6 Surprisingly Simple Ways Your Startup Can Benefit From Better Brand Equity
Building trust and credibility is one of the best investments you’ll ever make.
Brand equity: it’s one of those buzz words you hear thrown around conference tables and over near-empty cups of coffee, but you may very well not know what it really means or why you should want it. What you do know? You should want it.
So first: a quick recap of brand equity.
If the difference between brand equity and awareness is still a little blurry to you, we recommend you get a refresher in our Ultimate Startup Guide to Brand Awareness, where we dissect the difference between brand awareness and equity, and show you practical steps to bolstering both.
For the purposes of our piece though, let’s defined brand equity using Shopify’s helpful definition.
“Brand equity is a marketing term that describes a brand’s value. That value is determined by consumer perception of and experiences with the brand. If people think highly of a brand, it has positive brand equity. When a brand consistently under-delivers and disappoints to the point where people recommend that others avoid it, it has negative brand equity.”
But what are the tangible advantages of investing in a well-crafted and maintained brand? We’re here to break it down with 6 of the most important and surprising perks to developing strong brand equity for your startup.
And trust us, you don’t need to be Apple or McDonalds to reap these benefits – these powerful perks can dramatically impact any bottom line.
#1 - Intrigue investors
I think we can all agree that walking up to someone and asking them to invest their fortunes in you and your product is a terrifying prospect, but when you have a strong idea of where your brand stands, how to foster customer trust, and what makes you the best; pitches become easy.
Heck, if you’ve built up a name for yourself, some of the investors at the table may even know your name and be eager to chat. Knowing in your bones that you have what it takes and that you know how to clearly communicate your vision makes it simple to walk up to the plate, take a swing and knock it straight out of the park.
#2 - Foster Employee Loyalty and Engagement (and minimize turnover!)
Working for someone else can be a grind or a joy, but most would agree: working for someone that’s incredibly passionate about what they do – and why they’re doing it – always goes a long way in giving a team purpose and momentum. And the numbers back it up. Recent Officevibe stats have shown that “employee turnover can be reduced by 28% by investing in employer brand”, while Glassdoor has found that 84% of job seekers consider company reputation to be important.
One great way to make sure that your employees love working for you and give you their best? Provide clarity and include them in your big-picture vision, in the change you’re trying to bring to the world and in the values that drive you. Let them in on the dream and show them why they’re part of something that only you can truly do – and then give them the tools and trust to share it all with the world.
Curious to know how you can zone in on your company’s values, mission statement and vision? Check out our Ultimate Startup Guide to Brand Awareness for some helpful definitions and checklists.
#3 - Attract Other Kindred People and Brands
Part of building your brand equity is building a network of like-minded peers; people who are so engaged with who your company is, and what you’re doing, that they just want to be in your space. What this does is set you up as someone who knows people. What’s better than being able to tell someone, “Oh hey, I’ve got a guy for that”?
According to LucidPress, 64% of consumers say that shared values are the primary reason they have a relationship with a brand, so if you’ve got a relationship with other great companies who share your mission, vision and values; you’ll be well on your way to progress and growth.
#4 - Increase your Market Share (and launch some new stuff)
When you have brand equity, you have the loyalty of not only your staff, but your clients and consumers as well. People who know you, know that what you have to bring to the table is exceptional, so as you prepare to bring out your Next Big Thing ™, your target audience is already 100% onboard to give it a try.
After all, if you did it – it must be good.
#5 - Cushion the blow of raised prices or rates
We’ve all been there – the cost of delivering your product goes up, your favorite supplier decides to take a six-month sabbatical in an Ashram in India and now you’re forced to use their more expensive second cousin.
No? Just me?
Anyway, at some point, you may need to increase the cost of your product in order to cover your own operational costs while still being able to pay your staff, keep the place heated and maintain your luxury yacht off the coast of the Pacific. You may also just need to make a big hire, or you’ve entered a higher-end space that warrants a change in prices.
Built-in brand equity means your target market has already positioned you as a brand to be trusted to deliver quality and consistency. If your new prices still respectfully align with the quality of your entire brand experience, your target market will absorb those costs with little to no hesitation – because what you’re offering means more to consumers than the upped price tag.
Need an example?
*cough* Apple *cough*
#6 - Navigate and Overcome Crisis
You may have heard the expression, “the best defense is a good offense” around a rink or a pitch, but sports isn’t the only place where the wisdom applies.
Brand equity is like a vaccine against failure. No, it’s not going to keep you from failing altogether, but when you do fail (and you will, you should) your client base will already be invested in you, your company, and what you do. If you navigate your errors with transparency and consistency, chances are much higher they’ll be willing to forgive you your shortcomings and let you grow from your mistakes.
For all of those reasons and so many more, developing brand equity is well worth the time, costs and effort; the savings and increased profit margins alone are quick to bolster your ROI. So here’s our question to you: as an upstart with an undoubtedly tight budget, a compact team, limited resources and razor-tight margins, can you afford to ignore these benefits?
We don’t think so.