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In this saturated marketplace, the competition is extreme to come out on top. Brands are using all platforms, channels, and mediums to capture more customers and sustain market share.
However, no matter how much effort you spend to create the market a perfect brand image, customers only spend seconds thinking about your brands. There is a huge gap between how you think about your brand and how it is in customers’ minds.
If you want to understand this difference and measure the perceived value of your brand in customers’ minds, the easiest way is to run a brand equity survey.
In this blog, we will discuss how learning about your brand equity can help you build a stronger presence in the market. But before we start taking steps to measure, track, and build brand equity, let’s learn what it is.
Brand equity is the value, benefit, and influence that your brand generates as a result of increased brand awareness and recognition. It allows consumers to separate a reputable brand from a generic one.
To put it simply, brand equity reflects the consumer’s perception and trust in the brand’s products and services by impacting its current performance. The better the customer experience with the brand is, the better the brand equity.
This makes it easy to bifurcate between a high-quality brand with a loyal customer base from a generic brand. A prime example being we as customers would prefer buying a Nike or an Addidas sports shoe in comparison to any other brand.
You can gauge how customers perceive your brand by conducting a brand equity survey. You can don’t need to start your survey with demographic questions, you can create the survey based on the data you want to collect.
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As we have explained, this factor adds extra value that your company gets from your offerings because of its recognition among the customers. However, the recognition may not always be for good reason and the value you gain may not be positive.
There are two types of results you gain from being a recognizable name – positive & negative. Let us explain these two with real-world examples.
This refers to a case where brand value has a positive impact on business such that customers are willing to pay higher for its products. This comes as a result of better brand awareness and trust in the offerings of the brand.
For example, Starbucks, Porsche, and Apple are well known for their exceptional quality and extraordinary services offered to customers. This provides them an edge over their competitors which qualifies them as a premium brand.
This case arises when a brand’s image reflects negatively on its business and thus, consumers tend to shift their product choices toward other brands. Lack of good quality, bad customer experiences, or lack of brand awareness can be some of the reasons why negative brand equity takes place.
For example, McDonald released McAfrika in 2002 when a major famine hit southern Africa. The name of the burger was immediately criticized for being highly insensitive to the situation and the fact that it was released in Norway, one of the richest nations was perceived as a mockery of Africa’s financial situation. Mcdonald’s brand equity took a hit.
The best way to find out whether your brand has a negative or positive image is to ask the audience. Use a brand equity survey to see which emotion they associate with your brand.
[Related read: Customer-Based Brand Equity]
A brand can flourish only as long as a customer trusts its products and services and is willing to invest resources in measuring and building it. It provides the brands aspiring to increase their market share, a chance, to achieve the same by enhancing their image in the minds of their customers.
A brand with positive brand equity enjoys the following benefits:
1. Brand can establish itself as a niche for itself. This niche allows the brand to introduce new products and services without the requirement of putting in additional efforts to promote them.
Since the brand already has a loyal customer base, the products introduced under the same brand name have an established market and so, are guaranteed sales. The more products, the higher the profit generation.
For example, Google has dominated as a search engine and is now the most trusted cloud data drive and app store.
2. Brands can defy competition by building brand reputation and goodwill. If the customer‘s belief in a brand’s product offerings surpasses those of its competitors, its customer base widens and this puts them on a stronger footing than its rivals.
3. Brands with greater equity can charge high prices for their products without fearing a loss in market share. This is because of the simple reasoning that customers will be willing to pay higher for brands that have a better-perceived quality and awareness.
Customers are of the mindset that they’d rather pay higher for a standardized brand rather than compromise on quality by spending less on other brand products.
4. It assists in lowering additional resources spend on promotional activity. Brands with high brand equity are not required to spend much on production or marketing expenses.
Since the brand value for the customers is already established, spending on ad campaigns and awareness programs can be avoided. This, combined with the freedom to charge higher prices allows brands to increase marginal profits and, thus, brings in financial incentives to build their equity.
