Despite the rapid pace of media and technology innovation, Procter & Gamble’s former top marketer Jim Stengel observes that the fundamentals of brand building haven’t changed.

“A lot of companies lose sight of that,” says Stengel, who left P&G in 2008, in an interview with Beet.TV. “They get consumed by the activity that is possible now, and they don’t ask those really simple powerful questions.”

In Stengel’s view, building a brand still comes down to understanding what the brand means to people and who you’re serving.

He notes that he used to refer often to Millward Brown’s annual BrandZ study tracking the 100 most valuable global brands and now urges his clients to make use of it in his role as a consultant. Beyond scanning which brands are up or down, the value is in the analysis of the “why” behind those movements and having a conversation with your team about it.

“I wish it had even more distribution. I wish the financial community read it as deeply as the marketing community,” he says. “The returns on these brands are way better than the S&P 500 or the MSCI.”

 

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