October 11, 2023

Aren’t the direct effects of branding on revenue hard to measure?

Fellow list member Yehudis Blicksilber replied to yesterdays message to ask a follow up question (shared with permission):

Thanks! Eagerly read that.

Thank you for the invitation for questions. I would hate to ask for $$$ worth of advice for free uninvited :)

This question really resonated with me as a graphic/brand designer:

“How strongly do you think it’s safe for me to guarantee business results from the content they’re buying?”

I find that the direct effects of branding on revenue are hard to measure (possibly because much of the benefit of solid branding is long-term?), and I’m wondering what kind of benefit/ROI I can actually guarantee potential clients.

Looking forward to hearing your take on this!

Classic question!

Other than salespeople, very few professionals offer a service that could be considered to have a direct effect on revenue.

Almost everything (e.g., branding, positioning, marketing, design, development, product management, project management, inventory management, supply chain logistics, etc) is upstream or downstream of sales.

For example...

You could be the best SEO person in the world and drive a billion views to a client’s e-commerce website, but you can’t be sure your contribution will increase their revenue.


Because a bunch of things could go wrong “downstream” of your part that you have no control over:


How can an SEO person - or branding expert or marketing agency or CRO freelancer or whatever else - guarantee increased revenue?

They can’t.


The client can.

Here’s how it would work in the SEO example:

If, in your sales interview with the prospective client, you ask something like:

“Why would you pay someone like me a fortune to do your SEO?”

...and they say something like:

“Because we know that for every 10% increase in traffic, our revenue will double!”

...then THEY have tied your contribution (i.e., increased traffic) to their desired outcome (i.e., increased revenue).