ROI on Brand Identity

Hello Core,

I’m working on a brand identity project and have been presented with the following question:
By adapting this strategy to our portfolio, how many more products will we sell and what will be the benefit to the consumer?

Can anyone help me with this?

I can provide more context if necessary.


That is a difficult one. My answer to whomever asked that question is “what is your budget for finding out what the ROI is?”… that is the kind of question that consulting agencies charge a million dollars to answer.

It helps lend legitimacy if there is a solid amount of foundational research: ethnography, competitive analysis, trend scrape…

Validation research like this is tricky. You have to be prepared for a negative result. For this research I never like to go into validation research with only one option. It is more helpful if people are allowed to force rank multiple options and then give context as to why and then answer if they would be more or less likely to purchase based on product renders with the new brand mark. I also like to include 3 competitor brand marks as well and try to figure out how much of it is the brand mark and how much of it is marketing spend… this is a very complex question to answer with a lot of nuance.

In the end, the company has to be comfortable with the way you calculated ROI so whomever asked that question should be involved with developing the process.

Slightly different situation but I was part of a rebrand and product roll out 6 years ago. The product didn’t do as well as expected out of the gates and the board of directors were concerned that the new logo/brand identity/CMF palette was holding the product back. To see if they were right we designed a 400+ person survey. The survey went through different machinations for different users, but essentially created a force rank of the following:

largest competitor product
our product with the new logo
our product with the old logo
our product with the competitor’s logo
our product with the competitor’s CMF and competitor’s logo
our product with competitor’s CMF and our new logo
our product with competitor’s CMF and old logo
largest competitor’s product with our new logo
largest competitor’s product with our CMF

Out of all that ranking our new product with our new CMF with the competitor’s logo ranked the highest, their product with our CMF also ranked high, and our product with our new logo and CMF ranked higher than the old logo and CMF.

There were a lot of other contextual multiple choice questions in the survey, but the macro learning was we were not spending nearly enough on marketing and not in the right places and we didn’t have enough retail distribution in those places. We were relying on existing marketing and retail channel strategies to sell a new product.

Long story short, valuable things can be learned from these endeavors, but it is often worth having it set up by a firm who does this kind of quant research. Also, all of those things that we learned were already known to most of us in the company, but some filks need the hard data. We could have spent the million dollars it cost to learn that on more media buy, but this way we had more confidence in it.

I’ve thought about this a lot and just learned to accept that the ROI is really unknowable. I think the best clients work with the same mindset. All the research in the world can suggest a better path, but to translate that into sales is impossible.

Things to consider though:

  1. How mature is this company and product? Jif has no trouble forcasting because they have 60 years of detailed sales data. They’ve also cross-referenced that with other social-cultural trends to identify some of the trends that could cause increases or decreases in sales.

Another benefit with a comodity is that they also have a great opportunity to test out new packaging ideas in restricted geographic areas. They can ship a new package to Tucson and run local ads to measure the changes in sales.

  1. Measure the playing field. How big is the potential market? I used to do heating products. Heating products require buildings to put them on. Luckily, their are highly reliable, regularly updated statistics on buildings (how many, what type, how big, etc.). That allowed us to estimate what an upper boundary might be on a product.

It might sound surprising, but some entrepreneurs think they can sell 3-4 times more than the theoretical market. Every couple years I see a company that goes bust or loses a ton of money when they invest to make millions of something that could only ever sell thousands.

  1. How easy is it to change brands? Peanut butter is cheap and their are a dozen brands at every store. There is no cost to change. Today, I’m working in advanced technology. Our clients either buy our proprietary system or someone elses. The cost is large and these purchases require teams of managers to agree on the purchase. Getting the customer to change takes months or years.

The easier it is to change, the more market share one could get and over a shorter period of time.

Hope this helps, or at least gives you some ideas!

I appreciate all of the detail.

If the answer to your initial question of what is the budget for understanding the ROI is little to none, would you believe in finding a creative solution to leverage a budget or try to create a cheap analogous study, a prototype of sorts, to quickly provide an example of the value in it’s simplest form?

Secondly, would any of this matter if the company currently can’t keep up with orders being made?
If you have more orders than you can produce, does design still have a place in improving the identity of the brand?


Thank you!

If the budget is little to none, then the answer is going to be little to none as well :slight_smile:

I would not want to be held accountable to an ROI estimate based on nothing but a gorilla study.

I don’t know anything about the specifics of your company, your industry, or your specific situation, so I can’t really say (happy to consult though as I’ve lived through this a few times :slight_smile: ) but to answer your question “Secondly, would any of this matter if the company currently can’t keep up with orders being made? If you have more orders than you can produce, does design still have a place in improving the identity of the brand?” … don’t forget Motorola at one point couldn’t keep up with demand for the Razr. The marketplace can change quickly depending on your industry. In my opinion it is safer and easier to evolve a brand when it is doing well to prepare it for the future vs “harvesting” all of the equity and waiting for the numbers to drop to make changes.