What is the ROI on Branding & Marketing? 

Did you know branding can make or break a business in today’s fiercely competitive market? 

I’m Mike Richters, Agency Lead at Kingscom Worldwide, a boutique marketing agency based in Singapore. As commissioned by DutchCham, I’m excited to kick off our series on branding and marketing. Join me as we explore the vital role of branding and marketing in driving business success: 

  1. Why should you strategically invest in branding and marketing?
  2. Why should you spend between 10 and 15% of your annual budget on branding and marketing?
  3. And what is the effect of these investments on your bottom line?

As Agency Lead, I’ve spoken to various business leaders who question the value of marketing. From startups wondering if their products can speak for themselves to SMEs hesitant about website investments when free templates exist, their concerns are understandable. But here’s the key: strategic branding and marketing shouldn’t be considered expenses; they’re investments in long-term growth. 

These viewpoints, while common, overlook a fundamental truth: strategic branding and marketing aren’t just expenses; they’re investments in long-term success.

A renowned marketing expert, Seth Godin, encapsulates this notion by defining a brand as “the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” Essentially, if consumers aren’t willing to pay extra, choose your product, or spread the word about your brand, its value remains elusive.

According to a report by Ernst & Young, robust branding significantly influences investment decisions and exit strategies. It often serves as a crucial factor for venture capitalists and investors, with branding identified as one of the top considerations when evaluating startups for potential investment or acquisition. A strong brand can command a premium in the market, attract favorable investment terms, and facilitate higher valuations at exit.

Forbes Research found that solid brands experience significant improvements in financial metrics, including revenue and profits. This finding aligns with the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MABS) research, emphasizing the correlation between brand strength and financial performance. Stronger brands generate higher revenues and profits than weaker ones, indicating the importance of investing in strategic branding initiatives for sustainable business growth and profitability.

If you need more facts to convince you about the strategic importance of branding and marketing, do you know that your brand is worth 20% of your company’s value on your balance sheet? I often ask startup founders if they want to sell their company for 100 million or 120 million. We all know the answer to that question. Why not take your branding and marketing more seriously? 

Let’s look at two great examples of companies whose brand and branding are as successful as their products and services: a B2B company and a B2C company. 

  1. Stripe’s Global Expansion (B2B):
    • Timeline: Since its inception in 2010, Stripe has steadily expanded its global operations, experiencing significant growth in recent years.
    • Quantifiable Impact: By 2024, Stripe’s valuation soared past $100 billion, solidifying its position as a leading fintech player globally. This valuation surge is attributed to Stripe’s strategic investments in branding and marketing, which facilitated its expansion into new markets and cemented its reputation. Industry experts estimate that Stripe allocates a substantial portion of its budget to targeted marketing campaigns, developer outreach initiatives, and brand-building endeavors, contributing to its sustained growth and dominance.

  1. Beyond Meat’s Market Penetration (B2C):
    • Timeline: Following its IPO in 2019, Beyond Meat has experienced exponential growth, particularly in recent years.
    • Quantifiable Impact: Beyond Meat’s revenue skyrocketed by 68% year-over-year in 2023, reaching $490 million. This remarkable growth can be directly attributed to the company’s strategic branding efforts and innovative marketing campaigns. By highlighting sustainability and health in its branding, Beyond Meat positioned itself as a frontrunner in the plant-based food industry, resonating with health-conscious consumers and expanding its market share. The company’s investment in creative advertising, influencer collaborations, and product innovation enabled it to penetrate new markets and achieve remarkable revenue growth, showcasing the tangible returns of effective branding and marketing strategies.

Courtesy: Beyond Meat

I hope to have inspired you to reexamine your branding and marketing efforts, raised your awareness of the doubts surrounding my craft, and revealed the true potential of branding and marketing as strategic investments for long-term success.

As we wrap up, it’s worth remembering that branding isn’t just about logos and slogans; it’s about building trust and fostering relationships with your audience. Your brand is your reputation, which is pretty much everything, right? It’s the difference between blending in and standing out, stagnation and growth. And marketing? It’s the amplifier that broadcasts your brand’s message far and wide.

I urge you to leap of faith and invest in your brand’s future. Whether you’re a startup or a seasoned corporation, branding and marketing can propel you to new heights of success. As they say, actions speak louder than words, and the results speak volumes.


Mike Richters is the Agency Lead of www.kingscom.com, a full-stack marketing agency based in Singapore. Contact Kingscom Worldwide for branding, content creation, digital marketing & SEO, event production, social media management, and web design and development. Expect more, get more.   

Guide To Going Public – EY

‘The Financiel Power Of Brabnd Preference by Forbes Insights

‘Brand Investment & Valuation – Marketing Accountability Standards Boards