David Fowler: ‘Science brand equity builds public trust’

Science brand equity is emerging as a way for companies and institutions to build trust and communicate their contributions to 21st century sustainability.

Science brand equity is emerging as a way for companies and institutions to build trust and communicate their contributions to 21st century sustainability.

David Fowler: Science brand equity is the value science brings to a brand. If you deconstruct it, you could say that science is the improvement over a commodity that’s made available.

David Fowler is executive creative director at Ogilvy & Mather, an international advertising, marketing and public relations agency founded in 1948. He said companies use the term ‘brand equity’ to describe the measurable value of their brands. For example, Coca-Cola has the largest measured brand equity in the world, according to 2009 survey by Interbrand. It’s probably no accident that Coca-Cola also has a large science brand equity. In other words, Coke does a good job communicating its science. When Coke creates a better water purification system, or develops more efficient packaging, it’s increasing its science brand equity and building trust.

David Fowler: I think the public appreciates the science of a company when the value of that science is made clear. You have to make the science meaningful. You have to unlock the science within a brand.

Fowler said corporations need to communicate their science brand equity in order to convey how their science positively affects our world.

David Fowler: A particular brand reduces a million tons of CO2, but a much more meaningful way to unlock the equity there is to say that’s like eliminating 183,000 cars off the road. It gets more valuable when you really talk about the meaning of that science.

In order to make science meaningful to the general public, Fowler explained, companies must be willing to engage consumers with transparent practices. In modern culture – with pervasive Internet and especially social media – a company’s brand is an evolving conversation among consumers. Fowler said that science can amplify a company’s broader message to consumers.

David Fowler: Science brand equity really is value and when you unlock that value in a brand by communicating it, then you’ve created tremendous benefits. Science can be the underpinning reason to believe that a product is more than a commodity.

EarthSky