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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Measuring Brand Power Against Market Uncertainty

Reported by InvestmentWires Staff, 

Amid tumultuous markets and lots of hand-washing and hand-wringing, MFWire sat down last Friday with three fundsters to discuss the necessity of strong branding during times of economic uncertainty.

Susan Avarde
Brandometry
Co-Founder, Chief Strategist
Todd Scorzafava (partner at Eagle Rock Capital and investment manager at New York City-based Brandometry), Susan Avarde (co-founder of Brandometry), and Larry Medin (co-founder and president of Brandometry), spoke to MFWire immediately after ringing the closing bell on Friday, March 6. (Brandometry powers an ETF from Exponential ETFs.)

(Unlike during typical NYSE bell-ringing ceremonies, guests were not allowed onto the floor of the Exchange due to COVID-19 fears. As the Brandometry team rang the iconic bell, only a few dozen vetted traders were wandering the floor, some in medical masks.)

Medin tells MFWire, "We started Brandometry [in 2015] because we became interested in the space for intangible assets. Lots of companies' full values weren't showing up on the books — we wanted to see how to measure brand specifically."

For the team at Brandometry, the "intangible" is measured using a zero to one-hundred score, calculated by researchers working directly with the company to gauge brand flexibility and strength against market values. Brandometry, Medin says, exists to support those companies whose brand value is significantly higher than their stock value.

"We're here to bridge the gap," he concludes.

"If a product has a solid brand," Scorzafava adds, "then even in times of turmoil, customers will stick with that product."

"It's harder to leap into the unknown," he continues, "than to stay with a brand you already know and trust. But, a brand that is unknown today can also be recognized worldwide tomorrow if you jump at the right moment. It's about stepping onto the scene at the right time and then maintaining your place there."

When asked what Brandometry project the team is most proud of, Avarde tells MFWire, "I was recently invited to go to NASA and discuss building brands."

NASA is currently the fifth most-followed brand on Instagram and the eighth most engaged-with brand on Twitter.

"Why continue to build a brand if it's already one of the most powerful around?" Avarde asks. "Easy," she continues. "You have to show that your brand can do even more than the public already knows. NASA may be known around the world for its space initiatives, but most people are unaware of its role in climate science, weather reporting, and other crucial on-Earth activities. A robust branding campaign can help with that."

She adds, "Now, even NASA has to compete with the private sector. SpaceX is on its way!" 

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