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What does it mean for your company to have a strong “brand equity?” Well, it’s part of what makes your brand valued and meaningful in the eyes of your customers and prospects. Without brand equity, your b2b company is essentially marketing its brand without any defining characteristics—no real emotional value to gain from supporting it. That doesn’t exactly sound like it’s doing your target audience any favors, does it? That’s why we’re sharing the key advantages of brand equity in b2b marketing, with best practices your company can follow!
Your company’s brand equity is split into several areas
To get an idea of how your company can understand its brand equity and the influence it has on your audience, we’re going to breakdown a concept from Kevin Lane Keller’s “Strategic Brand Management.”1 In this book, Keller explains the different levels of brand equity. Let’s explore each level to see how establishing brand equity will give your b2b marketing company an advantage over your competitors.
Level 1: understanding who your brand is
This is important when determining just how your brand is going to stand out in terms of its identity. There are hundreds of b2b marketing companies that are competing for the same target audience as you. Your marketing company’s branding should stand out with recognizable features—such as an iconic logo or a message that feels truly one-of-a-kind in your industry.
Naturally, a strong brand message isn’t just something you can pull out of a hat; it requires a lot of brainstorming and a great team to share its ideas. To help with this first level of brand equity, here are some questions your company can ask in its brainstorming session:
- Who is your company’s ideal buyer persona?
- Are there any unique pain points your brand is looking to solve?
- What are your competitors already saying about their brands?
- Are there any brands that your company currently admires?
Level 2: understanding what your brand is
You can categorize this section of brand equity based on how your brand is serving your customers’ needs on a business level—such as how reliable and effective it is—and a psychological level. This is accomplished through two areas: your brand’s performance and its imagery. When combined, you’ll begin to see what makes your brand not just reliable and beneficial but also essential to fulfill the needs of your customers and prospects—and you’ll know where your brand value comes from!
Level 3: response to your brand based on judgment and personal feelings
We’ve actually written a previous post about making a strong first impression with your brand. Some key characteristics of your brand include its visual style, consistency in tone and voice, color choice, and the types of phrasing it uses.
Not every b2b brand has a tagline, but your company may have a few words/phrases that describe your brand (for example, thinkdm2 loves the word “simplicity”). Additionally, core values are a must for your b2b marketing company—or any company for that matter! Values show your audience that your company has meaningful beliefs and ideas that are unique to your brand alone.
It’s helpful to look at your company values from the perspective of your workforce and team; what does your company believe in, and how does it reflect upon your branding? Here are a few values that the team at thinkdm2 strives to follow in our company:
Level 4: how your brand emotionally resonates with your audience
This is arguably the most critical factor when it comes to brand equity. The perceived value of your brand rests in the hands of each level described above, but it’s the emotional resonance that truly holds the most weight. It’s what helps establish brand loyalty and keeps prospects coming back to your company when they are in need of a specific service.
It’s true that b2b brands aren't typically seen as the “emotionally-driven” type, but that’s going to have to change in order for more b2b companies to see branding success. There is a huge difference between a product or service that simply “gets the job done” and one that stays top of mind in the future.
With these brand equity advantages in mind, your b2b marketing company can boost its branding strategy and cultivate brand loyalty. If you’re looking for additional branding tips, check out more of thinkdm2’s blog work. We’re a digital marketing and branding agency located in New Jersey. Feel free to contact thinkdm2 at 201-840-8910.
1 Keller, Kevin Lane, et al. Strategic Brand Management a European Perspective. 4th ed., Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2019.