Brand Equity: Your Secret Weapon in the Marketing Game

The struggle between brand and performance marketing seesaws in the ever-evolving marketing landscape, with the latter often gaining favor in recent years. As marketers harness the power of data to execute seamless multichannel communications, advancements in marketing automation technology propel performance marketing into the spotlight, emphasizing speed, agility, and measurable outcomes.

But ask yourself — at what cost?

Performance marketing, while a vital component of any robust strategy, can overshadow the importance of long-term brand-building. Incremental tactics to boost engagement may inadvertently lead to brand drift, creating a disconnect between the brand’s positioning and strategy.

Does this battle sound all too familiar? According to Gartner’s 2023 Brand Leaders Survey, 75% of respondents noted three or more significant changes to their brand strategy within the previous two years.

It’s time to reclaim the reins and prioritize your most valuable asset – your brand.

The Power of Brand Values in the Customer Journey

Your brand is the unifying force that communicates your company’s values to your target audience. And make no mistake; values are not just a collection of words or beliefs; they play an integral role in shaping the customer journey. Our recent proprietary research reveals that 81% of consumers consider a brand’s values necessary, with 75% likely to purchase products from brands that share their values.

To meet these expectations, marketing leaders must ensure that every marketing piece and message consistently conveys and reinforces the brand’s values, overtly or subtly.

Consider Miller Lite’s recent award-winning campaign, “Beers & Queer History.” The campaign tapped into Miller Lite’s brand values by partnering with a historian to create a beautifully illustrated hardcover coffee table book. It showcased the cultural significance of bars within the LGBTQ community.

Building a Brand: A Long-Term Investment

Aligning your marketing efforts with your brand’s values and customer priorities drives sales with the added benefit of long-term customer retention. Acquiring new customers is exponentially more expensive than retaining existing ones – estimates range between 5x and 25x as much. Furthermore, our research indicates that 68% of consumers are likely to spend more money with a brand that shares their values, while misalignment can be costly, often leading to lost customers.

The narrative you create around your company, products, and services; the optimistic vision you paint of how your offerings will improve customers’ lives; and the emotional connections you foster to build relationships beyond transactions are the keys to building brand equity. The tactical, performance-based mindset often overshadows this invaluable work.

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Data: The Guiding Light for Brand Marketing

Proponents of performance marketing often praise its objectivity compared to the seemingly “squishier” brand marketing. However, data should not be reserved solely for minor tactical adjustments. Instead, use data in two critical moments: initial guidance and benchmarking to set your brand strategy up for success and measure and evaluate its effectiveness in achieving key objectives.

An inside-out approach ensures your organization remains aligned, allowing for tactical adjustments within specific channels or campaigns while maintaining a solid connection to the brand. This keeps you relevant with customers throughout their journey.

Remember: Brand Marketing Takes Center Stage

Louis Vuitton, for instance, excels at personalizing

Prioritizing brand marketing sets the stage for performance marketing implementation. Without a solid foundation, performance marketing tactics risk missing the mark and may harm your brand’s ability to engage with customers, ultimately hurting your bottom line meaningfully. Building brand equity is the real MVP in establishing more profound, resilient relationships and sparking customer participation.

Photo by Fanette Guilloud

The Takeaway

The key to a successful marketing strategy is striking a balance between performance marketing and brand marketing. By prioritizing your brand values and investing in long-term brand equity, you set the stage for a more profound connection with your customers. Harness the power of data to guide your brand strategy and create emotional connections that foster loyalty, engagement, and sales. It’s time to take center stage and make your brand the secret weapon in your marketing game. Are you ready to unleash your brand’s full potential? Connect with Un_Standard today and let us help you transform your marketing strategy for lasting success.

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About the author

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Agent Provocateur and Chief Creative Officer at Hone Ventures and Un_Standard. We create strategies for businesses of all sizes that improve customer relationships and help businesses grow. In his spare time, he loves experimenting in the kitchen and chasing after his three cats, Hallie Tosis, Lester Een, and Jim G. Vitis.

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