Brand Equity Defined
Brand equity is a marketing term used to refer to the marketing impact of a given product in association with a brand name. It tries to examine how a given product will perform in the market if it did not have the privilege of that brand name. Therefore, the basis for brand equity and its impact on a business is based on the knowledge of the customer about that product. And yet, brand plays a vital role in helping build that knowledge and awareness, as well as the choices they make based on that knowledge.
Brand equity, then, reinforces the significance of a brand’s value and produce that positive type of recall in the mind of consumers. Marketing research has revealed that brand equity is one of the most important asset to the company.
Three Perspectives of Brand Equity
As an intangible asset, brand equity only gets its meaning out of the perceived quality and associations made by a consumer on a given product. Brand equity can be viewed in three different perspectives:
Financial: One way to understand the value of brand equity is to calculate the premium that is placed on a product. To further understand, take for example two types of products: one that is of a recognized brand, and the other is unrecognized brand. Consumers are willing to pay a bigger amount for the branded product over those which they are unfamiliar with.
Brand Extensions: When certain products attain a certain level of commercial success, most companies consider extending their line by introducing newer products under their brand. Because of the existing brand awareness, these companies will no longer invest on large advertising expenditures just to make that newly introduced product known.
Consumer-based: The trust and attitude exhibited by a customer towards a given product is impacted by the associations they make with that brand. Oftentimes, these associations are a product of their own experience with using the brand. Therefore, actual experience plays a crucial role in the marketing strategy, especially in a developing brand.
Benefits of a Strong Brand Equity
Not all brand equity is positive, therefore most companies invest on building a strong brand equity. After all, it offers several benefits to the company. Below are just some of the helpful benefits that a company can derive of a good brand equity:
Establishes a more reliable stream of income.
By increasing brand equity, companies are also able to increase their profits through increased market share and premium pricing for less promotional costs.
If you have established a good brand, then you can sell that brand name at a given price.
Managing Brand Equity
There are three stages involved in creating, building, and managing your company’s brand equity. They are outlined below:
1.) Your first step involves the introduction of a product of a given brand into the market. You must establish a certain standard for that brand to be able to launch products in the future that will sell in the market. Your aim here is to produce a positive response from the consumer to build trust among consumers.
2.) Try to produce a brand that is unique and yet memorable. The attitude of your brand must be accessible to consumers and must also provide benefits to satisfy its users.
3.) Consistency is the key. Your message must be synchronized with your company’s overall image and reinforce the value espoused by your organization. This is one of the most effective ways to build a strong brand equity.
Creating Company Logo
In addition to creating a unique name, designing your own distinct logo is another effective branding strategy that every business owner can employ. Aside from the name, having a logo to attach to that image reinforces the potential power that your brand has in the market. As a factor that compels customers to pick your brand out of other competing businesses, this is something that every businessman need not take lightly.
Visual recognition is the main purpose of a business or brand logo. Therefore, you need to produce a logo design that would easily stand out and be recognized. There are two steps involved in the process of creating a logo: first is conceptualization and then execution.
The conceptualization part is where you extract ideas from the message that you want your brand to convey to the consumers. Then, the execution part is where you produce creative ideas that will make tangible that concept you have for your brand. The execution part is the most vital part in this process because a good concept could still fail if not executed properly. Here is also where you should decide on the color or styles used in the logo.
Significance of a Logo
Logos are an integral part of a company’s branding strategy mainly because it is a visual representation of the company. For instance, companies create simple yet elegant designs to produce the idea of stability and trust. Meanwhile, other companies create an interactive and complex design to showcase the different features of the company.
Going back to the creation process of a logo, the information that you want to reveal about the company and its product will serve as basis for the creation of the concept for your logo. The same goes with how you utilize the design to showcase those information. There are different methods done to achieve this but you can perform some brainstorming to get the ideas out.
Logo as a Branding Strategy
The company is logo is the most important part in the creation of company image. It can be used as a trademark for the company to represent its existence and identity in the market. As compared to most advertising campaigns, a successful logo is one that is able to stay in the memory of the customers at a longer time and be able to appeal to their attention. This is crucial whenever you have several other similar businesses trying to achieve the same.
