Did you know that 89% of shoppers will stay loyal to the Brand that shares shoppers’ values?
That sounds great, but how can a business resonate with potential customer’s values?
Also, does it apply to B2B markets? What is the meaning of Brand Equity? In this blog post, we will provide answers to all these questions.
Brand Equity: The key ingredient of a long-term success recipe!
Let us first address the “why” question? Why even think about brand equity? The answer is simple – better brand equity ensures long-term profits and long-term success.
I am sure you know Apple, Coca-Cola, Facebook, McDonald’s, and Google. And it is not a coincidence that of these brands are considered market leaders in terms of profit, market shares, and customer loyalty.
- Brand equity is the symbol of customer’s trust – Consumer neuroscience suggests trust is the key to winning customers.
- It helps you in expanding product lines with a relatively lower cost of advertising.
- It gives you an edge over the competition.
Brand equity is more than just a price tag. It is the value perceived by your potential customers. Is your brand “in sync” with their values? Can they identify themselves with emotions your brand creates? More importantly – do they want to identify with your brand?
As you can see, customers “own” brand perception. It is not what you say about your brand; it is what your customers say about your brand that matters.
At the very core, brand equity is the “reputation” of your brand. How do you build brand equity? The same way you build your reputation – you earn it.
Importance of Brand Equity
The companies that focus on branding earn more money as compared to their competitors. In other words, brand equity results in “High ROI.” Apple, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Burberry, and Armani are all expensive brands, but still, people buy them. If they cannot buy now, these names will definitely be on their bucket list. THIS IS BRAND EQUITY.
These famous brands have created enough trust in their audience globally. When your target customers trust you as a brand and value your products, they are even ready to pay higher.
Customer-Based Brand Equity Model:
We are looking at Brand Equity from the customer’s perspective. Therefore, the model for brand equity proposed by Keller encourages organizations to introspect and answer on following questions given in the model:
1st Step:- Brand identity
The famous brand equity model described by marketing guru Keller starts with “brand identity.” You need to study and come with a strong brand identity. A brand is like a living person. You as a marketer may be the starting point of your brand identity. However, the brand lives out in the world. “It is one of the organizing principles of a company” – to quote Philip Kotler. Your resellers, your vendors, and your employees are all part of your brand identity. Your brand positioning is very much part of your brand identity.
Think and try to answer the following questions:
Who are you as a brand? What is your identity as a brand?
Can you name the top 4 characteristics of your brand?
- Is your brand standing out?
- Do you have any compelling stories about your brand?
- What are people saying about your brand?
- What are consumers saying about your brand?
- Are your customers aware of your brand persona?
- Are you humanizing your brand?
These are only a few of the questions that can point in the right direction.
Your Brand positioning and Brand Image are particularly important.
2nd Step:- Brand Meaning (Brand Performance and Imagery)
Brand Performance deals with the question “What are you?” – how is your brand functioning? How well is it meeting the various needs of consumers?
When we are speaking about needs, we are not only covering physical needs. Customers have psychological and social needs. Is your brand aligned with their needs?
Brand Performance has the following characteristics:
- Primary or core features – customers want a product or service that must provide results clearly and unambiguously. A brand must communicate that it delivers results.
- Product /service durability and reliability: Is your Brand durable? Are you communicating about the reliability of your brand? For example, if you are an insurance advisory company, your brand must create trust. Also, it must communicate the ability to solve insurance claims faster. No one wants an insurance broker who will delay the claim.
- Service efficiency, effectiveness, and empathy – while efficiency and effectiveness are function-related, empathy is the human touch. You need to ensure that you are communicating about your brand correctly on all 3 aspects.
- Design and style: brand and product styling must be coherent. Your branding theme should be reflected in your product styling and design. For example, you know an apple device no matter which segment it caters to. It will have certain consistent elements.
- Pricing: Branding and pricing are related. You need to understand your target market and create pricing accordingly.
All these elements can vary across product lines.
If the aforementioned points are not taken care of, then there are high chances that your customers can unfollow you on a social media page.
Brand Imagery: Is your brand resonating with the social and psychological needs of your potential customer?
Your brand may deliver on physical needs, for example, speed of food delivery, the taste of food items, or the quality of a doctor’s consultation. Is your brand delivering on social needs?
In the examples above, if your food comes in recyclable packaging and if your kitchens are powered by solar energy, your Brand can share about green energy. Then, people who want to support such a kind of food business will love to share about your products. Also, they will be happy to associate with your product.
It is important to communicate Brand imagery in your marketing communications.
It is your chance to share your brand image with your potential customers.
Step 3: Brand Response
This step is a dance between customers and you. The brand response is your potential customers’ reaction to your brand. You must prepare your team to handle various kinds of responses. The brand response is customers’ judgment which they form by direct and indirect interactions with your brand. 4 key factors influence judgment:
- Credibility: it is the quality of being trustworthy. Is your brand seen as believable? Is your brand trustable? If customers think so, you crossed a major hurdle.
- Quality: you must ensure that not only does your brand deliver the quality, but it must also be perceived as delivering quality.
- Consideration: Is your Brand product/service aligned with what customers think they need? Do they believe that your offerings will help reduce some of their pain points?
- Superiority: Is your brand considered superior to other brands?
Though these points are not in your hands, you as a marketer must prepare your team to handle the response. To sum this up, you are creating enough impressions on your potential customers’ minds that they feel your products are different and worth purchasing!
Emotional response: Do not underestimate the emotional response a brand evokes. As customers respond to a brand according to emotions evoked by brand interactions, it is our job as marketers to create positive emotions.
Feeling of fun, excitement, warmth, or self-respect can really help a brand get positive attention from customers.
Step 4: Brand Resonance
Brand resonance is about creating ambassadors from your customers. It is the most engaging, rewarding, and difficult stage. It is the stage where Brands and customers find repeated and mutually rewarding engagements.
If your potential customers are attending your events, speaking about you, having groups where they discuss your products in a positive light, congratulations! You are now in a position to grow exponentially. Be aware; it is not a permanent position.
How do you measure brand equity?
We must have a way to measure the success of your brand!
You can look at market share, premium pricing, subscription base, and other metrics for calculating brand equity. It is also a measure of sentiments people have about your brand.
To sum up:
1. Create Brand Awareness:
Create a unique identity and ensure your potential customers become aware of your brand. Use logos, themes, and other branding elements to create a unique impression in the world.
Social media is the need of the business. It is a powerful marketing strategy to connect to a large audience on social media. For managing customer relationships and getting a new lead for the company, social media is a must. 70% of marketers have shared that they use social media to create brand awareness.
2. Communicate the meaning of your brand.
3. Harness the positive and helpful feelings and judgments about brand
4. Nurture your clients to create an engaging loyal community of customers
Many businesses spend a considerable amount of money building a relationship with potential customers and retaining old customers. Customer relationship management has a positive impact on brand equity.
Ways to nurture your clients and future customers
- Know your customer. The more you know them, the more successful you will be able to nurture them. Collecting the data of your target customer is the best way to know how you can serve them. This is called Buyer’s persona- creating a detailed profile of what your customer requires.
- Sending your customers and future customers regularly personalized emails about offers, new launches. This shows the commitment a business has for its customers.
- Inviting customers to like a business page or join the business group. Post relevant content, creatives to keep them engaged.
- Plan for how you can retain your customers.
We hope that you now have a definite plan on how to create brand equity. We would love to hear from you about how you are using this guide! Add your comments and let us know your success stories!