For today’s episode we return to Shopper marketing series with Chris Brace and discuss brand equity. The first thing that came to my mind when thinking about brand equity were things like Harris Interactive’s Brand Health Tracking and a few examples of the reputations of certain brands plummeting after poorly-handled PR crises. I also think of specific measures that give you overall brand health ranking. For Chris, however, brand equity is defined quite differently. He agrees there are a set of assets linked to the brand and brand symbol that add value, but it goes way beyond those. It’s really about the story.
The Stories of Brand Equity
For Chris, your brand equity is actually the stories that consumers have about your brand based on the experiences they have had with your brand. That’s a mouthful, but it makes a lot of sense. The word storytelling gets tossed around a lot in the marketing space. And that’s when it really hit me and Chris’s words made sense: Storytelling is all about making memories. So how can you brand make memories for your consumers much like I was making with my older daughter in the image above? I might be idealistic, but it can be done.
So given that true brand equity comes from storytelling, what are brands missing or how can they approach storytelling? Chris offers this key tip:
“Create communications that trigger memories that the shopper already has about the brand and that also allows them to create new memories. You build brand equity when these communications/experiences go into long-term memory.”
Who is Getting it Right?
A brand that immediately comes to mind for me is NYDJ. I must have read about how fantastic their jeans were in some beauty magazine. So I started researching them and discovered their stories. I went and tried on my first pair and I felt thin and beautiful and you better believe I spent the $100 those suckers cost. And now, a few years later, they are my go-to jeans. I know they fit me, and I will feel beautiful in them. You may say, ‘Kat, I don’t buy that,’ which I get, but if you were able to get a consumer to associate your brand with feeling confident and beautiful like NYDJ has for me, wouldn’t you do it?
Not buying it? Okay, what about Southwest? I recently saw Brooks Thomas present at a Ragan PR Conference about how Southwest uses storytelling. The thing that made his presentation unique was that he didn’t speak at all. He used music and videos of these Southwest stories to tell the story. I guess that made it very meta. I wish I had the audio, but check out his presentation. I think you will get the idea.
For more of Chris’s insights on building brand equity through storytelling, tune into the full podcast below. Or check us out on iTunes or Stitcher.