if you have experienced any of these problems.
I was introduced to Brand Equity Risk in the mid-2000s through work my firm conducted detecting counterfeit and diverted goods for major firms in the CPG and pharma industries.
Fast-forward a dozen or so years, and in hindsight it’s clear we were just getting started. Now BER has morphed into a range of variants, each with its own challenges.
In analyzing data on adverse brand events provided by my associate Patrick Marrinan’s firm MSA, I developed this taxonomy of BER categories as they exist today:
Have you experienced any of these? Are you worried that you will?
How large is the potential impact of each BER category? What is its likelihood of occurring? How are organizations dealing with these threats? These are among the questions our research explores.
This BER typology is not intended as a prediction that new variants won’t appear in the future — as they almost certainly will. We have already seen information warfare rapidly morph from a set of techniques used to supplement conventional warfare to a set of techniques used in political campaigns. These techniques have already started to metastasizing into commercial sectors — and it is here they are likely to find their largest payout.
Brand Equity Risk has typically been managed episodically and after the fact — with crisis management and other mop-up operations. We have found that it’s much more effectively managed systematically and preemptively. We are using the term BRAND STEWARDSHIP to indicate a set of policies, procedures, and practices in place and in force at the enterprise level to build, sustain, and defend the integrity and value of an organization’s brand(s) and reputation.
But it all starts with a candid self-assessment of current and potential Brand Equity Risk — as provided in our survey.