If you have decided on a final design for your company logo, then you can utilize that on various mediums such as websites, billiards, ad spaces, business cards, promotional items, and many more. If you did a successful job on the creation alone, the presence of the logo itself will serve as a reminder to people about your company and what type of business you do.
Protecting Your Logo
Since the logo is now a representation or visual image of your company, you must do your best to safeguard it and protect your company’s reputation in the market. If possible, you must patent your logo once you have decided on using it. Since you have invest much on it, you have to ensure that it is solely the property of your company. This applies not just for large-scale companies, but even for small ones as well.
Also, when you are working with somebody else in designing the logo, such as a logo design firm, opt only for those legitimate ones. This would help possible cases of infringement or to protect the reputation of your own company. After all, the main essence behind creating a logo as a branding strategy is to create your business identity.
What is Internet Branding?
Internet branding is one strategy that business owners can employ to establishing their position in the marketplace. Even well-established companies are investing on creating an online brand reputation since internet branding strategies have also produced massive impact on a brand’s effort to expand. This is most important these days wherein the internet has taken on a significant role in the everyday lives of the consumers. Hence, you need to utilize it as one of the means that you can communicate your message to them.
With internet branding, you are basically utilizing the tools provided by the internet as a leverage to all your marketing efforts. The objective with using the internet as a medium for promoting your brand works the same way as any other branding methods, which is to increase the demand for the products in your brand.
Importance of Internet Branding
Every business owner is aware of the benefits that a good brand can make for your company. Since the brand is basically what distinguishes you from any other companies that offer the same product or service, you must execute your branding strategies properly to produce the results you want. Take a look at some successful brands in the industry, who have become so distinct to the point wherein their names have been associated with a certain product. This is what business owners must try to aim for.
In business terms, this is referred to as brand positioning. It establishes the main locus of your product to the target market. Therefore, you will be utilizing the specific features that makes your product distinct from the other and use that as a focus of your message in the internet branding effort. Indeed, product differentiation and product positioning are closely linked to one another. These are two basic ploys that you can utilize in your internet branding strategies to own a segment of the market and produce a loyal customer base from that.
Is It Worth Investing In?
Several companies and brands have worked so hard on establishing their brand and yet they fail to look into the possibilities of producing an online brand. Hence, they lose that advantage to other brands who worked on appealing to the consumers and making their offer known.
However, if you opt to embark on an internet branding strategy, you must not also neglect the positive value or message that you are trying to impart with regards to your company. To sum it up, a good internet branding strategy is worth your investment. So, don’t just go right into an online campaign for your brand. It must be something that is a product of your thorough evaluation and planning.
What About Small Businesses?
Despite the large impact of the online industry in people’s lives these days, it is only projected to grow in the years to come. Hence, this makes the internet an even more reliable avenue to expand their marketing efforts. The best thing about the internet is that it provides an even playing field for big- and small-time businesses to promote their brand. Even new businesses can utilize the internet as a means to position their brand and make their existence known in the market. So, it’s no longer new these days to have new products or brands introduced online as it is one of the fastest growing industries today.
And yet, the benefits of offering your products and brand to a larger market is beneficial for small time businesses since potential buyers can focus only on the quality of service and performance. By maintaining the value and continually differentiating your product, then internet branding will offer several potential benefits for your business.
Effective establishment and management of your business brand is as equally difficult as creating one. Indeed, one’s you have created a standard and built your own company’s reputation, then you would have to constantly live up to that standard and avoid under-delivering. In the business industry, a failure for your company can produce manifold consequences and if you want to protect the brand you worked so hard on building, then you need to continually check on every aspect of it.
Managing Your Business Brand
If possible, assign a person who will continually look into the management of your company’s brand strategy. After all, it is a vital aspect of your business that you need to protect if you want to maintain whatever market success your business is currently enjoying. If not, then you can educate your employees or staffs on exactly what are the missions and objectives of your company brand. This knowledge will help them become aware of their role in producing and meeting customer’s standards for your business.
