Buy it cheap buy it twice.Cutting costs and improving efficiency are laudable business aims, but organisations need to be careful to understand the difference between buying cheaper and attaining the best value.
Dissipating your brand valueAnd when buying in marketing materials this adage is even more important.
And this is because marketing materials represent your brand. And your brand is quite simply your organisations greatest and most valuable asset. It is estimated that 93% of Coca Cola market value is associated with non tangible assets. These assets are what you and I have in our heads about Coca Cola!
Buying with our brand in mindIn larger organisations there are product or brand guardians. But for most SME's this role can be undertaken by a host of differing people, often with no real training and understanding of what they should be buying in terms of its brand impact.
So there is a real risk that buying design, print, web, marketing and the host of other marketing services based on price alone. Not only could this not deliver the brand values you expect but, even worse, it could serious undermine the organisations perception in the customers or prospects mind. This means you spend money to have a negative effect!!
How to buy with brand in mindThere are two key aspects of brand delivery - clarity and consistency. For you to buy services with your brand in mind there are a few things you can do:
- Ensure you have a brand strategy and brand guidelines and use these when buying marketing materials
- Review your brand delivery and ensure there is some gap analysis done as part of this
- Try to measure your brand effect (sometimes difficult but not impossible)
- Use suppliers that understand brand delivery and can ensure your brand is represented well and to the standards stated in the brand guidelines.
If you are still not convinced, then I will remind you of the Ratner effect. Gerald Ratner oversaw a huge jewellery empire and was represented extensively on the high street. His shops represented great value jewellery for many customers.
That is until he was reported widely as stating that his products were 'total crap'. Nothing else changed. The products stayed the same, the shops stayed the same and the prices stayed the same. What changed was how customers perceived what they were buying. What was in the customers mind changed and he wiped off £500m off of the value of the organisation he owned.