How much is your brand worth? The concept of “brand equity” is an important one for business owners to consider carefully. Unfortunately, most business owners do not yet fully understand it – let alone know how to strengthen brand equity effectively for their business.
Here I’ll explain a few strategies on how to strengthen your brand equity, developing a strong brand to ensure that you occupy a positive space in your consumers’ minds and maintain positive growth in your business.
The term brand equity is one which speaks of the inherent valuation of the brand in the consumers’ minds. Your business’ brand equity is made up of all the associations, emotions, and experiences which people think of when exposed to your brand. The stronger a bond which consumers have with your brand, the higher your brand equity is. Only with strong brand equity will you be able to be the business which makes people camp outside of your stores for days waiting for the release of a new product.
Your brand equity can be strengthened or degraded through any aspect of your business, from your communications, to product performance, customer service, or even your brand name. Furthermore, developing strong brand equity is a significant task for all businesses, as it is what allows your brand to be considered by consumers in the first place during a purchasing decision. So here are 4 ways in which you can ensure your business is focused on the right sort of brand equity development.
1. Quality Products and Services
Your market offering is the backbone of your whole brand, so ensure that you are able to deliver a quality product to your consumers, otherwise it is highly unlikely that you will get a repeat purchase from them.
This may seem like an obvious tip; however businesses in all industries fall for the trap whereby they release products for the sake of appearing as if they are innovating. If you release a product in the market which isn’t fully tested and not of high quality, this can be the easiest way to erode your brand equity.
Ensure that any product or service you bring out into the market brings something new to your business’ portfolio, rather than just bulking it up.
2. Competitive Analysis
A strong brand which occupies a positive space in the minds of consumers is one which is adaptable to market shifts as well as one which offers something new into the market.
In order to be such a brand, ensure that you are always on the lookout for industry trends and your competitors’ activities, as you need to ensure your brand operates in a unique space of the industry, and is not one which merely follows in the footsteps of others.
Targeting a niche is an effective way for brands to build their brand equity as you are meeting a specific need which no one else currently is. This exudes innovative thinking and understanding of your consumers, which are key to a strong brand.
3. Consistent Brand Image
One of the most important aspects of your brand is the image which you are communicating to your consumers. Once you have been able to understand the market and know your place within it, you need to communicate that in a consistent and engaging manner.
Your brand strategy is developed by a number of aspects from your brand name, to your social media posts, pricing, and your products, to name a few. If you are operating within the premium segment of your industry, ensure that your products and retail channels reflect that, with highly refined and targeted brand messaging and communications.
Set your brand image from the get-go and shape your business accordingly. One of the greatest examples of maintaining a strong and consistent brand image is Apple. Every touch point consumers have with the brand expresses their brand – imagination, simplicity, and understanding consumer needs. From their easy-to-use products, to highly navigable stores, and their communications strategies, everyone knows what the Apple brand stands for.
It is all about consistency. Once consumers see that you know where you stand in the market and are confident with your own image, they will begin to believe it as well.
4. Listen to Customers
As your brand equity inherently resides in the minds of your consumers and audiences, it would be extremely wise to actively listen to their needs and wants.
Ensure that you give your consumers as many channels to give their feedback as possible. These types of messages will help you understand your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth; which is the most valuable information you could ever receive as a business.
Understanding your brand equity and how to develop it is important any stage of business growth. You must be able to capture a positive appearance in your consumer’s minds if they are to become repeat customers, or become a part of your referral strategy at any level on the ladder of customer loyalty. Then you can strengthen your brand and actually, seriously, grow.