It is no secret that branding begins in the brain. When we see a brand name or hear a familiar identity, our brains begin the association process. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin or dopamine, work throughout our brain and body. These chemical reactions are quite powerful as they can impact our mood, our perspective, and ultimately our decisions. This is why so many businesses seek to build brand equity to register tangible growth in demand.
But what is Brand Equity?
Brand Equity : “A set of assets and liabilities linked to a brand, its name and symbol, that adds to or subtracts from the value provided by a product or service to a firm and/or to that firm’s customers.”
And what is an Asset?
Assets can include many creative elements around the brand: logos, slogans, colors, celebrities, fonts, music and advertising style. For example, if you see the words NIKE and BASKETBALL written on a wall, what comes to your mind? Exactly; Michael Jordan.
In 2003, Michael Jordan retired from basketball for the third time. The greatest player of all time finally left behind a sport he had dominated throughout the 90s. In the intervening years, Nike has continued to sell the shoes that bear his name, with sales last year (2017) rising 17% to $2.6 million.
Despite the decade-long absence of the man himself, The Air Jordan brand proves to be an extremely strong asset for Nike.
The 3 Pillars of Social Media and
The widespread adoption of social media by consumers and brands has changed the brand/audience relationship drastically.
A brand’s online presence, particularly their social presence, can be an asset that builds brand equity, adding value to the consumer and the brand.
- The brand/audience conversation
Conversations between brand and consumer are equally important, whether with a customer or a prospect. Good conversations can become a strong brand asset and drive brand equity.
What do successful conversations look like then?
People will discuss any part of their experience with a brand. Increasing the quality of conversation around your brand means improving every aspect your brand is offering.
To drive positive conversations you will have to focus on every customer touchpoint: customer service, products and packaging, the point of sale experience, recruiting the right staff, good adverts and a good website.
The positive or negative stories that emerge and spread online about a business help to inform consumer choice. These conversations can be used as feedback to improve the customer experience.
More importantly, it is important to engage with customers online. Many brands are beginning to do this by communicating with positive, as well as negative feedback.
These conversations can be directed and controlled by improving customer experience at every point. This will benefit the consumer, drive better conversations, and enhance brand equity.
Red Bull is the Taylor Swift of brand content marketing. While the brand has gotten more buzz from their in-person events / stunts, their digital content is equally thrilling. Their microsite The Red Bulletin showcases a variety of savvy content marketing, ranging from an aesthetically pleasing interface, reinforcing their modern brand ethos. In addition, their content is relevant for the consumer, further strengthening the brand-consumer relations.
- The power of word of mouth and advocacy
Whether online or in real life, word of mouth is central to the discovery of new brands. It is one of the most widespread and trusted modes of discovery. People discovering new brands in this way do so very naturally, and on a regular basis.
Conversations around content are particularly commonplace. These conversations can increase trust and opinion in a brand even before a direct personal experience, furthermore increasing the likelihood of proactive discovery and ultimately conversion.
Advocacy. People feel motivated to recommend a brand when it really resonates with them. They not only appreciate it for what the brand does for them, but the experience evokes a positive emotional reaction, which they will want to share with others. The more they know and trust the person making the recommendation, the stronger the influence on their attitudes and behavior will be.
Secondly, being part of a social conversation – online or offline – makes the brand seem alive and part of the contemporary scene. Simply hearing the brand’s name will help trigger pre-existing brand associations and ensure that they come readily to mind. In addition, the more people hear about the brand in conversations, the more likely they are to believe that it is big, established and successful.
Example-WeWork. If you look at the WeWork Twitter account, you’ll find plenty of Tweets that speak directly to the company’s main demographic, which is entrepreneurs pursuing their passions. Their social media voice is genuine and authentic to the brand.
- KPI ‘s and Measures
Social media brand equity can be measured by analyzing:
Differentiation — Shape and division of word clouds associated with the brand in social media discourse
Relevance — Comparative presence of the brand on key social networks with regards to a certain product category
Esteem — Positive minus negative associations with the brand in social media discourse. Note that this is an indicator that is in vogue already under the name Brand Sentiment, and it is predominantly measured through social media data nowadays.
Knowledge — Comparative presence in unexpected areas of the collective brain that show the brand is transcending its category, association with behaviors that means more than pure necessity or functionality.
Social media marketing can bring a huge number of benefits to your brand:
Increase brand awareness – Social media can give you a voice to communicate to a huge number of customers and potential customers. By reaching out to more people you can raise awareness of your brand and increase your customer-base.
Build a brand community – Social media helps you to encourage two-way communication with customers and potential customers; by actively engaging with them you can find out more about what they want and how you can help them. Building a strong brand and community around your social media platforms will encourage and increase brand loyalty.
Nurture brand champions – Often the best brand builders are your customers themselves. Through social media you can engage with those who are the most fanatical about your company and product and help them to spread your brand further.
Expressing brand leadership – Through social media you can express personality and help your brand stand out when compared to your competition.
Thanks for reading; My name is Brizzo and I’m a digital marketer based in Shanghai.
My experience is on Personal Branding & Online Reputation on Social Media.
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Brizzo is a dynamic and energetic investor, marketing strategist, musician and online reputation specialist. He is the Co-Founder of AICY Create, https://www.aicy-create.com/, a leading marketing agency based in China, with expertise in Personal Branding and China Digital Marketing.