Brand capital: understanding, developing and analysing

corporate branding agency in India

The concept of brand equity first appeared in the 1980s, when spectacular brand buyouts showed that a brand’s value was not based on its turnover. Brand capital is defined as all the attributes and behaviors of consumers associated with a brand, resulting from marketing actions.

What are brands for?

Brands are used to build sentimental relationships with individuals. As soon as one of the two parties stops making an effort towards the other, there is a risk of infidelity. The difference is that, unlike a relationship between two individuals, the brand has a direct interest in making an effort towards the individual who is seduced and courted. The concept of the passive consumer has completely changed in recent years to that of the consumer actor. Now their voice is being heard, creating a dialogue through new technologies and especially social networks. Consumers are now getting involved and promoting their opinions, forcing brands to listen to them and adapt to them.

But what is a brand?

A trademark can be a name, a term, a design, a symbol or any other characteristic that distinguishes the seller of a good or service from another. The brand is a capital that gives value to the company and its products.

Attention! A brand is neither a company nor a product. According to the definition of the Internet user, a brand is defined as simply being the distinctive sign of a company.

The brand capital

It is a concept that seeks to explain and quantify the fact that consumers respond better to marketing campaigns for a product or service of a certain brand than another.

From the consumer’s point of view: brand equity is the sum of positive and negative associations with a brand.

From an organizational perspective: brand equity is the consumer perspective perceived as an intangible asset in the income statement.

How to measure the strength of a brand

Brands sometimes have a financial value on the stock market. Stock market quotations are the result of human speculation. In other words, the idea and imagination that individuals have of the future.

The power of a brand therefore lies in the minds and feelings of consumers. Because in the end, they are the ones who decide!

Brand equity as perceived by consumers

Consumers react to marketing stimuli and develop preferences based on their perception or satisfaction.

Capital based on consumer perception (CBBE: Customer-Based Brand Equity) can be defined by the following 3 notions:

  • Brand effect: consumers may have a different response to a brand (since it is a matter of feelings, every human being is different).
  • Brand awareness: what consumers have learned, felt, seen or heard from a brand.
    Consumer response: perceptions, preferences and behaviours generated through marketing actions (ads, promotions, samples, etc.).
  • This brand capital (CBBE) exists when the consumer is sensitive and familiar with a brand, and establishes a strong, unique and memorable association with it.

We find 2 characteristics:

1. Brand awareness

Brand awareness is the consumer’s ability to:

Recognize the mark: i. e. it is capable of identifying the mark, having already been exposed to it before. This concept is important if the purchase decision is made at the point of sale. For example, you are in the supermarket, you spot a brand (logo, packaging etc.) that you have already seen and you decide to buy this product.
Remember the brand: i.e. he is able to remember the brand when suddenly he is faced with a certain category of goods or services. This notion is important if the purchasing decision is made upstream. For example, you want to buy yogurts, you remember an advertisement on Danone and their Activia yogurts that are good for digestion, you arrive at the supermarket knowing already that they will end up in your basket.

How to build brand awareness:

  • Expose the consumer to brand elements (logo, packaging, slogan, etc.).
  • Expose the consumer to marketing stimuli (events, promotion, etc.).
  • Create strong associations with the product category or need that the brand satisfies.

2. The brand image

Brand image is achieved when the consumer establishes a unique, pleasant, coherent and consistent association with a brand over time.

Here are the key factors in the development of the brand image:

  • Strong brand associations: attributes and benefits.
  • Pleasant combinations: desirable and reliable.
  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP) are the unique factors that differentiate you from your competitors (whether tangible or intangible).
  • Brand positioning

Let’s first look at 2 important concepts:

  • PODs (Points-Of-Difference) are the attributes and benefits that consumers associate with one brand and do not expect to find in another.
  • POPs (Point-Of-Parity), on the other hand, are the common elements that your brand has in common with other brands.

How to define your POD and POP:

  • Criteria associated with the consumer:
    • Brand consistency
    • Distinctive sign, better quality
    • Credibility etc.
    • Criteria associated with the organization:
    • Feasible
    • Profitable
    • Protectable

These criteria can obviously change depending on the type of organization, sector of activity, etc.

The first “salience” (or awareness) step is the step by which consumers recognize and are aware of your brand.

The second step, “performance”, defines how your product or service meets the needs of consumers.

The third “imaginary” refers to how your product or service meets consumers’ needs from a social and psychological point of view (this can be called a user experience).

The next two steps “opinion and affect” are those that refer to the points of difference and parity. Consumers will judge your brand according to different criteria, such as quality, credibility etc.

The last “resonance” step, the ultimate and most difficult step to reach, shows that consumers are committed to your brand. We are talking about fidelity, attachment and community. These consumers can be ambassadors for your brand.

What tools should be used to acquire or increase brand equity through an Inbound Marketing strategy?

Let’s assume that your organization already exists. Start by reviewing some important basics of your business model, namely:

The overall strategy of your organization or brand platform that reflects your organization’s identity in both substance and form (identity, vision, mission, values and promise). This brand platform allows you to express the added value of your organization to bring together both internal and external players.
Your target (if not already done, define your buyer personas).
Your editorial and graphic charters that establish how you address your target audience in a visual and editorial way.

The objectives here are therefore to increase brand awareness in the first instance and then to move towards a strong brand image to build customer loyalty and create a real relationship with them. The ultimate goal would be for your clients to become ambassadors, talk about you, recommend you.

Here are some examples of themes you could address to promote your brand:

Share your brand platform with the public.
Sharing the brand platform with internal and external stakeholders shows that you want to make the relationship more intimate because, indeed, brands seek to build sentimental relationships with individuals.

Publish content that highlights your corporate social responsibility (RES: Corporate Social Responsibility).

According to a study conducted by Denjean, out of 1000 French respondents, 90% of consumers say they appreciate companies with a quality CSR policy more and would be 97% to consider boycotting an organisation with bad environmental or social practices! Find a summary of this study.

In this logic, do not hesitate to talk precisely about the associations you support (why and how). Feel free to show the impact that your help has generated (images, videos, figures, etc.)

Talk about your internal organization, for example, the benefits provided to your employees, structures that improve well-being at work, etc.

To conclude on this notion of brand equity, it is true that this notion encompasses many subjects. We focused on the theoretical part (definition, concept etc.) then we had a very specific approach of the tools that you could activate from an Inbound marketing point of view, which is our core business at Crux Creative Solutions. Of course, this brand image is acquired through long-term work and encompasses many more aspects than those mentioned in this article. To know more about brand equity and corporate branding agency in India, call us on +91-124-4207905 or contact us here.

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