Brand Equity – Branding – What does it really mean?

Brand Equity, What does it really mean? Brand Equity, What does it really mean?

In our past blogs we’ve written about branding and building up brand equity in your business but, what does that mean exactly?

Breaking it down to the most simple aspect, brand equity really just comes down to trust. Trust that your product or service is consistent, trust that it is good, trust that it fulfills the promised requirement and most importantly trust that this product or service will perform the same again the next time you require it. Companies spend billions of dollars each year to meet these “truths.”

It may also take a great amount of time to slowly build this brand equity within your company.  It takes time because people not only have to try and use your product, company or service, they have to like it enough to use it again.

The tricky thing about brand equity is that it’s not just a one way street and can work against you if you do not fulfill the “truths.” BP is learned that the hard way with the Gulf oil spill, people are assigning negative equity to the company and its products.

One thing we like to do here on our blog is to bring you articles and opinions from other people so that you can hear another voice on the subject we’re bringing you.  With that said, the below article is by a Brand Develop Specialist and he describes Brand Equity perfectly, more eloquently them we are, so please enjoy the article below.

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With All the Talk About Building Brand Equity, What Does it Really Mean?
By Darren R Gunning

Answer: Equity is the ‘value’ assigned to your actual brand by what consumers really think and feel about it, and therefore the trust and belief that they carry for it.

Brand equity is an integral part of customer (product or service) trialing, loyalty and retention.
A consumer/customer may often choose another product or service over their preferred brand as part of their ongoing validation process for that brand. This can often be driven by price or a promotional offer etc.

Brand equity at this time is the cornerstone for bringing them back to their hero (or preferred) brand after the initial saving or offer experience is over from using the competitors brand. Through Brand Equity we hope to achieve this ‘coming home or back to their hero brand’ by creating a conflict in the psyche of the consumer that the newly purchased or trialed brand ‘X’ product, does not offer the same belief of quality, trust and value to the consumer or customer as their preferred ‘hero’ brand, hence they will purchase or visit us again, even if intermittently.
This loyalty is created through brand equity and brand building.

Current online/web trends (and for good reason!) are moving towards more User Generated Content as part of this equity building allowing consumers to create, post and comment about the positive experiences and opinions on a company, product or service as opposed to just what the companies/brand are saying themselves about them on their corporate websites.

This transparency between the consumer and the brand is infinitely more powerful as a persuasion tool then simply spoon feeding them corporate and advertising messages. Having said that, well crafted and placed Advertising and Communications messages are still a very relevant part of the overall mix. it’s a matter of balance through solid Channel Planning and Insight.

So what delivery channels should we use then to help build/increase Brand Equity?

The answer used to be “television”, you have to be on television! Technology has since brought us agency accountability and the metrics and opportunity to look deep into our markets psyche, the creation of the next generation of the database, the ‘true’ database, not just a bunch of population based anecdotal data.

Now, true and solid Channel planning comes from stepping back, assuming nothing, and using whatever mix of channels can deliver our message to our market, while also allowing for users to comment and herald our brand for us in the global web space. Sometimes our final plan will not included traditional delivery channels such as television, radio, press or print. Though for most brands they are and will remain for sometime to come, an important part of the overall mix. But without solid and unbiased planning you don’t really know, do you?

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I hope this blog and the following article answers any questions you may have about Brand Equity but if it doesn’t please let just shot us an email or post a comment and we’d be more than happy to answer it.

Update:  After spending years of money and resources building your brand identity don’t ruin it by over protecting it or tarnish the equity.  Brand equity could easily be tarnished and it takes more resources and time to build it back up again.

Once the public has you branded as being not of good quality, rude or whatever it is you’ve got to struggle to get it back.

building brand equity in your business

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