How to Create, Measure and Maintain Brand Equity

Apple branded products on a desk with a coffee cup

A little introduction:

If the Identity Agency asked you for a mobile phone recommendation, what brand comes to mind? Probably Apple, right? That is because Apple has created a positive brand equity. Everyone is aware of the brand and perceives it as a high-quality tech company. It is often why such brands charge so much for their products – the brand itself is highly valuable.

What is brand equity and how is it beneficial to a brand?

In brief, brand equity refers to the perceived social value of a brand rather than the product or service itself. Two brands may sell similar products but if one offers a better customer experience and proves to be more liable, they are building a positive brand equity that will make them superior to their competitors.
 
Building and maintaining a positive brand equity is vital if you want consumers to continuously return to and recommend your brand. By doing so, you are:
  • Increasing the brand’s market share
  • Creating the ability to charge more for a product than the actual market price
  • Creating a valuable asset that can be licensed, leased or sold to others
  • Making it easier to introduce new product lines
iPad on a table being worked on

How to create brand equity

Brand equity develops and grows as customers become more familiar with a brand to a point where they recognise and trust the brand enough to make a purchase.
 

The Identity Agency’s recommended components for successfully building brand equity:

Brand Identity

Before you jump into the following points, it is firstly important to have an established brand that can be used to create brand equity. A strong brand story and personality is what is going to help sell your brand as well as your products or services.

Awareness

You can’t make sales if you don’t have anyone to sell to. You first need to introduce your brand to potential customers. This can be done through consistently using your branding in advertisements and social media content and humanising the brand through telling a narrative.

Association / Perceived Quality

Now your audience know who you are and what you do, they will now associate your brand with a concept, emotion, object, or image. This will increase their perception of the quality of the brand, making them more likely to make a purchase or mention you to a friend.

Experience

It’s great if your audience associates your brand with positive memories. However, to create leads and repetitive sales, it is important to provide them with a positive experience. How they felt when they interacted with your brand is what will bring them back.
Don’t forget, the aim is to make all of these positive!
BP fuel station at night

Measuring brand equity:

Measuring brand equity will allow you to better understand your audience’s personas and needs which will guide the development of your company’s marketing and advertisement strategies.
Awareness (Functional and Emotional Associations)
Measuring the extent of awareness essentially tells you the popularity of your brand. It can be split into the following associations that assess your customer’s awareness of and association with your brand.
 
Functional associations allow you to better understand how your customers actually use your product, even if not in the way you intended. It is a great metric to understand what else they are looking for from your company and will allow to focus on an area of improvement to increase value to your customers.
 
Emotional associations focuses on how your brand, products and experience made your customers feel. This may be during the purchasing process, using the product for the first time and even when they aren’t in need of your services.
Preference Metrics
These metrics measure your brand’s competitive position in the market and are important to helping you understand how your audience perceive your brand.
  • Relevance – What specific benefit do you provide and how does this align your brand with this value?
  • Accessibility – How does your brand reach its target market? Is it able to provide the intended value?
  • Emotional Connection – How is your brand forming a relationship with consumers? Are these relationships positive to create loyalty?
  • Value – Are your customers getting what they pay for, if not more?
When combined, these metrics can be measured to evaluate where your business ranks against competitors and help you determine whether you should create or increase loyalty of your customers.
Financial Metrics
Collecting date to measure your brand equity is fairly easy! Ideally you want to gather both qualitative (e.g focus groups) and quantitative (e.g sales numbers) data, but you should focus more on the qualitative as this this will give you the best idea of your customer perceptions and motivation. Surveys are the best way to collect both types – ask for ratings/ranking on a scale of 1-5 and then get them to explain their responses.
Channel branded makeup stacked together

The key things you should be doing to maintain your brand equity:

The key to successfully maintaining brand equity? Brand identitySome would say this is the most difficult (which isn’t entirely false) but we think this part is the most fun! Managing your brand equity is when you get to show off your brand and the value it can offer.

Consistency of brand message
Your brand message is the most important thing that should remain consistent. It is what your audience will use to form a perception of your brand, before they’ve even looked at what you offer. Get creative with how you tell your brand story and mission statement and be sure to keep a consistent tone of voice that will show off your brand’s personality.
Develop a strong marketing plan
You have a strong brand including a brand personality and mission statement. Now it’s time to get that out into the world and in front of your consumers eyes!
 
Social media is probably the most convenient way you can spread your brand image, brand message and engage with your audience. It is also a great way to receive feedback from customers to help you improve aspects of your business that might be damaging your brand equity.
 
If you already have a marketing plan in place, take a look at it every month and monitor if what you’re doing is working. It’s important to do this to ensure you’re keeping up with trends and meeting the goals you have set for your business.
Monitor trends and competitors
Whether social media is a big part of your marketing plan or not (we recommend it is), following trends is how your business will stay up-to-date and modern. It’s likely that if a new social media platform appears (e.g TikTok) your competitors will be straight there, and you should be too! This also goes for design trends, nobody likes using an out of date website.
 
It is with these three things that you will be able to create brand equity via awareness, association and experience and how you will go on to maintain it.
Brand identity book on a desk with a laptop and keyboard

Final thoughts

Remember, the aim is to create a positive brand equity. The equity of your brand will not only drive short-term sales but build a long-term reputation that will resonate with consumers – so make sure it’s positive!

So, to summarise:

  • Brand equity must be created and maintained, it can’t happen on its own
  • The management of brand equity is intrinsically linked to brand identity

Book a free one-to-one appointment with an Identity Agency consultant by getting in touch. Just let us know a time, and a member from the team will be in touch with you very soon!

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