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Lindsay Beltzer
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Marketers’ Next Big Challenge: Unleashing the Power of Brand

Interbrand reports on brands and branding with key insights in the profession for 2007

New York, NY, USA, January 26, 2007 – Released today The Brand Marketers Report, from leading brand consultancy Interbrand, offers an inside out perspective of brand management. The survey of global brand owners further validates the influence brands have on the customers’ decision process, and yet shows that most marketers feel stifled in delivering on the full impact of their brand’s value.

“Loud and clear, these brand marketers are telling us that the brand is not getting due credit inside their organizations for its ability to drive top-line and bottom-line business value. This is an eye-opening finding when you consider that at the same time they’re demonstrating a clear connection between brand support and influencing consumer choice,” said report co-author Josh Feldmeth, Chief Brand Analytics Officer for Interbrand.

The report shows a direct correlation between marketers that scored their brand as playing a highly instrumental role in creating consumer influence and those that had supported the brand with training, brand standards and guidelines, research and financial investment in the visual and verbal expressions of the brand.

While some sophisticated marketing departments are employing cutting edge tools to manage and implement the brand, by and large marketers report a lack of compliance to brand standards across their organizations. This disregard for guidelines creates inefficiencies and negatively affects the brand’s impact with consumers. Brand owners rating their company as strict followers of brand standards also scored as the most influential with customers.

Brand owners scoring highest in customer influence also engaged in rebranding or brand enhancement efforts. 35% of strong performers kept the brand top of mind by engaging in a significant re-branding initiative in 2006: and in the previous three years, 66% re-branded spending on average $7.4 million on the effort.

Lastly, and probably not surprisingly, financial support increases the impact of brands. Companies in the study reported an average 2006 brand budget of over $13 million. In the sample taken here, 73% of companies report some sort of brand budget for 2006. That means that over a quarter of the brands in the study do not have a specific budget to support the brand. Unsupported brands, however, are not just small companies or in niche industries. This is further evidence that some companies are either not interested in brand management or have not recognized that brands require financial support to be effective.

The Brand Marketers Report is based on a survey of brand leaders and decision makers conducted online in the fourth quarter of 2006. The participant group represents 299 senior level brand owners, all directly involved in the management decisions across a span of industries and geographies, with equal representation from Business to Business and Business to Consumer businesses.