5. A company’s stock price rises as a result of higher brand equity. The brand with higher equity generates more sales as a result of better brand awareness, which results in higher profits and thus, higher stock prices.
These are the top five benefits your brand can enjoy by investing in building positive equity. But the question is where and how do you start? Surveys can help you understand what causes customers to decide which brand is their favorite and where they would willingly spend more dollars.
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Surveys are the best way you can learn how customers chose which brand they love and how fast they can recognize your brand among others.
A brand equity survey provides you with facts on whether the customers know your brand exists and what they think about your business. This survey is different from your customer satisfaction survey.
This type of survey helps you understand the success and recognition you have achieved in the market. The survey questions can reveal the level of awareness among your target market about your brand.
So what question should you be asking to get this information? Your survey doesn’t need to be a long traditional survey. You can pick the questions that matter the most and can give you meaningful insights.
Also often known as brand salience, brand awareness defines to which extent a brand is known among customers. Simply put, which brand name would first pop in customers’ minds when they hear a product or service?
There are three brand equity survey questions you can ask under brand awareness.
Q1. Which android phone brand comes first to your mind?
This type of awareness is called “Top of Mind” or “Unaided”.
This question puts customers in a spot where they are not influenced by any brand. They simply name the first brand that comes to their mind.
Q2. Which of these android phone brands have you heard of?
This is an example of the “Aided Awareness” question.
In this type of question, you offer the respondent a list of names mostly your competitors to discover which ones they know.
The major difference between aided and unaided awareness is that in aided questions you are asking if they have heard about specific brands. While in an unaided question, you leave the customer to give their answer freely without prompting them to think of a specific brand.
Q3. What are the top three mobile brands that come to your mind?
Spontaneous brand equity survey question helps you find out how aware the potential customers are of your brand. It helps you see where you stand among the competitors.
How likely are the potential customers to consider buying from your brand when there are so many alternatives?
With a consideration question, you can gauge the future behavior of the target market.
Q4. If your favorite diner closes for a month, which diner would you consider going to?
This is an example of “Relative Consideration”.
This type of question can help you find out if you are a backup plan for potential customers. It can also indicate what your ranking is in the current market.
You can use the information to conduct follow-up research to learn where you are lacking and how you can beat the competition.
Q5. How likely are you to consider (your diner’s name) for a dinner date?
This is an example of “Absolute Consideration.”
Instead of a roundabout question, you directly ask the potential customers whether they will consider engaging with your brand. This gives you insight into whether the customers will consider your brand in the future.
Understand how your customers and prospects perceive your brand. Using a brand equity survey you can discover what image your brand has in the mind of the target market.
Q6. Which words would you use to describe our brand?
This is an example of Cognitive Perception.
This can tell you which words your customers associate with your brand – are they positive or negative?
Q7. How would you describe your relationship with our brand?
An Emotional Perception question can help you identify the customers’ feelings toward your brand.
Q8. If you were to recommend our brand to your Instagram followers, how would you describe us?
Understanding the language they will use to describe your brand can give you a glimpse of how the customers think about your brand. This is also known as Word Association.
Perception questions can help you find out what kind of ideas or concepts they associate with your brands. This data helps determine the customers’ inclination toward your brand.
Q9. How likely are you to recommend <your brand name> to your friends? (On a scale of 1 to 10)
An NPS survey is the strongest indicator of customers’ loyalty toward the brand.
Asking such questions will help you learn what kind of experience your customers have with your brand. A customer with a negative experience will give a lower score, while a positive experience will win you a higher score.
The purchase habit and frequency of your customers in regard to your brand can indicate how loyal they are towards your brand.
Q10. How often do you buy our products?
You can use this question as an open-ended question. For example, a customer can answer it as ‘every time I run out of the product’ or ‘when I can’t find the X brand alternative’. This way you can also find the reason for purchase.
Or, you can also use it as a closed-ended question in your brand equity survey. This way you can find out the frequency, trend, and pattern of purchase.
You don’t have to create a long traditional survey to measure equity. You can simply choose an objective and create a micro-survey of 2 or 3 questions. You can use the data to conduct deeper follow-up research.
