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Thought Leadership

What Is Brand Equity and How Do You Build It?

Your brand is so much more than just a product or logo. It’s an ecosystem made up of many parts that need to work cohesively for your company to thrive. It is this entire ecosystem that influences how your customers and the general public think and feel about your brand. These thoughts and feelings translate into brand equity for your company. Brand equity is the commercial value derived from the public’s recognition of your brand and all of these individual parts that are included within it. The more recognizable and trusted a brand is, the easier it will be to build repeat customers. You will then have to invest less in acquiring new customers and can easily launch new products or experiences built off of your trusted name.

There are a few main components that make up brand equity – loyalty, awareness, perceived quality, and brand associations. A brand that is easily recognized by the public, inspires loyalty, has high-quality goods, and positive brand associations is one that is likely to last. Apple is a great example of a company who has mastered the art of building brand equity. According to Mashable, 85% of iPhone users upgraded from an earlier model and the majority own two or more Apple products. It isn’t just because Apple makes great products that their sales soar, they have built their cult following and household name through investing heavily into each of the areas that build equity, creating a cohesive experience throughout their entire customer relationship. So how do you learn from their example and build brand equity for your own company? 

Brand equity requires building a cohesive identity across touch points.  

In order to be recognizable by the public and uphold quality across the board, you’ll want to create a seamless experience that encompases your entire customer journey from pre-purchase to post. Invest in your brand identity and keep it consistent – from your advertising, marketing and packaging, to your in-store and online experiences, and finally through your customer service. For example, if your company touts being environmentally friendly, you’ll need to carry that through every aspect of your customer journey. If you have a ton of wasteful packaging on shipping orders, it would not be consistent with your brand identity nor values and would be a turn off for customers. So you’ll want to provide a quality experience through every touch point, while remaining true to your brand. This will ensure your customers recognize your company out in the wild, continue to have a positive perception throughout their purchasing journey and support you in the future.

Creating a strong why roots the brand in purpose. 

Your purpose is unique to your brand. It should be reflected within every aspect of your customer experience and embody your mission and values. Anthemic storytelling is a great way to communicate your why, it’s the equivalent of your rallying cry. It helps your audience connect with your brand on a deeper level and presents your brand as something that’s much bigger than just a product or service. When used correctly, your audience walks away knowing who you are, what you stand for, and why they should engage with your brand. 

Strong positive associations are vital in building brand equity. 

Having strong positive associations are vital to building a good name and contrary to popular belief, not all press is good press. You’ll want to generate positive buzz around your brand, whether that’s through an authentic celebrity endorsement, pairing with a charity or cause, or aligning with another trusted brand. Airbnb is a brand who understands the power of creating positive associations through their actions. Throughout the Ukrainian war, they’ve both housed displaced refugees and waived booking fees for users to directly donate to Ukrainian hosts. These good deeds show their users that they value their community and are willing to go above and beyond to support them. 

Invest in customer relationships.

In order to build authentic relationships with your customers and cultivate brand advocates, you’ll need them to trust your brand. Don’t make any unrealistic claims about your product or services and ensure they’re of high quality. You’ll also want to invest in your customer experience to ensure that they are satisfied with their entire customer journey. Comb through your reviews, check what customers are saying on social and reach out to your customer service team to learn any points of friction. Then eliminate them. On Unconquered’s podcast, Christopher Gavigan, co-founder of The Honest Co. talks about the importance of building a relationship with customers. He mentions how he personally calls customers at random to get their individual feedback to create future products that better align with what they’re looking for. 

Investing in these above areas is an investment in the longevity in the ecosystem that is your brand. If you’re looking to build equity in your own company, Unconquered can help. Contact us for a consultation.