Brand Equity: What Does It Mean and How can You Improve It?
“If no one hates it, no one really loves it.” Jessica Walsh
Your experience, credentials, accomplishments, awards, etc. are important. But that’s not the first thing potential clients look for. They first form a perception of your brand. If your brand doesn’t resonate with them, if they don’t feel “hey, you’re just like me”, they’re not going to get to the point where they really care about your experience, credentials, etc.
Brand equity can be defined as all the assets that enhance a company’s visibility and loyalty, and create associations and experiences with, and perceptions of that company. Brand value, on the other hand, is simply the financial worth of the brand.
A highly regarded brand leads to repeatedly selling more products or services at higher prices.
Some Examples of Companies With High Brand Equity
Think about companies like Apple, Nike, or Louis Vuitton. They don’t need to talk about their past accomplishments or why you should choose them over the competition. Their brands are so strong that people know exactly what they stand for.
Apple is perhaps the best example. Their “Think Different” campaign attracted devoted fans who resonated with the idea of thinking, or being, different. It has a magnetic appeal to anyone who believes they don’t fit in with the status quo—the rebels and world changers.
How Much Can a Brand Really Be Worth?
According to Forbes’ annual list of the World’s Most Valuable Brands, these are the values of the top five brands in the world:
- Apple $ 241.2 Billion
- Google $ 207.5 Billion
- Microsoft $ 162.9 Billion
- Amazon $ 135.4 Billion
- Facebook $ 3 Billion
So brand equity can be a very significant percentage of a company’s overall value.
Interestingly, while the top four companies increased their brand values from 17% to 40% over the previous year, Facebook’s brand value dropped by 21%, showing the dissatisfaction of consumers with the way Facebook has been behaving.
It’s All About Emotions Attached to Your Brand
How does your business feel to prospects, like people who visit your website for the first time? What emotions are in play? Do visitors feel they can trust you and that you care about them, or do they think you only care about yourself? Unfortunately, many businesses use their home page and about page to do very little but talk about themselves.
- “We’ve done this, and we’ve done that.”
- “We have 140 years of combined experience.”
- “We’ve been voted the top business in our industry five years in a row.”
Clients don’t care about how great you say you are; they want to know what you can do for them—what problems you solve, how you solve them, and your excitement about helping them. Show them you’re emotionally connected to them, that you really care about helping them, and chances are they’ll quickly go from being mere prospects to actual clients. They feel that they’ll have a positive relationship and experience with your business.
If your business comes across as being smug, aloof, or emotionally absent, chances are the bulk of your prospects will run away. Fast. Of course, you might resonate with prospects who are themselves smug, aloof, or emotionally absent, but we’d guess this would be a small minority.
Build Your Brand Equity and Transform Your Business
Take some time to figure out who you are or, more accurately, “who” your business is. What does your business value, what does it stand for, what is its personality, what is your business culture?
Define these things and then write your home page, targeting your ideal clients, and you’ll not only get more of your ideal clients, your enhanced brand equity will set you apart from the competition. You’ll be a magnet for your ideal clients. And those clients will not only become loyal to your business, they’ll rave about you to their friends and associates, resulting in even more business.
And that’s not all. Prospects will also be willing to pay more for your services when there’s a strong emotional connection.