Some other questions you can use in your brand equity surveys are –
Q11. How long have you been aware of <your brand name>?
You can pose it as an open-ended or closed-ended question. The aim is to find out how recently your customers have learned about you. Discover if it was due to some changes you made recently or have they been customers since the old days.
Q12. Which of these statements/words would you associate with <your brand name>?
Using a closed-ended question like this can help you see if your marketing strategy is bringing the intended result.
For the answer options, use statements/words which you want your brand to communicate.
Q13. I think <your brand name> is … (Complete the sentence)
Similar to the Q12, you can an open-ended question like this towards the end of the brand equity survey to let customers define you in their own words.
Now that we have learned what questions to ask, let’s check out how you can measure it.
Gather reliable data from customers to take the right decision.
Now that you have learned about brand equity, you need to learn how you can measure it for your brand. While conducting surveys or market research on your customers and perspectives can help you achieve that, there are other ways as well.
We have mentioned two ways in this section to help you learn how to track it.
With a brand equity survey, you can ask customers how they perceive the brand to know whether or not the brand has been successful in generating the positive brand equity that it intends to.
Online surveys and questionnaires can be used to understand the public opinion of the brand. Telephone or offline interviews can also be used to add an interpersonal touch to customer interactions and can help in clarifying any doubts or confusions with respect to the survey or the brand.
Since you can create micro surveys, it’s better to run them every quarter or every 2 months. This way you can also track the impact of all the actions.
Brands having a higher price range and more market shares depict higher brand equity. This is simply because of the high level of trust and familiarity that the customers hold with the brand.
There are three ways you can do this:
That concludes how you can measure your brand equity, let’s see how to build brand equity.
The entire factor is about how customers perceive, feel, and think about your brand. So, to build strong and positive brand equity you need to make your brand relatable and recognizable for the target market.
We have explained three steps:
Let’s discuss these three steps in detail.
The key to achieving positive brand equity is by enhancing the brand name in the eyes of the customers
This can be achieved by forming a brand name that customers can identify with and remember.
Choosing a brand name that is effective and relevant to what the brand has to offer to its customer base is very important. It is also better to avoid generic names that can confuse the buyer and thus, may prevent prospective sales. Modeling the brand in a way that allows its products to stand apart from its competitors is the key.
The next step is to create an image in the mind of your customers that has a lasting impact. This image can represent what the brand stands for or what it seeks to achieve through its establishment in the market. This can be achieved using drive slogans that communicate the brand’s purpose or slogan.
For example, Netflix used its employee and customer experience as a brand proposition which made people identify with the OTT platform and allowed it to grow during the pandemic.
Amazon’s leadership principles for customer experience allow people to identify Amazon as an intrinsic brand devoted to the betterment of customer experience.
Tip: A brand equity survey can help analyze whether the perceived image of the brand aligns with the intended brand image.
Based on the market research conducted by the brand and the subsequent results, the brands need to adopt corrective measures to alter the image of the brand in people’s minds if they feel that it is not what they wanted in the first place.
Customer attitude towards the brand is the essence of brand equity. Aspects such as quality, relevance, superiority, and credibility must be addressed and efforts should be made to improve the customer’s experience with the brand based on the same.
Make sure your customer identifies with the brand and conduct a thorough brand equity survey before undertaking any major change. This allows customers to feel valued and builds loyalty with them.
Moreover, indulging people in social media and company events allows them to identify themselves as a member of a larger community. This brings the customer closer to the brand and forges a deeper connection on a psychological level.
Brand equity is defined by the worth and value of the brand as perceived by its customers. The stronger your brand equity is the more revenue you are likely to generate. Why? Because customers believe that the brand with more recognition offers the highest quality product and services.
We have discussed how you can use brand equity surveys to find out if the perceived value of your brand is positive or negative. We have also shown you how else you can track the value and build a stronger image to alter the value for the better.
You must constantly monitor your brand equity along with other metrics. Use the data to establish a stronger presence in the market and in the mind of potential customers.
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