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Brand Value: The gamechanger and a critical intangible asset

A new blueprint for building the next generation businesses for the new Southeast Asian consumer

brands in times square

At Blueprint, we seek to unravel the mysteries that surround Brand Value and use our knowledge and experience to invest into the next generation of consumer businesses for the new Southeast Asian consumer – Millennials, Gen Zs and Gen Alphas. My operating experience in creating brand value and building brand love for some of the world’s largest value brands is the foundation upon which Blueprint Ventures is built. I have successfully navigated the challenges of operating value businesses in fiercely competitive markets, catering to price-sensitive consumers in emerging markets like Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines and also selling value products to consumers with a premium bias.

One thing is clear, Brand and Brand Value are the lynchpins in defying the odds, outperforming your competitors and delivering exceptional business results. In the dynamic and ever-evolving consumer landscape, where competition is relentless and customer loyalty reigns supreme, understanding and enhancing brand value is not an optional “nice to have” but rather, a strategic imperative. It is a “survival of the fittest” strategy that is critical to creating a business that thrives, outlasts and outruns the competition - in short, a gamechanger.

What is Brand Value?

Brand value is a multi-faceted, intangible business asset that, when harnessed strategically, can be a game-changer for your business and how consumers perceive its worth. Brand and Brand Value are about creating trust, sparking emotions, delivering joy, igniting conversation and engagement, and aligning on shared values. It is not about the fancy logo, catchy tagline or exclusive product, nor is it about pouring vast sums of money into advertising (commonly referred to as ‘branding’).

These elements—emotional connections, trust, credibility, virality/shareability, and conversation/engagement—are attributes of Brand Value. It is the sum of all these experiences, conversations, impressions, and feelings people have when they experience your brand – on and offline – that makes a Brand valuable and something consumers are willing to pay for.

Brand Value and Consumer needs

In a world oversaturated with choice, not every business can successfully develop a Brand and cultivate Brand Value. Modern consumers are bombarded with options, and many businesses offer similar products and services to meet basic needs. However, some brands transcend the norm, addressing these needs more effectively than their competitors and develop a stickiness that becomes generation-defining, and end up a part of the fabric of their consumers’ lives.

Take for example, Lululemon - a brand that has defied negative press, and pioneered the “athleisure” category, elevating sweats and workout gear into fashionable activewear. Its value comes not only from its product quality (even though some of it is questionable!), but from its aspirational healthy lifestyle that most of its competitors fail to deliver on. Its unique positioning, combined with their high-quality product, its cult-like following and ‘in’-ness has made it an industry leader that is difficult to beat.

However, building a strong brand does not always require a premium product. Consider Liquid Death – a canned water company that has managed to make something as mundane as water, captivating. It is slated to IPO in early 2024, a mere 5 years after its 2019 launch. By offering a fresh perspective on "deadly" water (water is as hardcore as energy drinks), employing humor in its advertisements, and aligning itself with sustainability and environmental values, Liquid Death succeeded in creating a brand identity that resonates deeply with consumers, especially the younger generation.

Both these Brands demonstrate that developing a Brand and its Brand Value start with understanding your consumers’ needs, aspirations and values. Whether it is a need to belong, to be part of a like-minded community, or to aspire to something larger than themselves, identifying and addressing your consumers needs is the foundation of building a strong, sticky Brand.

Brand Value drives Brand-led Strategy

When founders recognise the pivotal and strategic role Brand Value plays, and choose to anchor their business around it, they can begin to develop a Brand-led strategy. In this approach, Brand becomes the cornerstone for all business and growth strategy (instead of a nice to have), guides every business decision – from product innovation to market expansion, and even pricing and channel strategy – to propel business growth.

At Blueprint, we believe that brand value is not an optional add-on or a secondary consideration “when there is enough money”; it should be the very essence of good business strategy. We recognise that a robust brand, enriched with emotional resonance, trust, engagement, and alignment with consumer values, is what distinguishes exceptional businesses. Developing and unlocking Brand Value is our ‘blueprint’ for investing in and building the next generation of consumer businesses in Southeast Asia. We want to back the new generation-defining Brands for the new consumer - businesses that thrive, outlast the competition, and ultimately reshape the Southeast Asian consumer landscape.


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