Four PIllars to Build Positive Brand Equity
The most valuable thing you own as a business is your brand. That’s goes way beyond the shiny logo on your marketing collateral, it’s the very essence of your organisation.
Want to get technical? Brand equity is the commercial value that derives from consumer perception of your brand name or of your particular products or services, rather than the pure value of the product or service itself. That answer is from Google, whose brand equity is so high we didn’t even bother checking another search engine to confirm what it said. That’s the power of your brand.
So what does all that mean in simple terms? It’s all about how amazing people think you are. Building positive brand equity is about being fantastic from the roots to the tips of your organisation. To do that, you need to understand some vital elements of how to appropriately steer your brand.
It’s about understanding brand image
Brand image can be a confusing term, but understanding this vital definition forms the foundation for your brand equity.
Brand image isn’t about how you look, although admittedly that has a role to play, it’s about how people think of you as a brand. Think of it like this – brand image isn’t what you tell people you are, it’s how they talk about you behind your back. It exists whether you engage with it or not.
The world of social media and connected communications means brand image is more vital than ever. Conversations about your business can be fast-paced and rapidly evolving. That means negative stories about your business can quickly snowball to create significant damage to your brand equity. It’s not all bad news though. A positive brand story has greater potential than ever to gain traction and reinforce people’s image of your brand.
Branding and marketing work together
If we’re talking the opportunity for positive brand stories, we need to discuss how branding and marketing work in partnership. It’s a common mistake to get these two concepts confused.
- Branding is the fundamental story of your organisation’s identity
- Marketing frames the efforts you undertake to communicate and amplify that story
Understanding how these two concepts differ, and crucially how they can work together to complement each other, is an important part of the journey.
Utilising effective marketing to amplify positive brand image and communicate your brand stories is an important part of building valuable brand equity.
You need a branding strategy
Brand equity doesn’t just appear spontaneously like a gift from the heavens. You need a strong branding strategy in order to craft and build that positive image. Excellence should be a key component of every organisation, but in the concept of a branding strategy, it should be at the heart of everything you do.
Strategically defining your journey as a brand helps not only to ensure that you understand who you are, but that you display consistency in both external and internal understanding of the story you want to tell. Positive brand delivery is built on strategic planning.
A branding process is on-going
The branding process is about defining what and who your business is. Nurturing that understanding requires a detailed analysis of everything from your brand reputation to a fundamental appreciation of the quality of the product or service you offer.
While the strategic elements of brand strategy are about understanding key areas to focus your efforts, it’s important to ensure you remain aware of four key areas of branding:
- Reputation – building trust and understanding
- Responsibility – positive actions that build a positive image
- Quality – consistency in quality of delivery
- Recognition – building and protecting your brand recognition
Rebranding is always an option
A brand can never afford to be static, so don’t be afraid of the power of radical change. As your customers and market conditions change, you should be ready to change with it.
Sometimes these changes take the form of incremental evolutions, a shift in the way you look or operate to keep pace with changing perceptions. Sometimes those changes can become a little more radical.
Rebranding is the process of crafting a whole new direction and image for your brand. It’s brave, bold, ambitious, and it can have huge positive results if delivered properly. You shouldn’t be afraid of taking this step if the situation arises. Remember a rebrand isn’t about turning your back on who you are as a business, it’s about taking an exciting new step on the journey to build your brand equity.
The road to positive brand equity is built on good intentions. Build your intentions the right way, with a branding agency that knows how to make the most out of your story.