Brand Equity is an intangible positive asset which describes your brand’s figurative value. That value is determined by consumers perception of the brand and experiences whether good or bad with the brand. Positive Brand Equity occurs when an individual may favor one product/ service over another because of the particular brand associated with it, which can boost the price a business will charge, increase the rate of success if a business was to extend their offerings and inflate the likelihood of a consumer to choose your product/ service over a competitors. Brand Equity is dependant on brand loyalty, brand awareness and perceived quality through brand associations. For these reasons, it is clear to see that brand equity is not built overnight.
If brand equity is something that you see value in your business, then it is something you need to work on every day. As positive brand equity can determine how you position your business in the marketplace.
Just like how we choose to associate with our friends, work colleagues, and acquaintances, etc. People tend to do the same with brands. Brand association is anything which the customers think of or relate to the brand. This could be as complex as employees or as simple as colour, for example, Coca-Cola and red.
Brand Associations are built on the following:
A major driver of branding is the fulfillment of a brand promise. If a brand does not live up to the promised experience then it will attract negative brand equity. Customers assess a brand by comparing its offering with its competitors on the basis of certain qualitative and quantitative parameters. The product quality is a qualitative measure and depends completely on the customer’s perception. Back when I was learning about Marketing, the price point was a big part of a positioning strategy and your customer’s subsequent perception.
Customers consciously preferring one brand over the other is a strong indicator of brand equity at play in the marketplace. A preferred brand can charge a higher price for the same product. Preference can be generated by customers having good experiences with the brand. Customers become familiar with the brand and recognise it, trial it and even begin to prefer it.
Loyalty is an old buzzword that was thrown around religiously about 20 years ago. The loyalty concept was something every business wanted to capture for themselves. Fast forward to the modern day and age, the concept of loyalty is a lot harder to obtain. However, brand equity can help solidify brand loyalty. Think of the old Mac vs PC debate. It is very unlikely that someone who supports Mac would ever think of buying a PC. A lot of creating brand equity with the hope of boosting brand loyalty is about creating a product which resonates with its audience. After a series of good brand experiences, users not only recommend it to others, it becomes the only one they will buy and use in that category. They think so highly of it that any product associated with the brand will benefit.
Building Brand Equity is building an asset. An intangible asset which adds genuine value to your business. Just like other assets, this too can be sold, licensed or leased to others.
There is no other reason why Apple does not drop prices of its older model phones after it has just launched a new product than their brand allows them to charge a price premium and their customers are willing to pay it. Apple’s brand equity allows them to charge more for their products than the actual market price.
Positive brand equity can result in more loyal customers, better word of mouth and the desire for your customers to associate themselves with your brand. All these factors lead to customers who prefer one brand over another and in turn increases market share.
Think of powerhouse brand Virgin who started as a music producing company and now has planes, trains, and water. Think of Coca Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, Coca-Cola Vanilla, Coca-Cola Sugar-Free. It is much easier to launch other facets of your business if you have a positive brand equity.
First of all, what is a brand persona? The day of mass communication and targeting the entirety of the marketplace is over. Technology gives the modern day marketer a clearer understanding of what is actually taking place during the buyer decision process. There is no need to guesstimate anymore and cast your net hoping you will catch a bite. The introduction of analytics and marketing technology has revolutionised not only how buyers shop but how marketers can make shoppers buy.
Several years ago the concept of a buyer persona began floating around and was all the buzz with B2B business models. These buyer personas would detail your most likely customers who your business would come into contact with. A business would often have a handful of buyer personas in which the majority of your customer could be allocated to. The buyer personas can give your brand a more in-depth understanding of how to target your customers, through the tone of voice they will respond to, imagery that resonates with them, the channels that they are most likely to be found on, etc. And while these things are all very well and good as they give you a clearer understanding of how your brand should react to attract these customers, they do not give your brand itself direction.
Cue, Brand Persona. There definitely is a lot of confusion in the marketplace as to where a brand should start and the actual benefits that go along with it. If you are struggling to find the yellow brick road, then determining your Brand Persona is a good way to start.
Your brand is your intangible asset which differentiates your products/ services from the of customers. Everyone understands what a powerhouse brand is compared to the mediocre.
Now, do not confuse a persona with a personality. If you would like to think of it in this way, think that your brand personality belongs to your brand persona. Your brand persona is a fictional character that represents all users or buyer types that might interact with the brand.
If you already have buyer personas, good! Determine the common features in your buyer personas and use those in your brand persona. If not, use this framework to develop your own brand persona:
Now deepen your brand persona, add in their personality and how they would react to different situations, how they would overcome certain obstacles. Think about powerhouse brands and what they’re brand persona would look like.
A useful website that I have used on occasion for clients is: https://brandonian.com/
Once you have started to map your Brand Persona and really understand the fundamentals and minor details can you apply this route to your branding? Now that you better understand your customers, what they will respond to and on which channels you can really start to showcase your powerhouse brand.
First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room. Email is not dead. Email is a strong tool to use when both searching for new customers, communicating with your existing clientele and importantly making sales. The business owners resources are finite. Enterprises need to use tools which are time efficient while delivering genuine results.
