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Why Your Brand Is Your Best Investment For High Returns – Forbes

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Think about some of the brand names you’ve come to know and love: Apple, Amazon, Nike, Coca-Cola. Just saying these names can evoke images, emotions and sometimes even cravings. You get instant satisfaction just thinking about the brands you enjoy buying from or working with.

But these brands weren’t built with a single marketing campaign. It took years of investment in the brands themselves to get to the point they’re at now.

This is something I’ve personally struggled with while building my business. It’s easy to focus on the return on investment in every marketing campaign you deliver, but rarely does that small-scope attitude translate into big-name brand building. For seriously high returns, you need to invest in the brand itself.

What does it mean to invest in brand identity?

Your brand’s identity is more than just what you sell customers. It’s not even the benefits you can provide your clients or the results they can expect from working with you. A brand identity is something much more personal than just benefits and solutions. It’s who you are.

Let’s take Disney, for example. Disney’s brand is not movies or theme parks. It’s the magical storytelling abilities that create emotional connections with consumers. With each marketing campaign Disney runs, it is not focusing on selling just a movie, a ride or a product. Instead, it is selling the experience.

In other words, Disney is using its marketing to invest in its brand identity – not just to sell more products.

Why is investing in your brand so important?

When you invest in your brand, rather than just a product or campaign, you’re giving your audience a long-term connection with your business. This means you’ll have a preset group of interested buyers each time you introduce something new.

Let’s go back to Disney. While Disney spends loads of money on marketing and product development, having its logo connected with what it’s putting out to the market gives it an instant boost. Its audience knows what they’re getting – a high-quality, magical experience.

When the campaign stops or the products are purchased, the consumer’s relationship with the business doesn’t end. That’s because Disney has a brand, not just a business.

Investing in your brand can bring similar returns. When you have a brand to back what your business provides, your brand image can give your marketing campaigns, products and other business endeavors instant validation.

A high-quality brand can also bring you better customers. When customers feel a connection with your business, they’ll buy time and time again. Because it costs less money to convert past customers than convince new ones to purchase, investing in your brand can save you money in the long run.

Customers who value your brand will also pay a premium for your products. When you have a powerful brand attached to your products or services, customers will know they’re getting a quality item and will be willing to pay higher prices.

Not only will they pay a premium, but they’ll be faster to buy. With a great brand, you’ll need to do less convincing to sell. This gives your sales team an advantage and allows you to sell more products, again boosting your bottom line.

How does a great brand impact your return on investment?

Marketing or selling without a brand means you’re constantly starting and stopping campaigns. With each new campaign you run or sales strategy you try, you’re starting from scratch. You need to find and convince an entirely new audience that your products or services are worth what you’re asking for.

However, when you have a high-quality brand, your campaigns build off the last. Each campaign is an investment in getting to know your audience better and giving them what they’re looking for. When you’re able to make that connection, you’ll spend less money over time on marketing and sales.

To truly get the most of your investment, focus on building a brand – not just selling a product. To bring consistent branding throughout your various channels, start with your visual brand. Select colors, a logo and other visual standards that help your audience identify when something belongs to you.

Next, focus on your language and messaging. Using the same tone, understanding and perspective throughout your written content can evoke the brand feeling you’re hoping to create. By consistently using the same language and messaging, your audience will develop their expectations of your brand and resonate more strongly with your business.

Through weaving your brand identity throughout everything you do, you can make more money over time and reap all the benefits that a high-quality brand can provide.

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Vancouver investment firm bought under fraudulent circumstances: IIROC – Powell River Peak

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Vancouver-headquartered investment firm PI Financial Corporation was purchased under fraudulent pretences, according to allegations set out in a notice of hearing from Canada’s investment regulator.

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization (IIROC) alleges Gary Man Kin Ng and Donald Warren Metcalfe duped their lenders, who assisted them in buying PI Financial in 2018 for $100 million.

