Overheard once, but something that stayed forever – “Today brands are working hard to build equity wealth and not really profitable businesses”.
Is this an era where brand loyalty transcends into a profitable business? Or do we even have any brand loyalty left, owing to the endless, innumerable options available?
Could this be the reality? Somehow there is no debating that the entrepreneurial-era in the country is somehow focused on building brands that would generate future wealth and not immediate profits or revenues. No more is the brand story that of earning profits, but definitely one that could attract a future buyer for an impressive price and thus help the founder build their equity wealth.
It’s actually a practice in the real world. A little closer atleast. DMart has created their retail stores – that too the humungous area – and all of them our company owned, no rental. In metros like Mumbai, you would question the sanity of buying property in key locations, and instantly begin calculations on how much is the turnover and would it help recover the cost of buying the property. But flip it around and one might see that the brand is building future wealth through these investments, which might be more profitable one day, even versus the business earnings of today. So profits earned or not, D Mart has managed to build their portfolio of wealth for future.
So maybe we as PR professionals need to gear up to understand that our story telling needs to build the brands equity wealth. It’s imperative that we evolve with the changing times of the business. This focus could be more relevant when it comes to startups and new business ideas, but can we effectively apply this approach to brands with legacy too? Equity wealth doesn’t mean businesses don’t work hard to stay profitable. It simply means one will be richer or wealthier in the near future and not just by earning enough revenues in the current financial year.
Gouri’s Goodies, an artisanal snacks brand, today sells through only their website and e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart. They made a conscious decision as a brand to leave the big retail formats, owing to the unsurmountable food wastage and the reality that they wanted to cater to the end consumer with products as fresh as possible. One could see this as creating a brilliant “disruption” in the way artisanal brands are today reaching out or we could ponder on their strategy and realise the equity wealth that they are building for the brand. Obviously a startup that went retail and now completely digital, has a definite goal in mind and that is to grow as a national brand. This journey might look simple, but is definitely worth it for having grown year on year, contributing to their equity wealth.
As communicators, we need to understand how stories can revolve around brands across all categories and life-spans. Talking about financial growth and revenues might not be the only route for building brands, we need to innovate just as the brands create their unique propositions. Its interesting to question on how we can add value to their future growth and ensure there is enough arsenal added to the brand’s equity wealth.
For instance, take cloud kitchens or dark kitchens, which are a raging trend these days. With no retail front or customer interface physically, these kitchens have got their formula in place to deliver food at the best price and yet build on their revenues (profitably). These kitchens get easy access to open anywhere without having to worry of what the retail front will cost them. Eventually, they keep capturing customers, manage their overheads beautifully and focus on one simple menu that has to be delivered to the end consumer. This is probably the best evolving technique of building equity wealth that could turn around be more profitable than the revenues they earning today – the minute they decide to sell or expand easily to other cities and keep growing their “cloud” presence.
For the PR universe, curating stories that would add to the ultimate ‘equity wealth’ would be our future and how we make ourselves indispensable assets to this wealth creation community.