If you are aiming for a certain standard, having all members of your crew working towards the same goal and at the same pace will enrich all your efforts for an effective branding strategy. For a more effective management scheme, ask for suggestions on their end as well. You can get valuable input directly from the people who are involved in the process of creating or delivering products and services. Having their inputs will enable you to assess what other aspects of your business need improving and you can maintain the level of your business’ performance.
Value of Feedback
If you want a substantial feedback, then you can get it directly from the people who avail of your products and services the customers. As them for feedbacks on your brand to determine whether you are delivering the quality of standards you have set and they expect from you. If there are any dissatisfied customers, ask them for feedback on how you can improve the quality of your product or service. Your customer is probably your best source of honest criticism and should also provide you with a concrete idea on where you must improve.
Reviewing Your Brand
Successful brands are those that remain consistent with the needs of its consumers. Therefore, it is your duty to constantly review your brand and its performance to know whether you are meeting these standards. As times evolve, the needs of your customer changes as well. In fact, your customer base might change because of that. So, you need to adjust your branding strategy in accordance with changes in market demands and needs.
Even the most established brands change their marketing approach and branding strategy to stay attuned to the changing business trends in the market. Reviewing your brand must be something that you need to perform periodically; hence, you are always aware of any ongoing trends.
Importance of Reviewing Business Brand
The reviewing process involved in your business’ branding strategy offer several beneficial opportunities for your business and its expansion. Here are just some of them:
It is a good indicator of areas in the business that you can improve on or potentially expand.
Be careful when trying to stretch or expand your products because it might end up similar to some other existing products. Better yet, reconsider the possibility of creating a new product instead.
It will provide an avenue for more inputs and suggestions from inside or outside of your institution.
It enables you to validate your company’s core values and how your products or services remain consistent with that.
Periodical assessment of your business brand enables you to keep up with changing business trends and market demands.
Do’s and Don’ts for Reciprocating Traffic to Promote Your Blog
Some mockingly call it as the mutual admiration society and wherein people praise and link to each other in order to generate traffic. No matter how way you look at it, reciprocating traffic works not just for promoting websites but blogs as well. Here are several dos and donts to take note of if youre in the mood for sharing some love with your fellow bloggers.
How to Reciprocate Traffic for Blog Promotion
Reciprocating is easier than you think. You just have to take note of what other bloggers are doing for you and return the favor. Of course, you can also consider initiating things by being the first to post a comment, include a link in your directory, respond with a blog entry, or review another blog.
As long as what youre doing places focus on you and the other blogger, youre doing the right thing!
Make your reciprocation valuable
If you are going to reciprocate a favor, be sure to make it valuable and meaningful for the other blogger. It would simply be a waste of web space if all youre going to say is hi and goodbye. If thats what youre going to do, its best not to reciprocate at all.
To make reciprocation valuable, consider which areas you can make the greatest contributions pages which, even better, the other blogger would appreciate to gain more traffic for. Look for questions that coincide with your fields of expertise.
Make it mutually beneficial
Reciprocity is not merely an exchange of links. It also includes mutual acknowledgment and maybe even recommendation of each others expertise. When you post a comment or display a link in your website, make sure that the information you provide not only reflects positively on the other blogger but on yourself as well.
Pay attention to house rules
Reciprocation means visiting another persons blog and as they say, when in Rome, its important to do as the Romans do. Every blog has its own set of house rules and you must pay attention to them. One example of house rules is the inclusion of links in your comments. Some bloggers prefer not to have any links displayed without their express permission.
Acts of rudeness commonly result from simple misunderstanding and ignorance of rules. If youre unsure about your statement, you can always email the other blogger and ask for confirmation as to whether your reply is adequate or not.
Dont be condescending
Its easy to be so without even being aware of it. When you are visiting a blog thats less popular than yours, dont act or speak in such a way that youve made it very clear to everyone the other blogger should be grateful for you little act of reciprocation. Thats a big no-no to do, and youre sure to receive unpleasant feedback even if its true. Such things are better left unsaid.
Always return the favor
Last but not the least, remember to return every favor you receive! This is the golden rule of all golden rules and to violate once or several times is something that no Internet marketer forgets. Soon, tales of your infamy will spread and you shouldnt be surprised if the popularity of your blog starts declining.