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Ng personally guaranteed the loans used to buy the firm, however, “despite his representations, Ng did not actually own, control or have trading authority over the securities accounts pledged as collateral,” according to IIROC. “Instead, ownership and control of the collateral was falsified by Ng and Metcalfe.”

Before buying PI Financial, which is said to employ over 300 people across Canada, Ng, 36, was an Approved Person and a Registered Representative for selling securities. He owned a Winnipeg-based firm named Chippingham Financial Group Limited via various corporate structures referred to by IIROC as the Ng Group. In November 2018, Ng, through the Ng Group, acquired a 100% controlling interest in PI Financial, IIROC stated in a notice of hearing that has scheduled a preliminary appearance on January 6, 2021.

Ng is said to have borrowed $80 million from “Lender One” and $20 million from “Lender Two.”
As security for the loans, “Ng purportedly granted separate, unencumbered security interests to Lender One, and also to Lender Two, over collateral including certain Chippingham securities accounts (later PI Financial accounts) which were owned by him,” stated IIROC, adding such representations were fake.

Ng is accused of “vastly overstating” the value of assets in the accounts and altering securities account statements.

“Metcalfe also perpetrated a fraud as he directly and actively participated with Ng in the falsification and distribution of false and/or fictitious account documentation to lenders,” it said in the November 24 notice of hearing.

In addition to the $100 million to buy PI Financial, Ng and Metcalfe borrowed a further $40 million from Lender Two and then $32 million from a third lender – all based on falsified collateral.

Although PI Financial was 100% owned by Ng, company officials “became aware of the issues concerning Ng’s purported ownership of securities accounts at the end of January 2020, and immediately reported these matters to IIROC,” the notice states.

Both men failed to attend an interview with IIROC enforcement staff over the summer.

IIROC said, “Ng, who was born in 1984, represented himself to others as an extremely successful businessperson who created enormous personal wealth through highly successful technology, real estate and manufacturing investments in Canada and China.”

At the time of the PI Financial purchase, Ng spoke of the deal with BNN Bloomberg, whose hosts noted how unique the deal was, given most investment firms are bought by large corporate entities, not individuals.

Metcalfe, meanwhile, was someone who worked initially with Ng at Chippingham.

Some details of the alleged lies are outlined in the notice. For example, several accounts Ng purported to have a value of $91 million actually had a value of $1.9 million.

IIROC proceedings are civil and not criminal. Should the allegations be proven, Ng and Metcalfe face any of the following corrective measures: a reprimand; disgorgement of any losses; a maximum $5 million fine; suspension or prohibition of activities; and a permanent ban from the industry.

gwood@glaciermedia.ca
 

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Investment firms cautious on reopening plans, notification procedures – Investment Executive

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Financial sector could be a Covid-19 long hauler: Fitch

Banks in particular face future earnings, ratings challenges due to pandemic

Crisis coming in seniors’ care if governments don’t shift investments: report

Current spending levels of 1.3% of GDP could soar to 4.2% by 2041, says report

  • By: IE Staff
  • November 27, 2020
    November 27, 2020
  • 11:44

Global house prices rose in the face of Covid-19: BIS

Canada among the housing market leaders, both short and long term

Markets move past election uncertainty

With Biden’s transition underway, investors have shifted their focus to Covid vaccines and economic recovery

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Takeaways from our 2021 investment outlook: Legacy of the lockdowns – Investors' Corner BNP Paribas

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Here we summarise the big picture for investors at the end of 2020. This constitutes the starting point for our 2021 investment outlook.

  • Since the 2008 global financial crisis, the global economy has been mired in anaemic growth and weak demand, tempered by consistently rising asset prices.
  • In 2020 the global economy faced a crisis of unprecedented magnitude (see Exhibit 1 below) after the pandemic lockdowns. After a contraction of 4.4% in 2020 the IMF forecasts global growth of 5.4% in 2021. Overall, this would leave 2021 GDP some 6.5% lower than in the pre-COVID-19 projections of January 2020. The adverse impact on low-income households is particularly acute, imperilling the significant progress made in reducing extreme poverty over the last 30 years. Countering inequality is a key challenge to be met in 2021 and beyond.

