What Does Brand Equity Mean and How To Build It?

Brand equity, a term you hear a lot recently but, what is it and is it important? If so, how does one develop it?  In addition, once you’ve built brand equity, how do you protect it and keep your equity positive?

Brand Equity, What does it really mean and How Would I Build some for my Business?

We’ve written about branding and building up brand equity in your business but, what does that mean exactly?

how a startup builds brand equity
how startups build brand equity

Breaking it down to the simplest aspect, brand equity is trust.

This is trust in your product or service is consistent every time your customers use or need it. Similarly, trust that your business or product is always as good or better than the last time. In addition, trust that your brand will fulfill the promises that were made.

Building further on that, your business will need to perform the same again and again. In fact, every time your costumers require you or your product, it needs to be the same. Companies spend billions of dollars each year to meet the “truths” of consistency.

It takes a great deal of time to build this brand equity within your company. In addition, it takes time as people need to use and return to use your business or product.

The tricky thing about brand equity is that it’s not just a one-way street. Equity isn’t all positive, in fact, it can work against you. Conversely, if you do not fulfill the “truths” you may be punished. BP learned the hard way after the Gulf oil spill. People around the world were assigning negative equity to the company.

We love that you read our blog but, it’s always nice to get a second opinion. With that in mind, on occasion we like to bring in other professionals. These professionals are experts within the industry we’re speaking about. And, we like them to voice their expertise.

With this intention, we’re excited to present the below article. You’ll hear directly from a Brand Develop Specialist, Darren R Gunning in his own words. Furthermore, he perfectly describes Brand Equity, more eloquently than we could.

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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. This reflects 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. This return comes after the initial saving or offer experience is over from using the competitor’s brand.

Through Brand Equity we hope to achieve this ‘coming home or back to their hero brand.’ This is done by creating a conflict in the psyche of the consumer.

The newly purchased or trialed brand ‘X’ product, does not offer the same “requirements.” This is the 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. This is part of equity building. This allows consumers to create, post and comment about the positive experiences.

In addition, they can express opinions on a company, product or service. This 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. This as opposed to 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. Likewise, the metrics and opportunity to look deep into our markets psyche. Moreover, the creation of the next generation of the database. And, we mean the ‘true’ database, not just a bunch of population based anecdotal data.

Now, true and solid Channel planning comes from stepping back, assuming nothing. In addition, using whatever mix of channels can deliver our message to our market. This all while also allowing for users to comment and herald our brand in the global web space.

Sometimes our final plan will not include traditional delivery channels. These include television, radio, press or print. Though for most brands they are and will remain for some time to come. They are an important part of the overall mix. But without solid and unbiased planning you don’t really know, do you?

  • Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Darren_R_Gunning

I hope this blog and following article answers any questions you may have about Brand Equity. If however, you are still confused, please just shot us an email or post a comment below. Our team will be more than happy to answer it.

Update: After spending years and resources building brand identity don’t ruin it. Be wary overprotecting your brand or tarnish the equity. Brand equity could easily be tarnished and it takes time to build it back up again.

Once the public has you branded you, it takes a long time to win them back.

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