Regardless of how much or how little youll benefit from reciprocating the favor, do it anyway. Its called good business!
About Brand Recognition
In any form of marketing strategy, brand recognition is usually the initial focus. Business owners employ varying tactics to increase familiarity on their brand wherein the ultimate aim is to create awareness about the existence of a given product or service. This process will then produce a domino effect and impacts people trust of the product and their decision on whether to purchase it or not.
Brand recognition can be achieved through various means though. Which is a good thing for business owners because this means they do not have to allot large amounts of money in order to get their brand recognized in the market. Awareness is of the essential in all efforts for brand recognition. All other steps needed to be taken after that must be looked at a different aspect, but this one serve its own purpose.
Importance of Brand Recognition
The reason might seem obvious but brand recognition offers multiple benefits for your business. It is capable of impacting other aspects of your business, hence this is a crucial determiner for success. Some experts have claimed that brand recognition is the most important factor that could spell a business’ success potential.
However, the main importance of brand recognition is to establish a mental connection between your business and its potential customers. Therefore, when your prospects hear about your company or its name, they will be able to produce a general idea of what products and services your business is offering.
With several similar business available, creating a distinction for your name in a given field of business will encourage more people to do business with you. You also need to consider the psychological aspect of it. Studies have revealed that people tend to go for a name that they know or recognize. So, this is a helpful stat that you need to take advantage of.
How To Increase Visibility?
If you’ve been working on a business startup, then chances are you already know the importance of brand recognition and its role in the success of your business. But the bigger question remains: how do you do it? Traditional marketing efforts for most company involves major expenditures being set aside for increasing media presence such as advertisement, to increase awareness of the product and create a connection between consumers.
Today, there are a lot more avenue for that, in fact more interactive ones. Aside from the traditional media outlets, the internet has opened up several possibilities to enable a business to establish its name and potentially grow. Therefore, companies have also worked on increasing their web presence to expand their market reach.
Studies have shown that most web surfers begin with a search. Therefore, it is best to optimize your web site in such a way that it ranks well in the search engines. In short, you have to make efforts to make your website easily found by potential web researchers. That is why several companies invest in search engine optimization to improve their performance and marketing strategies on the web.
Producing Strong Brands
The impact of brand recognition extends beyond purely marketing but also appeals to the emotion of the consumers. In order to produce a strong brand that has established itself on the industry, you must be able to purge favorable emotions from your customers. It is one thing that largely impacts a consumer’s buying decision, so it pays to invest in an effective brand recognition strategy.
The good thing about brand recognition is that it is not limited to giant companies. It also offers substantial benefits for even small-scale businesses. As the the clich goes, familiarity breeds comfort. And when people have increased familiarity or brand recognition, then they are most likely to feel confident about using your products.
What is Brand Credibility?
Brand credibility is often pointed out by marketing experts as one psychological factor that could trigger the buying impulse of consumers. However, just like with any type of triggers, it can produce a positive or negative effect. In this case, it refers to your brand’s reputation and its ability (or inability) to convert that into sales.
As a business owner, you must try to change your perspective into that of the consumers. Try to understand how you would perceive various companies and how it affects your buying decisions. Most often, consumers would opt for those companies that are deemed to be experts in their respective industries.
Other factors that affect your buying patterns would include longevity, which covers the years that a company has been in existence. This reflects their mass appeal and quality of their service or product given that it has been patronized by a certain demographic and for that given period. This is what credibility in branding is about: the perception that people have of your business or company.
Now that you understand what brand credibility is, you must face the harder question: how do you establish it? This is even more difficult for business newcomers or business startups because there is a lot of work to be done. Aside from that, you need to continually nourish it so as to be able to maintain that credibility that you have built up for your business.
Credibility is the heart of every business. Even though you offer quality products or services, if your customers perceive your company as incapable of delivering such level of quality, then it would be of no use. It would not be able to confirm your business as a reliable choice among several possible competing choices in the market.
