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A conceptual image brand equity equals positive ROI.

Get Sway Over Customers With Brand Equity

Brand equity might sound a bit financial. Although it can impact your bottom line, it’s more about the hold you have over your audience. 

We’ve broken it down in this guide and how you can start building your own brand equity.

What the Heck is Brand Equity?

Brand Equity is all about that sway amongst your target audiences and customers. It’s how much your brand is ingrained into their minds and how much it influences their buying decisions.

But your brand’s equity isn’t a thing unto itself. Like a brand experience, it has many moving parts.

  • Brand Perception. How your brand is perceived by our audience influences the sway you have on them.  A negative perception takes a toll on your brand overall. 
  • Brand Recognition. This is where your brand is top-of-mind for your audience, where they think of you without a prompt. For example, you want a soda and you immediately think of Coca-Cola. Or maybe Pepsi. Or RC Cola. We’re pretty soda agnostic here. 
  • Brand Recall.  Now this is where an audience thinks of your brand when asked directly if they want a soda. Or what kind of shoes they’re looking to buy. Then they might say Nike. Or Adidas. Or [insert shoe brand here].
  • Brand Awareness. All those elements roll up into your brand’s overall awareness. It’s how familiar your audience is with everything that makes your brand unique, including the experience and feel. It’s an important metric to track because it has a direct impact on the bottom line.

Why Brand Equity Matters

The short answer: the bottom line. 

Brand equity gives any product or service a value boost from having a recognizable brand name, or a superb awareness. Positive equity translates to mo’ money. 81 percent of consumers need to trust a brand before they buy from them.

Whereas negative equity can be costly. BP oil’s rep took several hits thanks to several industrial accidents in the early 2000s. Then came the huge 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

To say BP mishandled their response is an understatement. Their PR was just as disastrous as the oil spill. Which resulted in them spending $100 million in damage control advertising.

Oil companies don’t have great public standing these days, especially with the “eye of fire” pipeline explosion. Incidents like this and how a company does or does not respond can severely damage brand equity.

But the cost isn’t just in money a company spends to repair their public image. It also plummets the money they take in. 67 percent of buyers will stop buying a product if they can’t trust a company.

How to Build Brand Equity

Now it’s time to build some brand equity of your own. There are a few steps you can take that’ll ensure you get that sway.

Measure Brand Awareness

First step, understand your brand awareness. You’ll want to survey your target audience, which is what Helio is for, to gauge how aware they are of you.

  • Surveys. You can send out surveys to your target audience with select questions about your brand, testing for brand recall and recognition. COMING SOON: We’ll  have some templates to get you started here. 
  • Social Media. Comb through all the socials to understand what people are saying about your brand. 
  • Website Traffic. Analyze traffic to your site. Who’s coming to it and from where. Dig deep to see patterns on what visitors do once they’re on your site. 
  • Search Volume. Look into how often keywords associated with your brand show up in search traffic, as well as what you’re offering. 
  • Brand Impressions. See how often your brand shows up online through ads, such as Facebook ads, or through social posts.
  • Customer Reviews.  Read what people are saying about their experience with your product or service.

What Does Your Brand Stand For 

Basically, who are you as a brand and what are the values you hold dear. If your values align with your customers, that helps to build trust. The stronger the trust, the better your brand performs.

You’ll want to communicate those things to your audience. That all comes down to positioning. This is how you want your audience to perceive your brand.

  • Control your reputation. We’ve seen what can happen when a company lets their rep get out of their control (looking at you BP Oil). But you can get ahead of this and ensure your rep is solid. 
  • Be authentic. Trust requires that you be credible and reliable. So be authentic and never come off as fake. 
  • Know your audience. Can’t build a rep or trust without knowing whom you’re doing it with. You gotta know their needs and wants, and how you fulfill them. Also, empathize with them and understand their pain.

It’s like dating. You’re building a bond with your audience, getting to know them as much as they are getting to know you. Which brings us to…

Creating a Consistent Experience

Building trust requires consistency and a memorable experience that’s thought of fondly. As we’ve seen, people won’t keep coming back if their experience was horrible.

All those little touches that go into your brand all add up to the overall experience a person has with it. Disney is really good at all these little touch points, from their films to their park experience to their apps to their various products.

You can’t think of your product or service as its own thing. It lives in the ecosystem of your entire brand, from its look and feel right down to the actual user experience of your offering.

We can use what’s known as the Customer-Based Brand Equity Model, or CBBE for short. Ford Institute of Business Professor Kevin Way Keller came up with this model.

CBBE Model

CBBE Model by Kevin Way Keller.

We can survey our target audience at each stage of this model.

  • Identity. This goes back to measuring brand awareness, and understanding what your audience associates with your brand. 
  • Meaning. In this stage, you’re looking at performance and imagery. Does your product or service perform as advertised? Is your service effective? Is it the right price? Imagery is all about your social sway. What are people saying? And how does your service appear to them? 
  • Response. This goes back to brand perception. How a target audience thinks and feels about your brand.
  • Resonance. This is relationship management and sits at the top of Keller’s pyramid because it’s the most important and sought after. But more than that, it takes time to build through a consistent end-to-end brand experience with your audience.

After all, it’s all about that sway.

We’ve already taken the time to create a variety of templates you can use in Helio to start surveying your audience. 

Start understanding your own brand equity and get that sway. 

Sign up to Helio for free.