Coca-Cola, Goodyear, Jell-O, Tide, Gillette, Kellogg’s—what do these brands have in common?
High brand equity.
Each of these brands has a widely known reputation for a certain type of product with an expected level of consistent quality that has lent itself to consumer confidence. We buy these brands because we know and trust them; this level of familiarity and confidence amongst consumers is powerful. How do we achieve the same for our own brands?
To clarify, a brand is more than a logomark or logotype, and it’s more than just the product itself. A brand is the collective impression made on a consumer by all aspects of a product: the product itself, the packaging, the label, the marketing behind it, the problem solved by the product, the status gained by using the product, etc. In marketing, we often say, “When a consumer thinks of your product, the first thing that comes to mind is your brand.” This is usually the consumable aspect of the product and how it makes the consumer feel. When you think of Coca-Cola, while you may have a mental picture of a red label with flowing white script, your mind most likely comes immediately to the refreshingly crisp, bubbling taste of a fresh, cold coke. And if you’re like me, that mental image might even include smiles on a sunny day, or depending on the time of year, a familiar polar bear holding a glass—this is the Coca-Cola brand.
Equity is your brand’s reputation built over time. As a product is in the market longer and consistently meets or exceeds consumers’ expectations, its brand awareness, popularity, and consumer confidence grow. All of these are aspects of the equity, or overall reputation strength, of the brand. Think of Tide; their brand equity is so strong, their brand name has become synonymous with detergent.
Consider Google; due to the search engine’s popularity over time, we no longer search for things, we “google” them—the brand has become a verb because of how strong of a position they have achieved with consumers. This is brand equity.
Here’s why brand equity matters:
First, brand equity enhances consumer recognition and awareness for your product.
Your product’s reputation precedes it.
Second, brand equity enhances consumer preference for your product.
They reach for your product first, with hardly a consideration for your competitors, if any at all.
Third, and most importantly, brand equity enhances consumer loyalty for your product.
Imagine buying a generic name corn flakes, instead of Kellogg’s. If the generic brand is too bland, has an odd taste, or some other quality issue, the consumer will probably never buy that brand of cereal again. Not so with Kellogg’s; instead, the consumer chalks the defects up to a bad batch, and simply buys the same cereal again. What made the difference? Brand equity.
How do smaller brands, or brands with smaller markets, achieve similar affects with their consumers? How do our companies build brand equity? We must pursue consistent quality sustained over a prolonged period of time. No brand is built in a day, and consumer confidence is hard-won through single interactions, one at a time. Building brand equity is hard work, but well worth the effort.
For help assessing your brand equity, or to put together a strategy to improve your brand equity, our team at KC Media is available to you. KC Media is a wholly-owned subsidiary of KCooper Glassware Inc., specializing in branding, web design and development, and digital marketing.
Nate is a leader in the marketing space, with over a decade of experience leading marketing initiatives for several of the world’s most recognizable brands. His expertise centers around branding and digital marketing.