The Debate: The real worth of brand equity in modern markets

Elisabeth Emory
Regional account director, Middle East, Kaleidoscope

What is the real worth of brand equity in modern markets?

Brand equity is critical with the changing landscape in modern markets. Many entrepreneurial and challenger brands are entering existing categories, creating new categories, and while some brands have the discipline to scale and evolve with an ever-changing landscape—most will not. Brands that have a clear direction, purpose, look, tone and feel and consistently deliver on the brand’s promise are more likely to resonate as consumer’s habits and preferences continue to develop. Whether a brand is entering an emerging market for the first time or is a key player in a developed market, brands that deliver unique experiences, challenge category norms, and surprise and delight consumers will rise to the top.

How has social changed the value of brand awareness?

Gone are the days of traditional marketing and advertising. Brands that formerly had limited resources, barriers to entry with consumers and markets now have free reign in a borderless realm. How a brand activates on social platforms and engages with consumers can now make or break a brand in seconds. Social platforms give brands the ability to have a deeper conversation with consumers, deliver curated experiences to specific targets, and drive brand awareness in real time. What brands choose to do with the learnings will determine the true value that social platforms can add to brand awareness and business growth.elisabeth

How can brands increase awareness in today’s markets?

Whether you are a startup, entering a new market, or even refreshing a heritage brand, challenge the category. Partner with your retailers to tailor new experiences in-aisle for consumers and in unexpected ways. Look for areas of opportunity to disrupt in tired categories, cross-merchandise in relevant categories, and participate in seasonally relevant occasions. Increased awareness can be as simple as investing in a new portfolio of displays or as complex as creating a brand destination within a store. Think beyond the aisle!

How do different generation’s value brand relationships and embrace brand loyalty?

More and more, consumers of all generations are looking for deeper and more meaningful relationships with brands. Brands that add value on a more meaningful level can help to drive brand loyalty. Whether a brand is targeting Gen X or Gen Z to anticipate needs of consumers will continue to drive loyalty in an ever-evolving global landscape.

How does brand awareness communicate quality to consumers?

Any brand can claim that it stands for “quality” or any attribute. However, the key to start is with consistent delivery and communication of a brand’s assets. Brands that invest in driving awareness beyond a great product or package, and that connect with consumers on a deeper and more emotional level, can help to drive trust and belief in core tenants and attributes of a brand.

How important is building brand awareness when consumers are increasingly embracing challenger brands and have access to other signs for brand quality such as online reviews?

The best brands in the world have a clear strategy and communicate their stories confidently and consistently. Consumers are yearning for more honesty, transparency and a real relationship with brands. While building brand awareness is important, listening and engaging with consumers on a personal level are more important. Listen and deliver on your promise.

There will always be brands that follow the leader, cut corners, cut costs and find a way in. Brands that focus less on the competition and more on building effective relationships and challenging the status quo will thrive as markets and consumer preferences fluctuate.

How can design help build and sustain brand equity?

Whether a brand needs a complete overhaul or a respectful refresh, design plays an integral role in building and sustaining brand equity. If you’re building a brand from the ground up, invest in design. Brands that spend the time to develop clear principles, toolboxes and guidelines that align with broader business goals, brand strategy and consumer need states will have the ability to expand and maintain equity as the brand matures.