The marketing world is buzzing these days about “brand” and brand development strategies. In fact, a web search for “brand development” returns almost 350 million results. That’s more than 300,000,000 distinct web pages that want to tell you the best way to develop, implement and manage your brand. On the subject of ROI, however, most of those websites are surprisingly quiet.

The reason for this is simple. Most of the ways brand development affects your business are subtle and difficult to quantify since they aren’t obvious. It is impossible to point at an increase in repeat business and say for certain if it is because of more effective brand development or because of any number of other reasons. Although difficult to quantify exactly, ROI of your brand development program are numerous. Three that you may not think of include:

  • Increased customer loyalty
  • Minimized negative effects of a crisis
  • Better marketing and co-branding partners

Increased Brand Loyalty

One benefit of effective brand development is brand loyalty. These means that your customers are more likely to turn into fans. They are more likely to use your products because they are your products rather than for reasons of cost or effectiveness or even utility. For fans, loyalty is the watchword.

Increasing customer loyalty through brand development helps immunize your customers against the marketing efforts of your competitors. If they are using your products because they are your products, the competition doesn’t have a chance.

Minimizing the Effects of Crisis

We’ve all seen the devastation an economic crisis has on business, but there are other types of crisis businesses face every day. Shortages on the manufacturing side (operational problem), licensing problems on a new product line (partner problem), or an employee standing in lettuce (people problem) – there is an infinite number of things that can go wrong in any business.

The effects of these things can be minimized by nurturing a mature, trusted brand. Customers are much more inclined to wait patiently while problems are resolved rather than fleeing to your competitors when they believe in your brand. It was the companies with well developed brands and customer loyalty that continue to ride out the worst of the recent economic problems.

Attracting Marketing and Co-Branding Partners

Few things are more attractive to potential marketing partners than a strong, well-developed brand. A solid brand tells prospective partners that you understand your customers and it also demonstrates a certain amount of momentum in your market.

By working together, advertisers and co-branders hope to ride that momentum in pushing their products through to your established customer base, and, of course, you hope to do the same for their customers. By bringing as much to the table as possible, you ensure the ability to attract the best marketing partners for your company and have the best possible position sitting at the bargaining table. When it comes to working with other companies, solid branding is a clear advantage.

It may be difficult to say precisely how much of your increased revenue is the result of developing your brand, but it can be measured if you realize the less than obvious benefits. From increased customer loyalty, to increased partnership opportunities with other businesses, an effective brand development process does provide returns on your investment.