Brand Building Part 3: Creating Value vs. Price

Aperio FMCG ConsultingBrand Building Part 3: Creating Value vs. Price

By Michael Wood, Director of Aperio, a business consulting company focused on accelerating growth of FMCG brands in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Building brands is no easy matter. Brand marketing has never been more challenging, complex and competitive as it is today. This is the final of the series of blogs that outlines the common pitfalls brands make and provides insights on how to go from good to great brand building.

Value is not the same as price.

Many marketers focus on the price of their brand/s without emphasising their value. The reality for brands today is that price drives the agenda of South African retailers who push brands to over focus on price and discounting. It seems like an easy way to increase sales.

How many times do you see the product benefit clearly communicated versus the price paid? Take a walk down any supermarket aisle or look at promotions in-store, the only communication is on price, no communication on benefit, so no value creation.

Brand Building Part 3

TIP 1: Creating value versus price should be a focus of brand marketers.

  • By elevating the benefit of the product.
  • By changing product sizing even just for value comparison, how much does one product cost vs the pack cost. Value can be improved if you focus on cost per usage.
  • Elevating the risk of using a cheaper product.
  • Elevating the emotional benefit of your brand. Iconic brands create a strong emotional bond with consumers and in these cases price becomes less of a consideration.
  • Demonstrate value through innovation - if you innovate, it helps build emotional connections and trust - as you are seen to be leaders, price becomes less of a consideration.

TIP 2: Before you fall into the price war trap, ask yourself if you have identified and properly demonstrated the value of your product to consumers.

Marketing is only a piece of the puzzle.

The only consumer strategy that is relevant is one that gets executed. The best ideas and strategies might look good in your boardroom but if you don’t have the ability to execute, it’s irrelevant.

The problem is that marketers go for initiatives that are far too complicated or idealistic – they look good on paper but do not relate to the reality of the market or capabilities of the organisation to execute.

TIP 1: The best ideas are those that are easily understood and can be easily translated across media platforms. Most creative strategies fail because promotional campaigns are complicated or launch plans are not created while understanding the limitations of the organisation to execute it.

TIP 2: Consider the environment and the relevance of the creative ideas. What you think it will look like and what it actually looks like are two different things. Do you have a clear understanding of your organization’s execution ability and are you designing initiatives that can get executed?


For example marketers need to consider the packaging of promotional material – will it look good on the shelf, is it practical to transport?


Did you know that the majority of point of sale and displays don’t even leave warehouse because they are not suitable – they are too big, not accepted by the retailer or the brand manager over orders quantity. There is massive wastage purely because people are not thinking about execution.

TIP 3: Think about execution. A key issue is that marketing departments aren’t aware of the capabilities, limitations and priorities of other functions of the organisation. It is critical for all departments within the company to be aligned to the same goals and for the brand team to understand the capabilities and limitations of the organisation and design initiatives around these to ensure execution is flawless. There will be diverging priorities coming from different departments whose goals are not the same as yours, however to ensure that your brand initiative will be a success these should be aligned up front.