Brand equity is the value that your brand brings to your company. You can measure it in a number of ways, such as the price premium you can charge over a no-name product, or long-term customer loyalty. One way to strengthen your customers’ perception of your brand is to apply the Customer Based Brand Equity Model created by Kevin Lane Keller, a marketing professor and author of the textbook, Strategic Brand Management. These steps build from a base to form a brand equity pyramid.
Step 1 – Identity: Build Awareness.
Begin at the base with brand identity. Build basic awareness of your brand. Make sure customers recognize your brand and see it in the way you intend.
Step 2 – Meaning: Communicate What Your Brand Means and What It Stands for.
Know what your brand means (“performance”) and what it stands for (“imagery”). Performance describes how well your product meets customer needs. Imagery refers to the social and psychological aspects of this. For example, a company that is genuinely committed to being environmentally responsible will build loyalty from customers and attract employees who identify with and support those values. You can develop greater brand meaning through targeted marketing, word of mouth and positive direct customer experience.
Step 3 – Response: Reshape How Customers Think and Feel about Your Brand.
Customers respond to your brand through judgments and feelings. Judgments relate to things like quality, credibility, how relevant your product is to customer needs, and whether your brand is superior to those of your competitors. Positive feelings could include warmth, fun, excitement, security, social approval and self-respect.
Step 4 – Relationships: Build a Deeper Bond With Customers.
The most powerful – and difficult to attain – level in the brand equity pyramid is resonance. This refers to building deeper customer relationships. Achieving this means that your customers have formed a deep psychological bond with your brand. They make repeat purchases and they feel an attachment to your brand or product. They might feel a sense of community with other consumers and company representatives. And they can be actively engaged as brand ambassadors by taking part in online chats, attending events or following your brand on social media, such as Twitter or Facebook. That brand equity connection can be tremendously valuable.