To produce brand credibility, you need to meet the following categories:
Non-verbal such as your logo or image,
Verbal efforts through marketing or advertising,
Mission and Vision of the business to exemplify your organization’s values,
and, Internal operations that is crucial in delivering your promises to the customer.
Following are tips on how you can build credibility towards success.
You establish this initially by doing business that satisfies your customer. When you make advertisement claims about your product or service, you need to meet or exceed their expectation standards to be able to build that positive perception about your company. First impressions always last, so you need to make a good first impression if you want to increase market share.
Highlight Business Competence
Regardless of what product or service you are offering, you must demonstrate your expertise in that given field. Show data and statistics that serve as proof to what your company is capable of delivering. That is why most companies or websites advertise with testimonials to prove the results of using their product. When consumers see actual results, it extends from your products to your overall company image.
As already mentioned above, establishing credibility is not a one-time process. Instead, you must also work on maintaining and enhancing it. After all, one mistake could easily trump the reputation you have built. Consistency then becomes of utmost importance in your business. It must be aligned with all processes involved in your business operations, from advertising, to the marketing, and production.
If you want to attain a certain level of standard, it must be true for all levels of business operation since this will serve to back up your integrity. Learn to follow the essentials of building and establishing brand credibility for it is one important aspect in achieving longevity.
What is a Brand?
Branding your business is an essential step that any business owner need to take, whether yours is a small- or big-time business. In fact, it is something that must be looked into during the phase of business planning.
A brand is basically a name or a logo that will be used in advertising campaigns to represent your company or business. This will be used when printing out your business cards or when referring to your company. Hence, deciding on a brand must be undertaken with much consideration and thought. To sum it up, a brand details who you are, what you do, and how you do it.
Importance of Branding
There are several aspects that involve branding businesses. Each has its own importance and impact on attaining your business goals. This is a step that every beginning businessman needs to educate him or herself about because it will determine the company’s performance in the future.
Here are reasons as to why business branding must be given careful thought:
Creating Business Identity
When you use a business idea to start your own business venture, chances are there are already some other existing businesses with the same nature as yours. Therefore, you need to create a brand for your business that will differentiate you from your competitors.
So when deciding on a brand name or logo for your company, you need to think of creative ways that will help make your business be easily remembered by potential customers. Distinction is a vital part of every business venture and when people find that you have something unique to offer that lets you stand out from competing businesses, then you are one step closer to your business goals.
Once you have created your company brand, then that is when you need to look into delivering quality product or service that your brand will be perceived as. That takes you now to the next essential aspect involved with branding, which is marketing.
Marketing and Advertising Campaign
Branding also impacts the sales force of your product. If you are able to create a brand name that people will easily remember and recognize for your outstanding products, then it helps create an efficient branding system for your company.
The first step for a successful business is taking the time to let people know who you are, what you do, and the means at which you do it. Properly communicating your company’s vision through your brand is an essential stage of any business branding effort. Having established an effective company brand will also create awareness of the product you are promoting.
So, when people hear your brand, then they would easily think of your products or services and your company’s reputation.
About Internal Branding
Most companies focus entirely on promoting their brand to create a positive perception on the consumer’s brand that internal branding loses its share of the formula. An important share, at that. Marketing efforts are executed to establish a high-quality brand that delivers to the needs and demands of the consumers. But how do you ensure that you are delivering up to the standards of your company? This is where internal branding comes into play.
To attain good quality products and services for your brand, you need to take care of your business’ internal processes first. Internal branding is about the focus you give on ensuring that practices and methods utilized in the creation of products or services meet your company’s set of values. Branding must be done inside and out. You need to be able to reproduce these values in the mind of everyone who is a part of the organization so you can naturally promote your brand.
How Do You Achieve It?
You cannot produce a good marketing message to the public unless you start from within. That is something every business owner need to realize. Therefore, you need to learn strategies as to how you can effectively execute a sound internal branding system to ensure a cohesive take on developing a brand that will satisfy your potential customers.
Here’s how you can do it:
Gather together all of your development team work together in the development and creation of the brand to ensure that all methods are synchronized with your values and set of objectives laid out by the company.
