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    Defining & Applying Brand Equity

    June 30, 2022
    How much more or less is something worth because YOUR BRAND is the one providing it?

    Brand equity is a fancy marketing term that people trying to sell you marketing sprinkle throughout their pitch, but exactly what does it mean? Exactly what  are they talking about? It’s actually quite simple. Brand equity is the difference between the value of a product/service WITH your brand versus the same or similar product/service WITHOUT your brand. In other words, how much more or less is something worth because YOUR BRAND is the one providing it.

    Higher brand equity translates into better conversions across the board, including online and offline. Higher brand equity means higher price points. Higher brand equity drives market share growth. The really cool thing about brand equity is higher brand equity can actually drive even higher brand equity over time.

    The elements of basic brand equity are:   

    • Loyalty, aka REPEAT CLIENTS
    • Awareness, aka RECOGNIZABILITY
    • Quality, aka REPUTATION.

    Loyalty is impacted by how well your client experiences line up with your marketing and the expectations you set. Under promising and over delivering makes loyalty increase. Standing for something and operating with integrity increases loyalty too.

    Awareness is affected by how prominent your brand is in your prospects’ mind. Any marketing can increase awareness, but great marketing can take it to a whole other level. Being omnipresent in different verticals, having a balanced marketing portfolio, and making sure your brand messaging, graphics, imagery, etc all align with what your brand stands for all increases awareness.

    Quality has a lot to do with how memorable you are, in a positive way. Having a brand personality that synchs with your target prospects immediately results in a higher quality experience for everyone, including the client, your techs, and your company. Remember that quality means different things to different people, so it’s more than just what brand, processes, pricing, and  other elements and more to do with how those things meet or exceed client expectations. That’s why there are low price leaders with a satisfied customers  list that coexist in the same markets as high price leaders with equally satisfied customers. When it comes to “quality”, everyone may not be your ideal prospect.

    Your marketing only works when it’s so easy a caveman could “get it”. Don’t make prospects think too hard, or risk losing them quickly . . . astonishingly quickly!

    In theory, everyone in your market is competing to be the contractor of choice. In this battle for memorability, only those who market regularly enough will remain top-of-mind enough to win. If you stop marketing, someone else will take your place. You can never stop marketing! Prospects need constant reminding. This is likely to get exponentially more important as we navigate a potential economic recession. Companies that cut marketing as a strategy to get leaner and meaner, open the door for companies like yours to expand by increasing while they’re cutting.

    There is a trick to building brand equity with marketing. Your marketing only works when it’s so easy a caveman could “get it”. Don’t make prospects think too hard, or risk losing them quickly . . . astonishingly quickly!

    In this battle for memorability, only those who market regularly enough will remain top-of-mind enough to win.  In this battle for memorability, only those who market regularly enough will remain top-of-mind enough to win. 

    Your prospects want “nice and easy”… like 3rd grade simple. The more complicated your message… the more your prospect has to think… the more dots for them to connect… the more likely it is that you’ll lose them.

    Newsflash: Prospects don’t do what YOU want. Prospects do what THEY want. Your goal of any marketing is to increase brand equity by influencing the prospects’ perception of your brand. Are you cheap? Are you overpriced? Are you worth every damn penny? Are you in demand? Are you cutting edge? Are you easy to do business with?

    Forget what you actually have to offer, like units, equipment, tune-ups, duct cleaning, or any other trade jargon. Instead, what do you want your prospect to perceive you have to offer? Same day service? Next day installs? Free dispatch? Nights and weekends no extra charge? No maintenance fees for 5-years?

    Your prospects don’t “think”… they REACT! “Thinkers” don’t act… “Thinkers” don’t buy… they “think about it” or they “sleep on it”. Everyone and every decision are motivated by emotions. Prospects decide emotionally, then justify those decisions logically. How will your prospect react emotionally to what you offer? How emotional can they really get for a preseason tune-up? Or, would a Worry-Free No-Breakdown Summer be more impactful? Can they get emotional over waiving your dispatch fee with work? Or, would Guaranteed Same Day Service be more impactful to the person calling from a sweltering house?

    All of your marketing messages have four potential reactions or outcomes;

    1. Something is BOUGHT aka someone books a call

    2. Information is SOUGHT aka someone calls with questions

    3. Past experience creates a THOUGHT aka someone remembers something positive or negative about what happened last time they were in that situation

    4. Your message is FORGOTTEN aka someone couldn’t care less

    How do you maximize your marketing messages? Default to the KISS method, as in keep it super simple.

    • Simple Message – an easy to read, easy to understand headline, so a caveman gets it
    • Raise an Emotion – use of funny, inspiring, attention getting, lifestyle, or controversial imagery, so even a caveman pauses for a second
    • Ask for Something – a “no-brainer” offer, so even a caveman would do it

    A confused mind always says “No!” In the case of brand equity, make it easy for your prospect to pick you by standing for something that resonates with your prospects’, being omnipresent where your prospects’ are with a balance marketing portfolio, and delivering amazing brand experiences that align with your prospects’ expectations. Leverage your marketing to build your brand equity with simple messages, that speak emotionally to your prospect, and inspires them to take action. 

    Tom Casey, Jr. is chief quality officer at Griffin Service, St. Johhs, Fla. He was previously the CEO of Casey's Climate Partners, an industry leader for decades. Both companies have won ContractingBusiness.com Quality Home Comfort Awards, for excellence in efficient home HVAC installations. He can be reached at [email protected] / 518-732-JEDI.