As more and more options become available to the consumer, and as it becomes ever easier for the consumer to compare products, prices, and services, the importance of brand equity is becoming more and more apparent.

Simply put, brand equity refers to the commercial value of the customer perception of the brand providing a service or product, rather than the actual service or product itself.

By The Numbers

Modern marketing studies are making it clear that trust in your brand can generate significant returns. According to the Nielsen group, which studies consumers across over 100 countries world-wide, 59% of consumer prefer to buy new products from brands that are familiar to them. The 2nd most important reason (after affordability) for consumers in North & Latin America to purchase new products was brand recognition.

The picture in developing markets is even more brand focused. 68% of respondents from developing markets prefer to buy brands that they’re familiar with, and 22% buy new products just because it’s from a brand they like.

Rob Wengel, senior vice president and managing director of Nielsen Innovation in the U.S. explains, “For a consumer with limited disposable income, the potential loss from an underperforming product is magnified. As a result, they’re often hesitant to take a risk on a product that might not live up to expectations, and are sometimes even willing to pay more for brands they trust. For new products launched without the benefit of a strong brand name, extra care must be taken to provide strong assurance that the product will be perceived as a good value for the money.”

Trust In Your Brand

The trustworthiness of your brand is the most important attribute that matters to potential clients. 31% of respondents rated trustworthiness as the most important brand factor. Other important factors were ranked as creativity, intelligence, authenticity and confidence.

64% of respondents agreed that they would open an email simply because they liked and trusted the brand.

Of course, it goes without saying that somebody can’t trust your brand if they’ve never seen it before. And that means that the importance of online brand building should never be overlooked.

Brand building isn’t just about operating in the social media space of course. In an ideal world, all you would have to do then is start up a Facebook page, and watch the consumers roll in. But social media relies on a factor that’s hard to cheat…it requires that you have an audience.

So the first step in building a recognised online brand is developing that audience.

Building A Recognised Brand

Building that recognition and trust can be difficult when you’re operating in a specialised B2B or B2C niche.  Before you can build trust, you first need to work on recognition. And one of the easiest ways of doing so is simply to ensure that your brand appears where your potential customers are.

Things like display network advertising, remarketing and gmail advertising are easy ways of getting your brand in front of people. Seeing your brand in the search results can help as well.

A study by Google showed a 16% increase in brand recall when a brand was seen on a search results page, while a more recent study showed an even greater increase, especially where results where above the fold, or appeared in image and video results as well as the search results themselves.

The more places people see you, the more recognised your brand becomes. And that kind of recognition is the first step in developing a relevant audience for your brand.

Trusted Brand

Recognition Is Only The Beginning

As important as developing your audience and getting your brand recognised is, it’s important to remember that this is only the first step in developing the kind of brand trust and loyalty that will pay dividends in the long run.

No amount of technology, clever personalisation, or smooth sales pitch is going to build you the kind of brand trust that makes people choose you over the competitors, even if your price is higher.

Creating trust in your brand is a long term strategy, and it begins, and ends, with a consistently superior customer experience.

Getting a lead is only the first step in an on-going process to win the support and loyalty of your clients.  Make sure that you don’t stop there.