Interview – Brand Finance Spokesperson Teresa de Lemus,
Managing Director Brand Finance Spain
I started my professional career in Brussels in advertising self-regulatory entities and the media defending the interests of the media, advertisers and regulators against the EU. My entire professional career since then has been aimed at representing business interests in favor of their highest and best benefit. After 15 years I joined Brand Finance due to the technical rigor and the philosophy of humility and customer orientation, an activity that I combine with my three babies and that is only possible thanks to the support and family involvement of my husband.
1. What changes have you noticed during the years at the helm of Brand Finance Spain?
Spain is a very open market, not only to technical knowledge that recognizes and values it, but also to the possibility of doing things differently. I have been particularly interested in these years how marketing and finance departments are receptive to new processes and ways of studying and analyzing data or information as well as using new tools to improve their results if necessary.
2. In Brand Finance you work with top-level companies, Ibex 35 companies and other large Spanish companies. What level of importance do you see that they give to the brand in these companies? Are they convinced of the strategic value of the brand in the business?
Rather, I would almost dare to say it the other way around. They are companies that have reached those levels because they understand the power of the brand and know how to manage it. The brand is the summary of your value proposition, your reputation, your trust. They have it more than clear.
3. What about all those large family businesses that are unknown to the general public but with astronomical turnover figures?
At Brand Finance, it is the type of client that we enjoy the most, since they are the ones that obtain the most attractive results and the shortest term from our advice. They are usually companies with a lot of desire to do things, but bureaucracies and intra-stories make it difficult to carry out many very interesting projects.
4. What do you think will be the keys to branding and marketing in the coming years?
The creativity. Doing things differently will always be the key but there is a false belief in thinking that this is for “daring” or those who “have a nose”. Innovating and being creative does not have to be a leap into the void, but with the appropriate analysis and data, it is necessary to know how to base it on the correct information and properly guide it towards the result with better turnover for the business in the short and long term
5. What advice would you give to the brand managers of Spanish companies?
None. They are the ones who know the business. I can only offer you tools to facilitate your work with the internal and external clients, but beyond that I would not dare.
6. We have witnessed how, during the crisis, companies that have opted for branding and communication have better resisted the impact. Do you think it is because they already had a strong brand or other actions they have launched? What advantages does having a strong brand bring to a company?
The strong brand has to not only come but stay. We all know examples of brands that have known how to reinvent themselves and take advantage of their brand to diversify and others that did not see it coming. For that you have to watch 3 fronts a lot: What you have, with whom you compete and who buys you.
7. If we look at Spain, there are few brands that we can consider truly global. What do you think it is due to and what is the recipe to increase the internationalization of our brands? What brands do you see with the greatest potential to internationalize?
Spanish brands, for ease of language, have always tended to go to Latin America, which does not have to be the most appropriate. In both expansion and diversification decisions, many variables must be taken into account, as well as short and long returns. Try to risk as little as possible.
8. What are the great challenges that a brand and its managers currently face?
At Brand Finance we work every day to “unite the Marketing and Finance departments”, that is our motto and the substance of everything we do. Providing the tools to the brands so that these two areas speak the same language is essential to grow the brand and the business. At this time, more than ever if possible, it is essential that these areas have accurate information to properly establish strategies in a context of uncertainty.
9. In the current context where there are so many sectors affected, which do you think will be the Spanish brands that will benefit the most and why? Do you have any forecast for 2021?
In general, in all contexts, the more information available to decide, the better. At Brand Finance we are continuously studying the brand and the parameters that comprise it. We have recently obtained a finding of how two variables (familiarity and consideration) impact market share. These results, published in our BrandBeta report, are one more example of how information can give you light. Not only know what market share you can aspire to obtain but also to anticipate and correct it in time if you are not on track.
10. Before finishing, would you like something else?
Monitoring and measurement tools like ours where we value and evaluate the brand not only help to make decisions but also facilitate the argumentation and defense of a job well done, of the decisions taken and above all, of knowing what to correct as and when if something it is not working as it should.