As a website owner, you should know the importance of building an effective brand for your site that encourages customers to return. A strong brand can mean the difference between running a small business and creating something which sticks in the mind and promotes your company more effectively than any other kind of marketing. If you thought that a brand identity just revolved around the colors and logos on your site, then you should think again, because building brand equity is an essential part of the branding message, and needs to be put into place before you can hope to make a great deal of money from your business.
Effective brand equity involves not just the physical appearance of a site, but involves the deepest part of your company’s identity, its potential for attracting customers. Equity relates to the marketing effect of your current brand, while comparing that to the effects which would occur if the brand did not exist. This equity is considered to be the long or short term impressions that customers receive of the brand, these impressions affecting their decisions about whether to use the company operating the brand. Customers also receive values, which is again reflected in the equity, and may also be influenced by things such as a Brand Promise, which involves their beliefs and expectations concerning the performance of the brand.
Far too many companies have a brand equity which is too low, because their brand identity is just not pulling its weight. Building brand equity means creating a more effective marketing campaign, and many websites can struggle to raise their equity due to the block created by their early identity, both in the minds of customers and in their own minds. These companies often suffer problems with retaining clients, and there may be no long-term relationship between the business and its customers. Low levels of equity suggest that the website is not keeping hold of as many clients as it could, and also that it is losing visitors early on in the process, meaning that they are losing sales. In order to ensure that your website fulfills its potential, you need to work on building brand equity.
If you are curious about the benefits of building brand equity for your website, and are wondering how you can benefit from improving this rather abstract notion, you should consider the brands which are good examples of brand equity, such as Microsoft, D&G, and Sony. Even websites that you might not associate with brands, such as the New York Jets fan site, still has good brand equity because of the clear associations between the company (the sports team and website shop) and the brand.
If you have decided that you would like to improve your brand equity, then you need to think about the ways in which you can improve your brand, and the way that it is appearing to your customers. One of the most effective ways of building the brand and its equity is through the brand promise. This is not the company swearing to uphold the law, or similar, but involves an emotional connection to the customer, giving them a feeling that it upholds their values, or stands for a set level of values which the customer appreciates and reacts positively to. By creating a brand promise you increase the client’s trust in your products or services. This trust is also passed on to potential traffic to your site, bringing more notice for your brand.
A second method of improving the levels of brand equity is through creating category-specific types of equity. These relate to the customer’s expectations about specific areas of your business, so for example your client might expect your product to be made from recycled paper, or made using environmentally friendly processes. You could encourage the clients to believe that you provide an extra-quality level of care for their purchases, giving them a more positive experience of your brand, and improving the equity.
Increasing brand equity involves improving your position through positive marketing to your clients. You need to do this by developing a better relationship with them, and if you are operating via a website, you should do this through online promotions of your products and services. It is not always easy for a company to create better brand equity on their own, since they have already built the brand. This means that the best step they can take to positively improve their equity is by employing another company to work on marketing and relationship-building.