If someone asked you to list your favorite brands, what would be included on that list? Chances are, you will likely come up with a list including names like Coke, Netflix, Dove, and others.
Besides having large and involved fan bases, all these brands have other commonalities:
- They have huge footprints
- They are instantly recognizable
- They have a lot of brand equity
Brand Equity Defined
Brand equity is defined as the brand value determined by customer perception and experiences.
If there are people who think highly of a brand, it means it has positive brand equity.
If a brand is consistently under-delivering and disappoints to the point where people suggest that others avoid it, it is said to have negative brand equity.
The Importance of Brand Equity
Brands need to have equity because it results in consumer loyalty, which yields more sales and increased profits. Positive brand equity allows brands to charge higher prices thanks to increased perceived value in the market. It also makes it possible to expand product lines and impact society somehow.
That sounds like a smart move, right? While this may be the case, the next question is – how do you create or acquire brand equity? How do you foster its growth?
It all starts with your consumers. Learn more about building brand equity here.
1. Engage Your Prospects and Customers
One of the fastest and easiest ways to determine your current brand equity is by speaking to customers. Once you have a starting point, you can grow from that point.
It may include hiring several customer service representatives and sending out feedback forms automatically, all while incentivizing responses or utilizing dedicated email addresses for feedback. Additionally, spotting issues and then fixing them right away is one of the best ways to build trust in the brand. It will also help ensure that customers return.
Other options to enhance customer engagement include providing behind-the-scenes looks, Q&As, and newsletters.
2. Foster Relationships While Growing Trust
Since your brand equity is tied to the customer experience, you need to mirror your efforts to build customer relationships. The first step is to create brand awareness and encourage customers to try a service or product.
If the first two are successful, and your brand is made a preference, it can eventually move into the spot of a favorite for that customer. In the best situation, the endpoint is a customer selecting your product and becoming an evangelist for your brand to share their experience and invite other people into the mix.
You want customers who think so highly of your brand and the products or services associated with it that they can’t stop saying positive things about it. To do this, you must nurture relationships and turn your customers into fans. When you do this successfully, you can increase your brand equity.
3. Increase Brand Awareness
Increasing brand awareness, or how well your customers know your brand, will help increase brand equity. This is the case if consumer awareness is all about positive associations and experiences rather than a brand faux pas. This, of course, would result in the brand losing equity.
Eventually, awareness results in consumer trust for the brands that play their cards right. Increased awareness is not a never-ending process, however. It includes several steps, including embracing the brand’s values and interacting with customers via social media even if they are not looking to buy something right then.
Think about it this way. You meet someone whom you want to be friends with. You would likely walk away from them if they asked for loyalty or money, right?
This is not a good way to approach a new friendship and leaves a lasting impression. The same is true when it comes to brand awareness with your audience.
You can use other methods to increase awareness. Some examples include creating free content, sponsoring events, starting a podcast, or offering a freemium model for your services. How your brand connects with customers depends on if you create awareness with the right people.
You can use audience targeting to connect with the right shoppers at the right time and in the right place, which helps generate new and quality traffic to your website.
4. Tell the Story of Your Brand
Once you know what your brand stands for, you must effectively communicate the values to your customers through your brand story. You can include your story on your website and weave parts of it into your other brand assets, such as email outreach and social media.
People gravitate toward the storytelling model. The brands that can communicate the message successfully are the ones that are more likely to establish real relationships with their customers. This is also going to set the stage for additional equity.
5. Make an Investment in the Overall Customer Experience
The overall customer experience lies at the heart of brand equity. It should not be a huge surprise that investing here can be extremely beneficial. In some situations, just doing some research to figure out customer pain points in the industry and building a brand experience from this will help eliminate the pitfalls. However, it also means you may need to follow the marketing tactic that is called “surprise and delight.”
This is something that Amazon perfected; however, it doesn’t mean that other brands can’t learn from it and use it too. When you work to ensure all customer touchpoints are a positive experience, it will pay off with positive brand equity.
While brand experience depends on factors like customer needs and your industry, brands are smart to consider how they can create a unique customer experience that helps them stand out from the competition. This is another way to appeal to customers while building more brand equity.
6. Know Where Your Brand Equity Originates From
You have to know and monitor where your brand equity is originating. To do this, you must conduct frequent audits of your ongoing marketing efforts.
Your brand audit needs to include a history of the most recent marketing efforts for your brand and information regarding the customer’s response to the efforts. The second of these can be found in focus groups, surveys, and consumer research. The goal is to figure out if the perception of the brand and the outreach you have invested in is aligned with the customer’s views.
7. Utilize a Brand Equity Management System
You may create a brand equity charter when you have a strong brand. This will highlight your philosophy and provide details about acceptable users for brand assets and the results of the brand audits. Usually, this is given to the company executives periodically (i.e., annually, quarterly, or monthly).
The brand equity report describes what is happening inside the brand and why.
This allows brands to remain focused on the equity-building goals that have been set rather than being distracted and investing in methods that don’t benefit the brand’s long-term vision.
8. Design Marketing Programs for the Future
Brand equity is a type of bridge. It works to help marketing professionals move from the past into the future.
This means that the dollars you spend every year on marketing efforts can be viewed as investments rather than expenses. They invest in what consumers know, believe, recall, feel, and think about this brand.
This helps marketing pros determine what they should do next to build additional equity.
Everything that your business does can either build or detract from your overall brand equity. If you have built a strong brand, you have fully embraced this concept. You are also leveraging it to help your brand continue to grow and find more success.
What Is the Key to Brand Equity?
As you should have learned above, brand equity’s foundation is customer perception and experience. When you first start building it, you need to do so how you approach new relationships.
Communication is invaluable from the initial encounter and through each touchpoint. This is a classic example of why brands like Coke, Netflix, and Dove are so well-ranked among customers.
However, you don’t have to have the resources that international companies do to increase your brand’s equity. The key, instead, is to listen to what your customers are saying, engage with them regardless of where they are on your customer journey, and provide a quality and incomparable experience.
Let Small Business SEO Help
Regarding brand equity, there are more than a few factors to consider. At Small Business SEO, our professionals will help you achieve your goals and increase your brand equity considerably.
Let us help you achieve a reputation like bigger brands have without having to make investments you can’t realistically afford. We are here to help; contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss your needs and goals.
Your brand equity matters, and we can ensure it provides a positive benefit by enhancing your existing marketing efforts. Contact us today to learn more about growing your brand equity.