In this fourth installment of a five-part series, The Marx Group’s
founder and chief strategist Tom Marx looks at the keys of "Power
Branding: Five Secrets to a Knockout Bottom Line." To read previous entries in this series, click here.
Power Branding: Five Secrets to a Knockout Bottom Line
SECRET No. 4: Equity, your Brand’s Superpower!
What are your company’s major assets? A multi-million-dollar, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility? A huge, strategically deployed delivery fleet? Proprietary engineering secrets? The planet’s best-trained customer service force?
SURPRISE! These aren’t necessarily your biggest assets. In fact, your company’s brand equity is equally important, if not more so. Having a visible, well-known and trusted brand can benefit you in countless ways. It can help increase sales, generate more cash flow and improve your profits. If you decide to sell one day, brand equity will figure into the equation as surely as real estate. (It can also bring more attention to your company’s flaws, which is why it is important to have a foundation of core values, and stick to them.)
Think of brand equity as a superpower that helps you achieve goals like higher margins or price premiums with your current customers, while you generate more interest from potential ones. It enhances your company’s opportunities for market expansion, as well as segmentation and brand extensions. And, it increases your leverage in distribution channels. This lets you maximize marketing and sales efficiency, enhance customer loyalty and retention and zoom toward increased acceptance for new products.
How do you build brand equity? You create it every time you communicate with the world. This includes advertising and collateral, public relations, your website or educational channels.
Brand equity depends on three things:
1. AWARENESS. You build awareness in your customers, their influencers, the media and your channel partners by successfully deploying the five forces of branding that you learned earlier in this series of articles. But brand awareness has a downside. The more people are aware of your brand, the closer scrutiny it comes under. By sticking toyour core values and paying attention to all your elements you can help ensure that your image is a positive one.
2. CREDIBILITY. Building credibility is as simple (and as difficult) as delivering reliably on your promises. Nobody said it would be easy keeping the world safe for democracy, but if Superman turned his back on a villain, where would his credibility be?
3. AUTHORITY/LEADERSHIP. Of course, superheroes are leaders. Are you a credible resource within your industry? Your brand equity soars the more your audience believes in you, and turns to you for knowledge and expertise.
Nail these three attributes and you’re on your way to achieving out-of-the-solar-system brand equity.
Next time: IT’S TIME TO MAKE YOUR BRAND A SUPERHERO!