When hiring employees to work with you, choose those that are aligned with the corporate values of your company. Having the right set of skills will enable you to achieve the most effective brand representation you desire.
Keep internal communication lines open at all times. This will enable you to reinforce and enhance whatever existing values that are being executed to meet the promise of your brand. If you keep nurturing this in the mind of the employees, then they will be able to develop that soon enough.
Benefits of Internal Branding
Aside from unity in your company’s vision towards what you want to achieve with your brand, internal branding offers more benefits. If you are not aware of the potential benefits that internal branding offers, these are just a few ways that it can help boost your brand’s campaign:
Internal branding produces a healthy working environment and cohesive working culture. Once all employees understand the vision behind the brand, all components of the company are now geared towards the same goals.
Internal branding produces a more consistent branding message. Once your brand have established a given brand reputation, your employees will be proud to represent your company while at the same time be challenged to meet its set of standards.
Internal branding serves as an avenue to push for change.
Internal branding develops your brand identity.
If you want to create an effective internal branding system, every company must give attention to the following set of principles:
1.) Give freedom not control. An effective internal branding management is one that emphasizes a set of rules that are agreed on by the employees, so they could genuinely contribute to the advancement of your brand.
2.) Decentralize. Learn how to trust your employees to deliver the quality your brand deserves.
3.) Communicate your company’s message to the personnel first before the customers. How do you expect your employees to deliver the type of standard you want to achieve if they do not have proper understanding of the company’s objectives?
4.) Synchronized operation. You need to be able to pull together different departments of the company so that everyone works at the same pace and perspective.
5.) Think long-term goals. No brand is created overnight. Therefore, you need to create that mindset in your personnel that enables them to think of the long-term impacts and effects of an effective internal branding system.
Measuring a Brand
Every business involves its own share of tangible and intangible assets, but brand is one of the most basic areas that business owners focus on. In a recent marketing research, it was revealed that brand equity played a vital role in determining its market value. Therefore, measuring a brand is one of the first steps undertaken by the head of the company if they wish to incur higher revenues.
How To Measure?
There are several elements involved in trying to measure a brand and its market value. All these factors intersect with one another such that they impact one another in evaluating the importance of a given brand and its value in the market. There are several variables involved such as whether you are weighing more importance on pricing or is more interested in enlarging your share of the market. That is something that you need to figure out amongst your organization first. Then, you can take into account the following brand value measures to reach your desired goals.
You need to evaluate your own brand and put yourself in the mindset of the consumers. How much are you willing to pay for that brand? Most recognized brands typically place higher premiums on their product as compared to other similar products from unknown brands. There are several marketing aspects to consider here but you can establish your brand by trying to lower your price to get a bigger share of the market. You have to conduct a thorough market research though before you come up with any decisions, so you have a basis for your evaluation.
To come up with a tangible data about this, you might have to conduct a survey. This will enable you to track down goods or services that appeal most to consumers. You can also take note whether there are any repeat purchases. This will enable you to effectively measure your brand’s value in the market.
Based on the level of satisfaction and benefits derived from the use of the product, consumers will have their varying perceptions when it comes to the quality of a given product. But even this one entails several variables such as consistency of delivering quality products or its performance in comparison to competition.
There are two ways to look into this one: in terms of money and benefits. However, these two are interlaced. Meaning, consumers determine the value of a product for its money based on whether it delivers the kind of benefits that the product promised and the consumers expect from it.
Even though it is not directly concerned with the product that a customer is in the process of buying, the reputation of the company behind the product impacts their buying choices. Is it a credible organization? Is it something that I can trust? Building that reputation comes in part of a business’ effort to build a strong brand.
To achieve this, most businesses often work on establishing brand recognition. Brand recall oftentimes lead to purchases since most buyers opt to buy something that is familiar to them, as opposed to an unknown product or brand. You need to work on protecting your brand though as a few mistake can destroy the brand that you have built.
Establishing a value for your brand proves to be difficult and a lot of hard work. And yet, money is only a meager factor in the entire formula. Only when a brand has established itself well enough such that consumers are willing to pay for it, regardless of the price, does it achieve its true value as a brand.