The importance of branding: a spotlight

The current historical moment we are going through is particularly complex and challenging: geopolitical and economic crises, the disruption of existing business models by new approaches and technologies, the fragmentation and increasingly rapid evolution of consumer needs hit the bottom line of the balance sheets and create uncertainties about the decisions to be made. Defending short-term revenue levels becomes the top priority.

In a context like this, finding resources for marketing and communication activities is increasingly difficult, as well as the need to measure the short-term return on every single invested euro becomes more and more pressing.

The inevitable consequence is the concentration of marketing budgets on tactical and promotional activities.

Consequences of focusing on tactical activities

The focus of marketing investments on generating short-term revenue directs the attention of marketers, and consequently the public, towards tactical competition levers: price and promotions. This leads to a progressive blurring of differentiation among brands in the market, with a homogenizing effect that causes consumers to see the products/services offered by various brands as increasingly interchangeable and indistinct from each other.

Competition thus increasingly shifts towards price, triggering a spiral that gradually erodes profitability and reduces the value of brands.

How to break the price-promotions spiral

To break the spiral, restore profitability levels and strengthen the position of companies in the long term, it is necessary to rebalance marketing investments between short-term and long-term perspectives.

Investing in the brand means building and strengthening the foundations on which the company’s future rests: the brand must be recognizable, differentiating, and known to the target audience. It must also convey and communicate the values that characterize it and link it to its target audience. It is important to consider that the first search engine we all use when we start looking for a product or service is within ourselves: we recall from our memory the brands, products/services that we know, and we order them based on the value we attribute to them.

A strong brand is immediately noticed and recognized. It has a higher chance of being chosen among the various proposals. It creates loyalty. It allows the defense of the price levels on which it is positioned.

How to guide brand investments

Like any other type of investment, brand investments should never ignore the definition of specific objectives.

Defining objectives, in turn, requires evaluating the current health status of the brand, based on which one can proceed to identify the aspects to be corrected or strengthened and, therefore, the most suitable actions to achieve the set goals.

Assessing the health status of a brand means answering questions such as:

  • How well-known is my brand?
  • How relevant is it to my customers?
  • How much is it talked about, and for what purpose?
  • How much is it loved?
  • What values are recognized by current and potential customers?
  • Are these values consistent with my company’s vision and mission?
  • Are these values consistent with my company’s vision and mission?
  • Is the positioning consistent and distinctive?

How to assess the health status of the brand

There are many techniques to answer these questions, from market research based on interviews, to focus groups, to online or offline panels.

These are valid methods but they have some limitations, mainly due to:

  • Use of more or less restricted samples
  • Time and cost of design and implementation
  • Specialization in certain aspects (quantitative vs qualitative research)
  • Influence of the situation on the interviewee
  • There are also online tools that are specialized in evaluating some aspects, mainly sentiment and awareness.

A new solution

The development of Artificial Intelligence technologies has enabled the creation of RTBH.ai (Real Time Brand Health), a new tool finally able to combine speed, comprehensive information and scientific rigour, eliminating interview and sample limitations. RTBH.ai leverages a proprietary Artificial Intelligence algorithm developed, tested and perfected over 20 years in collaboration with some of the world’s best universities. Its uniqueness lies in combining in a single tool:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine learning
  • Cognitive sciences
  • Data Science
  • Social network analysis

RTBH.ai is capable of monitoring, interpreting and processing in real-time millions of posts, articles, opinions, and discussions published across the internet. It measures the brand and its competitors health scientifically and precisely, thanks to the proprietary “Brand Health” indicator, which is then broken down and analyzed in all its determinants. It evaluates sentiment, values people award to the brand, and positioning with threats and opportunities. It rigorously detects sales funnel performance from awareness to consideration, from loyalty to advocacy. It presents data in a clear, numerical and rigorous format, providing graphical representations and trends accompanied by evaluations from
RTBH.ai‘s experts.

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