Exhibit 1: Largest decline since WWII – graph shows change in world gross domestic product (inflation-adjusted, in %)

Source: BNP Paribas Asset Management, as of 26/11/2020

  • Under the best-case scenario, one or more vaccines for COVID-19 become widely available by the second half of 2021. Otherwise, the disease remains a longer-term threat requiring us to ‘live with’ the virus – repeated lockdowns will not be a sustainable long-term strategy.
  • In 2020, advanced economies loosened the monetary and fiscal reins most spectacularly. Debt-to-GDP ratios soared, rising for many countries by more than they did in the years after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Major central banks have largely financed the increase in budget deficits, monetising an expanding national debt, much as Japan has done.
  • One way to understand the weakness in aggregate economic demand is to study real interest rates (the ‘price’ of money in the economy). In 2006, the real yield of the 10-year inflation-protected US Treasury bond was between 2% and 3%. Since 2010, its yield has mostly been below 1%, including a spell in negative territory both in 2012 and again in 2020. Negative real yields are now common to the G3 economies (see Exhibit 2 below) and beyond. In 60% of the global economy — including 97% of advanced economies — central banks have pushed policy interest rates to below 1%. In one-fifth of the world, policy rates are negative.

Exhibit 2: Real yields are now negative for G3 sovereign debt – graph shows changes in real yields for US, Japanese and eurozone government debt between 1997 and 16/11/2020.

Source: BNP Paribas Asset Management, as of 26/11/2020

  • In 2020, these meagre interest rates, along with cheap, low-risk liquidity from central banks, led asset prices higher. Risk premia for risky assets shrank. Companies whose revenues have plummeted — cruise lines, airlines, cinemas — were able to borrow money in 2020 to survive. Investors had few higher-yield options. Will central banks continue to supply such liquidity in 2021?
  • And how is all this debt to be paid for? The appropriate historical parallel is perhaps the post-World War II period, when central banks capped bond yields at levels well below the trend GDP growth rate to gradually reduce the national debt as a proportion of GDP.
  • Alternatively, instead of financial repression and inflation (as post WW2), the extraordinarily low real interest rates we have seen over the past decade could help achieve fiscal sustainability. It would, however, be imprudent to count on it. No policymaker should expect real interest rates to remain persistently below the growth rate of real GDP. Indeed, forecast imbalances in planned global savings and investment could drive real interest rates higher (ageing societies save a lot, but old societies do not).
  • Another risk is that improved real trend growth does not come to the rescue. Lower global growth after the pandemic accompanied by inadequate fiscal stimulus would leave marginal sections of the economy vulnerable to collapse. Such an outcome would test the paradigm of modest growth, low inflation and supportive central bank policy that has supported asset prices since 2008.

Today we face three interconnected crises – health, economic and climate. The instability provoked by the pandemic presents a window of opportunity to pivot in a new direction. Long-term environmental viability, equality and inclusive growth are essential pre-conditions to a sustainable economy. By taking a holistic, systemic, long-term view, we are less likely to be surprised by crises and better able to manage them.

For in-depth insights into what’s next for the global economy and markets, read our 2021 investment outlook, ‘Legacy of the lockdowns’


Any views expressed here are those of the author as of the date of publication, are based on available information, and are subject to change without notice. Individual portfolio management teams may hold different views and may take different investment decisions for different clients. The views expressed in this podcast do not in any way constitute investment advice.

The value of investments and the income they generate may go down as well as up and it is possible that investors will not recover their initial outlay. Past performance is no guarantee for future returns.

Investing in emerging markets, or specialised or restricted sectors is likely to be subject to a higher-than-average volatility due to a high degree of concentration, greater uncertainty because less information is available, there is less liquidity or due to greater sensitivity to changes in market conditions (social, political and economic conditions).

Some emerging markets offer less security than the majority of international developed markets. For this reason, services for portfolio transactions, liquidation and conservation on behalf of funds invested in emerging markets may carry greater risk.

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