When starting a new business, you operate on a small scale with limited resources and markets. Consequently, your decisions and ability to generate profits networks become highly dependent. Moreover, small businesses are often highly involved in their target communities. Because they have specific objectives and limited markets. Therefore, you cannot afford to become marginal. You need connections and frequent communications to build a large customer base.
Social media is a great tool for your business. The worldwide digital population has almost quintupled over the past decade. It is expected to grow even more. Online platforms allow you to reach a wider audience and provide an additional sales channel. In addition, social media is a relatively low-cost tool to enhance brand equity. If you don’t know what brand equity is or how to increase it, keep reading this article. All you need to know is here.
What is Brand Equity?
Brand equity refers to the commercial value of having a well-known brand name. A prominent brand name adds value to the functional value of a product or service. The additional value is regarded as brand equity. It is a customer-based asset or liability formed by the value of the company’s products or services. The correlation goes both ways, which means brand equity can also increase or decrease the value of a product or service. It can sometimes have a negative value.
Customers’ opinions and attitudes towards the brand constitute brand equity. It is based on their response to the image a company established, rather than objective attributes. Brand equity comprises four categories: brand awareness, association, loyalty, and perceived quality.
What is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness is the prospective consumers’ ability to identify or remember a brand and its product category. It is the outcome of what individuals have learned, seen, heard, and felt about a company. In addition, brand awareness consists of two sub-components: brand recognition and recall.
Recognition is the customer’s ability to generate knowledge of a brand when the name is mentioned or the logo is presented. Recall refers to the customer’s ability to retrieve the information of a brand with ease when given a specific product category.
How to Raise Brand Awareness?
Neither recognition nor recall are fully controllable attributes. But you can use social media to stimulate the effects.
- Understand the target customers. Don’t jump into the most trendy social media platform right away. You should always know whom your products or services are tailored for. Which channels do they use? What do they like or dislike? What exposes your brand to them most efficiently?
- Create engaging content to arouse interest and discussions. To make sure the content is always up-to-date and intriguing, you can utilise demographic and online behaviour data. They give you a glimpse of your customers’ information. For instance, like-button usage, search keywords, visitor frequency, and online purchases.
Use the data to examine and compare similar usage patterns, then create customer profiles. So you can identify the most popular topics among target groups to provide appealing content.
- Be active. Trends come and go in a blink of an eye. You need to make sure you exploit the relevant ones while they last. The more you do on social media, the higher the chance of catching people’s eyes.
Brand association is what a brand represents in a customer’s memory. Any form of interaction with a brand a person encounters can create a positive or negative association. It contains the meaning of a brand to its users and adds value to the company by:
- Facilitating the customer’s ability to process and retrieve information about a brand’s uniqueness
- Shaping a distinct image
- Stimulating positive attitudes or feelings
- Reinforcing reasons for purchase
- Providing a basis for expansion
How to Build Desired Brand Association?
Brand association has three dimensions: product and service attributes, positive attitudes, and customer benefits. You can enhance them via social media in two steps.
- Identify the brand values. Before sharing content on the internet, you need to know what image, personality, and values appeal to your target audience. You can use Aaker’s Brand Personality Scale to improve your brand persona. The scale indicates five distinct personality dimensions: sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness. Identify your brand’s value and ensure consistency in the content shared on social media.
Implement social media campaigns on highly discussed topics. You can stimulate a positive association by maintaining strong and unique
- Product mix
Campaigns that align with the brand’s core values are a great way to strengthen those attributes. For instance, an ESG campaign on social media. You can create hashtags to facilitate exposure and positive associations.
Brand loyalty refers to a customer’s tendency to purchase a specific product or service from a particular brand over time. It can be considered the primary component of brand equity. Because it generates a crowd of habitual consumers who are committed to the brand. Loyalty diminishes price sensitivity and adds substantial value to your company.
How to Retain Brand Loyalty?
Social media creates opportunities for companies to present free, informative, and exhilarating content. You can use it to build customer-brand relationships, co-creation and introduce new products or services.
- Interact with followers. To foster a positive relationship with your audience, you need to be social. After all, it would not be called social media if there is no social activity. You can create useful content that encourages people to follow the brand’s social media account.
For instance, a tutorial video, a trivia quiz, a poll, or a loyalty programme. Most people have a habitual purchase pattern on the brands they follow on social media.
- Listen to customers and be responsive. As most people dislike calling customer service, you can use the comment and chat function of social media instead. The function enables you to contact dissatisfied customers proactively. It tells you what people desire, too.
A complaint made on the internet is as important as the one made on-premise. Remember, electronic word of mouth travels faster and broader than traditional word of mouth.
- Create customised advertisements. To tailor the advertisements, you can use the customer persona or canvas established from the data collected on social media. Many consumers make impulse purchase decisions after receiving a more personalised message. They are willing to become frequent buyers when the brand understands them.
Perceived quality does not refer to the actual quality of a product or service. But rather a customer’s perception of its overall quality and superiority over other alternatives. The quality gives consumers reasons to purchase and establish stronger brand loyalty. It also provides a basis for brand differentiation and extension.
The perception of quality is especially crucial when you operate your business online only. Because the absence of physical products diminishes individuals’ intention to purchase.
How to Increase Perceived Quality?
Word of mouth has a significant impact on perceived value, as people tend to trust words or other users more. So let’s enable the positive words to pass around to customers.
- Create a theme and be consistent. Atmospheric stimuli like the colours and tones of a brand page stimulate individuals’ attitudes and perceptions. People tend to believe well-managed social media accounts mean higher quality. You can use a coherent colour palette and a clear product category to create a beautiful visual.
Remember to maintain the brand theme so your page doesn’t look messy. An organised social media account makes your brand seem more professional.
Provide open access to information. Expanding information sources can influence consumers’ evaluation of a product or service. You can facilitate transparency and generate positive word of mouth with
- Q&A sessions
- Showcasing the business owners and daily operations
- Providing company details
Brand equity is essential to all businesses, especially smaller ones. If you just start a business with limited resources, social media is what you need now. It is free and accessible to everyone with electronic devices. So incorporate it into your marketing strategies and make your presence visible. Now, follow the above-mentioned advice and make a grand entrance to the digital world!