“Brand equity” might sound like marketing jargon… and, well, it is. However, that doesn’t mean it’s something to dismiss. A little brand equity strategising can go a long way towards maximising the impact of your overall brand and marketing decisions.
- What is brand equity? Brand equity is the value that your brand generates for your business. It’s created by a combination of your brand loyalty, awareness of your brand, how customers perceive your brand and the emotions your brand generates.
- What is a brand equity strategy? Brand equity strategies are ways in which your brand, business and marketing decisions impact brand equity outcomes.
Here, we’re going to explore ways in which you can create an effective brand equity strategy by providing practical advice on how even small tweaks can improve outcomes. Let’s get started.
Strategy 1: Have a clear brand identity
This might sound a bit like an egg-sucking lesson, but the fundamentals of strong brand equity involve having a clear brand identity. However, implementing brand identities can seem like a task and a half — getting Tina in HR to obey the TOV in the brand guidelines every time she edits the newsletter can be migraine-inducing to even the most stoic of brand managers. The second you let that slip, you’re losing brand equity. What’s more, this can snowball and eventually result in the death of your brand equity by a thousand cuts.
Make your identity the heart and soul of the guidelines. Start with questions that explain who you are as a brand:
- Why does our company exist? (and don’t just say to pay the bills)
- What makes us different?
- What’s our story?
- What are our values?
- Is there an office cat? If there isn’t an office cat, how soon can we get one?
Ok, maybe not the last one, but you get it — a consistent understanding across the business of your brand identity is vital. However, beyond knowing what you need to do to ensure consistency of your brand identity, everyone who has a hand in making anything that a customer will see in the end needs access to your brand guidelines need access to the same guidelines. From the CEO to the cat that may or may not exist mentioned above (thanks Shrödinger), if your brand identity has any hope of being consistent, you need a centralised solution to brand identity criteria — from logos to infographics to powerpoint templates and brand guidelines.
Luckily for you, we’ve put together a comprehensive checklist of all the components required for a successful brand identity, check it out here — The Brand Consistency Toolkit.
Strategy 2: Keep things consistent
If something is consistent, it’s reliable. If something’s reliable, it’s easy to trust and to use repeatedly. What’s more, it helps with brand recognition. The more you see something, the easier it is to recognise. Here are the stats:
- It takes 5 to 7 impressions for people to remember a brand
- Presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%1 or even 33% according to some studies
- Using a signature colour can increase brand recognition by 80%2
- 73% of customers prefer brands with friendly customer service
- Of the top 100 brands, a whopping 95 use just one or two colours in their logo3
So brand recognition, and therefore brand CONSISTENCY, can legitimately help a business to make more sales. However, there are obvious challenges facing the brand manager in this respect. Consistency can be incredibly hard to maintain for digital marketers — particularly given the variety of channels being utilised.
Brand Management Software is the remedy you need to start and maintain a consistent brand. You’ll be able to give everyone who needs it access to the various icons and imagery that make up your brand, plus the smart workflow automations (available in only the best software solutions) means that they’ll never use the wrong logo in the wrong place again.
Strategy 3: Reward loyalty and build good products
Ok, gather round, this one’s a revelation: to build strong brand equity, you need to create exceptional brand experiences. However, it’s extra important to represent your products and services with sincere honesty. Marketing isn’t about spin anymore — you’re not a travelling snake oil salesman — it’s about positioning truths in an honest and appealing manner.
A hot tip for keeping on top of this customer perception malarky is to reward loyalty. Ways to reward loyalty in an effective, engaging way could include:
- Building a loyalty scheme: Do your customers get a discount if they buy a certain amount of items or accrue a certain amount of points?
- Get on top of your CRM: If your customers feel valued through your emails — and receive promos through them — then they’re going to be happier.
- Have great customer service: Yes, we’ve mentioned this before. No, it’s not any less important.
- Have an easy to use website: Design it properly. Keep the design simple and clean. Work with professional UX designers to make the flow of your site intuitive.
- Keep the little details consistent: Yes, one of the little things you need to look after is the little things by enhancing your favicons, icons, menus, secondary colours and image-content. Another little thing — get your fonts right…
- Don’t forget about TOV: Tone of voice can be just as important as visual guidelines, particularly when considering a wide range of channels, not all of which have visual components.
- Align your social channels: Get all of the banners and profile pictures to match up, and use the TOV guide to speak in the same way across all channels.
Pro tip: To ensure you never miss any design basics again, check out our blog documenting all the aspects you cannot afford to miss if you want to effectively engage your loyal customers — Branding Design Basics | 5 Overlooked Basics of a Rebrand
Strategy 4: Make sure you actually understand your customers
Ultimately, brand equity is about creating a brand that resonates with your customers — which you can only do accurately if you understand them. If your brand is wrong — if it’s inconsistent, or contradictory, or complicated — then you’ll struggle to build brand equity.
So, how do you prove you understand your customer?
- Organise focus groups to find out what your customers think.
- Literally interview your customers. Ask them what they think of your brand. Ask if they think anything of your brand.
- Ask for feedback. Email your customer-base and ask them to fill in surveys on how well you’re doing as a brand. Specifically, make sure to get feedback after a sale, delivery and support, along with any other critical milestone with a customer.
- Allow them to leave reviews. Yes, ok, reviews are usually left in moments of either rage or jubilation, so they can be a bit skewed. But think past that. If you have a few 5-star reviews, find out why and amplify the great things mentioned.
- Build a community, online or in person. Fundamentally, this comes down to fostering closer connections between yourself and your customers, helping cement the emotions around your brand identity over the long term.
Another way to start to get to know your customers is having a brand management software that helps you track engagements with different types of brand assets. This can lead to a deeper understanding of what works and what doesn’t in the context of different campaigns. Then, you can use that info to improve your offering.
It’s important to look long term
Your brand is here for the long-run (hopefully) so brand equity is always going to be a long-term strategy. Don’t focus on short-term results — this is something you’re building for the future through incremental changes that don’t affect your brand’s consistency. Brand equity can help you achieve long-term success — you have to commit to it.
What sort of long-term choices can you make to ensure brand equity success? Well…
- Investing in a rebrand.
- Creating a loyalty scheme.
- Letting your decisions play out OVER TIME.
A long-term solution needs a long-term brand management software option to ensure it stays the course. Brandworkz is that solution — a BMS that keeps your brand consistent, allows for easy and incremental changes and supports your brand ideals through the positioning of your guidelines. Equity never felt so easy.