4 Ways to Improve Brand Equity

Brand equity is the value that consumers assign to a business based on their perception of its quality. A company with higher brand equity can charge more for its product than a competitor, such as the difference between name brand and generic at the grocery store. This is the reason why graphic designers insist on working on a Mac, or why Starbucks constantly has a huge line to get coffee.

Your brand is one of the most valuable assets your company has, and it should be treated as such. Building brand equity comes with a whole host of benefits, one of the most important being the impact on your bottom line. For example, let's consider two companies, Lululemon and Lands End. These two companies both receive their athletic clothing from the same factory, however Lululemon charges a much higher price for its product than Lands End. The reason for this is that Lululemon has more brand equity than Lands End, so they can charge more for their products.

Besides the financial advantages to building a brand, there is another intangible advantage. This is the ability to grow customer loyalty. According to a survey conducted by Invesp, it can cost up to five times as much to attract a new customer as maintaining a current one. Brands with loyal customers are also more resilient to any downturn in the economy.

1. Communicate with Aspirational Marketing

Loyal customers are paying for more than just the product you offer, they are paying for the lifestyle that your product represents. Consumers want the products they buy to transform them into the people they aspire to be. To build brand equity, a company needs to promote a lifestyle that is attractive to its target buyers. Spend time researching your ideal customer personas and figure out what their interests and goals are and then incorporate that into your brand. Apple is one of the industry leaders as far as creating a lifestyle around their products. In a 2016 report by BBMG, aspirational buyers were described as influenced by “their love of shopping ... and their trust in brands to act in the best interest of society.” Apple incorporates these ideals into their company by providing a sleek and unique experience for their customers. Everything about their shopping experience exudes luxury. Apple has also done a masterful job of showing the potential of its products to positively impact the world and bring about change. Incorporating these tactics into your brand allows for an emotional connection to form between customers and your brand. This connection makes consumers more likely to value your brand higher than that of your competitors.

2. Ensure Your Branding is Unique, Consistent, and Visible

For consumers to trust your brand, they must first know your brand. Through the use of consistent and creative marketing campaigns, you can help consumers familiarize themselves with your company. First, ensure that your branding is unique by having a different logo, tone, fonts, and graphics than your competitors. After establishing your branding, make sure to keep consistency across all channels, whether on your website, on business cards, or even a banner at a charity function. If you are unsure how to manage your brand, consider management software such as BrandOS, which organizes and stores your brand on the cloud for easy access and simplifies the sharing of your brand to any external organization. Regardless of how you choose to manage your brand, make sure that you maintain consistency. Consistency is key to brand recognition and thus customer loyalty.

3. Make Social Proof Work to Your Advantage

Social proof is a concept where humans value one item over another due to the opinions and experiences of others. One example of this is when trying to choose between similar products on Amazon. We tend to lean towards whichever of the two products has more positive reviews. Social proof marketing is a major opportunity to grow your brand equity, as the perceived value of the brand grows with each positive review. One of the most common ways to take advantage of social proof is to create a customer loyalty program or an ambassador program which incentivizes customers to promote your brand. Correctly utilizing the power of social proof can provide an exponential boost to both the number of customers of a company and also the revenue generated.

4. Monitor Brand Equity for Sustainable Growth

Building your brand takes time and consistent effort, but is the key to increasing customer loyalty, brand value, and ultimately your bottom line. The most efficient way to achieve your brand-building goals is to continuously monitor and track your brand recognition and brand image over time. This can be done through the use of analytics such as website traffic, social media activity, and revenue tracking.

Only after your core values and beliefs are incorporated into your brand and it is utilized consistently across all channels will you start to see results. This process is not something that can be done overnight. However, you can start the process of building a better brand at any time.

Author

Alex Pueschel

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