And what makes Email Marketing so successful? Well, it’s a phenomenon which Mass Marketing created for itself. In a marketplace with so much noise, customers are learning to block it out. Now, consumers scroll pass all the advertisement on Social Media. They fast-forward the ads on the television. People use Bluetooth to connect their phone to their car so they don’t have to listen to a radio advertisement. What your customers are really looking for is a personal connection with their brand. That is where Email Marketing comes in.
If you are not convinced then here are a few stats on Email Marketing in 2018. In 2017, 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase via an email campaign. Staggeringly, the expected ROI for $1 invested in Email Marketing is $45.
Take a look at our Email Marketing Tips:
It is no surprise that the driving force behind any great Email Marketing strategy is an ever-increasing Email Marketing List. Growing your email marketing list is a process which will take its time, but the results will be worth the initial hard work.
I’m sure you have heard that little marketing term floating around called Omni-Channel Retail. Basically, Omni-Channel is a technique which focuses on delivery the retail experience in a way which is as easy for the end customer as possible. So how does a company achieve that? Well, they give their customers options. Growing your email marketing list should be no different. Give your customer as many options, in as many ways to give you their email for promotional purposes. Create a landing page asking for their detail in exchange for an offer or discount. If they purchase something through an online store, ask for their email and have an option to register and receive material from your brand. You can even ask for your customer’s email in-store. Possibly after they have received a service from you, ask for their email.
Letting your audience know what to expect is a selling point when trying to register more customers for your email marketing list. If it’s new posts, information, company news, discounts, exclusive access to new products, infographics, coupons! Then let them know!
Branding is your identity! Use it consistently and correctly each and every time. The execution of your branding is paramount and doesn’t cost you a dime. Read all about our suggestions for Branding through our blog. Email Marketing tools such as Mail Chimp allow you to save templates to use again in the future. This can be a time-efficient way to get your branding perfect the first time and then mass produce in future.
Not too much, not too little, but just right! Don’t overdo your Email Marketing, and don’t make promises that you fulfill. Don’t start off sending an Email to your audience every day only for this to slowly eventuate to nothing. Start how you wish to continue. Don’t walk before you can run. Start slow and build speed not the other way around.
Perhaps most importantly. Email Marketing can give you insights into your customers. Monitor how each campaign performed and make subtle changes to replicate a great result each time.
Often Small Businesses have many factors working against them. Not only are you competing with big businesses who dominate the market, with their big budgets and devil may care attitude. But you are also competing with other Small Businesses for your share of the pie. So what can you do differently? Perhaps you have heard the term Guerrilla Marketing, perhaps not? If you are willing and are feeling creative, this modern phenomenon could be a marketing tactic to include in your strategy. If executed correctly, Guerrilla Marketing can generate visibility without needing to spend all your coins.
This is an advertising concept designed for businesses to promote their products/ services in an unconventional way. Guerrilla Marketing is appealing to Small Businesses as it often does not require a huge budget to back it up. Instead, it just requires high energy and imagination. Often a kind of publicity stunt to increase brand visibility, Guerrilla Marketing goes against the grain of traditional marketing with the focus of grabbing the audience’s attention at a memorable level. And this is why Guerrilla Marketing is so appealing to marketers, it is different, it is loud, it is in your face if done correctly.
The first question you need to ask before you invest your time into Guerrilla Marketing is, is it actually suited to my business model? There is no illusion that the major trade-off for this marketing tactic is a high time investment. So before you begin to plan, ask yourself if you can see your business benefiting from this creative outlet? Again, as mentioned in How to be an Expert in Small Business Marketing, the first stage of any marketing strategy is knowing your business inside and out. Know your product or service, know your customers and know your direction. It is also important to consider that the results of Guerrilla Marketing can be difficult for you to measure and therefore determine the success of the tactic. This is due to the unpredictable nature of Guerrilla strategies compared to for example digital marketing.
Guerrilla Marketing is special and if you believe that it is suitable for your business, you should definitely implement it! Take a look at the following Guerrilla Marketing Ideas:
Guerrilla Marketing is definitely a distinctive point of difference from your competition. If you are inspired and imaginative then Guerrilla Marketing can give you an edge in the marketplace and even help you break into the industry.
People can become suspicious of some forms of Traditional Marketing. Your audience begins to zone out when they start to hear a sales pitch and if you are a Small Business this is not the reaction that you are looking for. Guerrilla Marketing is looking to engage with the audience and promote your brand without directly selling.
Guerrilla Marketing gives your brand a platform for creative liberty. Traditional Marketing you can be restricted by a time frame, an ad dimension, a restrictive medium. With Guerrilla Marketing your only limit is your own imagination. Take the time to brainstorm and really think about how to showcase your brand in all its true colors.
Yes, we hear you, go big or go home. Of course, the biggest question mark hanging over Guerrilla Marketing is the potential for your Marketing tactic to go beyond your local environment and even go viral! Getting brand exposure through the power of the internet would be the penultimate for any Guerrilla Marketing campaign. Although, this would not be normal circumstances and would require a great deal of planning, timing, and luck. Stranger things have happened. Viral Marketing would circulate your brand message faster than perhaps advertisement that you pay for in the traditional sense. And this is perhaps one of the biggest allures of the phenomenon.