In the late 1980s, brand equity emerged as a topic of discussion among industry-leading, multi-located enterprises. In most instances, brands with positive brand equities tend to deliver more consistent customer experiences.
For example, as a recognized e-commerce company, Amazon offers unparalleled convenience and world-class shipping options. For these reasons, Amazon is the undisputed leader in internet retail. Alternatively, when it comes to negative brand equity, Volkswagen lost consumer trust when it falsified emissions numbers.
The question is – what can your brand do to create positive brand equity?
5 Tips to Create Positive Brand Equity
The keys to business success lie in the way your business interacts with the consumer. This can be especially challenging within the distributed environment. Fortunately, as a recognized leader in brand management software, we've worked closely with hundreds of multi-located businesses and organizations just like yours.
In our experience, the following tactics and strategies have the most significant impact on building and fostering positive brand equity:
1. Prioritize Brand Awareness Campaigns
To influence customer perception of your brand, your brand must be known. A brand awareness campaign is a great first step towards getting the word out about your unique business or organization. Fortunately, there are plenty of great brand awareness campaigns to draw some inspiration from:
Hyatt Launches New Loyalty Program: The brand debuted its new loyalty program during the 89th Oscars. "World of Hyatt is an expression of who we are," said Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO. "It's a platform powered by our purpose – caring for people so they can be their best – and it inspires how we engage with guests, interact with colleagues and owners, and operate our business."
IHOP "Changes" Name to IHOB: For those outraged over IHOP's decision to change the company name, brace yourself – the name change was actually a clever ploy to promote its new line-up of beef patties. After a month or so, the company reverted back to its original name. This name "change" campaign was a clever way to promote a new offering, as well as its tried-and-true staple: pancakes.
2. Take a Stance
When it comes to increasing brand equity, don't be afraid to take a stand. Oftentimes, the most successful multi-located brands are the ones speaking the loudest about important social and political issues, including climate change, women's rights, education, economic opportunity, and more. In a recent survey, two-thirds of consumers said that it's important for brands to speak out on these and other subjects. Here's an amazing example from a recognized beverage company:
Heineken Launches a Social Experiment: In a social-experiment-turned-television-commercial, Heineken encourages viewers to discuss important issues over a cold drink. In this example, it's less about choosing a side and more about positioning the brand as a means to unite people with opposing views.
3. Build a Relationship With Consumers
Try building an authentic relationship with consumers. Your customers will thank you for it and think more highly of your brand. Today, building a relationship with your customers requires a bit of marketing personalization. In a recent study, marketing personalization leads to a sales life of 19 percent.
For many multi-located brands, print personalization is an effective way to achieve higher response rates from local customers. These kinds of personalized print assets come in many forms like a mailer addressed to the customer's first name or an advertisement that references their unique purchase history.
In most cases, building personalized print experiences at the local level requires an end-to-end solution for purpose-driven local marketing execution and support.
4. Offer Seamless Customer Experiences
To win customers, create a deeper level of trust, and build brand equity, many industry-leading brands are looking for opportunities to create a consistent customer experience. For distributed brands, a consistent customer experience must deliver on the brand's core fundamentals from one location to the next.
Delivering an exceptional customer service has helped well-known brands to become market leaders. Here's a great example to guide your customer experience journey:
Ace Hardware Jingle: Since 2006, J.D. Power has ranked Ace Hardware highest in customer experience among home improvement stores. You've heard the jingle a thousand times – "Ace is the place with the helpful hardware folks." More than just a catchy tune, this "experience" is brought to life in every retail location across the country. Before even stepping foot into the store, consumers rely on localized direct-mail coupons, catalogs, and other special offers to guide their in-store experience.
5. Rally the Distributed Network
To really make brand equity work, rally the entire distributed network. Each and every affiliate, representative, and partner needs to be behind your unique mission and values. Why is building and maintaining brand equity so important?
In most instances, this process starts at the brand level. Try to institute training programs that relay the importance of brand equity, the customer experience, and more. Additionally, look for opportunities to audit the local experience, such as satisfaction surveys or feedback forms.
Forge Your Path Towards Brand Management Success
By creating consistently positive experiences across the distributed or multi-located environment, your business is poised for creating a positive brand equity. In turn, this allows your affiliates or franchisees to compete with local competitors.
For many industry-leading businesses and organizations, the first step towards ensuring brand consistency across the network starts with centralizing marketing assets into an organized system. In most instances, a distributed marketing platform like CampaignDrive is an ideal solution for driving increased brand compliance.
To learn more about delivering on the brand's promise through consistency and compliance, we recommend downloading our free guide: Four Strategies to Align Local Marketing Initiatives. In this guide, we'll teach you how to leverage brand management technology to maximize efficiencies between local and national teams. Additionally, we'll give you the step-by-step playbook for developing a champion marketing team destined to create world-class equity-building campaigns.