5 Ways to Improve Your Brand Equity
If you had to right now, how would you rate your brand equity? If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you probably aren’t sure how to start—and you might not even be familiar with the term.
Brand equity refers to the inherent value that a brand presents. The best way to understand it is to compare it to a comparable situation with no branding whatsoever. In other words, take your branded product and compare it to a hypothetical product that is identical in quality, but unbranded. How much more valuable is your branded product, when compared to the generic one? This loosely represents your brand equity.
So how can you measure your brand equity, and why is it important to know? And perhaps most importantly, how can you improve your brand equity if it’s not optimal for your company?
The Importance of Brand Equity
It’s important to start with an understanding of why brand equity is important. Having high levels of brand equity is valuable for your company because:
- It differentiates you from other brands. Chances are, you’re dealing with stiff competition. Having high brand equity gives you an instant leg-up on that competition, since you’ll be perceived as more valuable from the start.
- It encourages customer loyalty. High brand equity is usually correlated with high brand recognition. Together, these qualities will make your existing customers more likely to stick around and continue making purchases with your brand, since you’ll be familiar and other brands will seem risky.
- It makes your products more valuable. If your brand equity is strong enough, you can likely charge more for the same products; after all, they’re perceived as having more value.
- It makes your new products start with a baseline value. Whenever you introduce a new product or service, as long as it’s released under your brand name, it’s going to start with a baseline value. You won’t have to prove anything about its value at first; people will associate its value with your already-standing brand equity.
One of the biggest problems with brand equity is how to measure it; it’s an intangible quality, so there’s no concrete or straightforward system to understand it. However, you can indirectly measure brand equity through surveys, and by understanding the value of different products.
How to Improve It
So how can you improve your brand equity?
- Concretely define your brand. If you haven’t gone through this step already, you’ll need to concretely define what your brand is and how it’s different from other brands. Even if you have already done this, consider revisiting your definition, making adjustments as needed. Your brand should be a unique reflection of your company’s identities and values, and it should appeal to your target demographics as well.
- Differentiate yourself at every turn. As much as possible, strive to differentiate yourself from the competition. If you mimic their strategies, their products, and their presentation, it will be harder for your customers to understand what makes you unique. Within an industry, you’ll likely share some brand characteristics and strategic initiatives, but it’s still important to highlight the qualities that make you special.
- Present your brand consistently. You spent the time necessary to create a strong brand, but a strong brand isn’t enough to boost your brand equity; you also need to present that brand consistently, across every channel you use. Any deviation from this consistent presentation could lead to confusion about what your brand is, or compromise your previous efforts.
- Utilize multiple marketing channels. If you only communicate with your customers through one channel, they may not get the full brand experience, or see everything your brand has to offer. Try to use multiple marketing and communications channels when engaging with your customers, including in-person interactions, social media conversations, and other means of promotion and exchange.
- Produce consistently positive experiences. This may seem obvious, but it’s your most powerful asset in building brand equity; make sure every customer you serve has a consistently positive experience. Go out of your way to make your interactions with customers memorable, and if a customer has a bad experience, do whatever it takes to make it right. They’ll remember you for it.
Regardless of what type of company you’re trying to run, having a stronger foundation of brand equity can help you succeed. Invest in these important equity-building strategies, and measure your efforts consistently so you know you’re doing things right.