Archive for category Brand Equity
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I was privileged to address a marketing workshop organized by renowned international Brand consultants, courtesy of a good friend of mine. During the Q & A session one of the participants, a lady, asked me “how do we build and maintain strong brand value for companies in Africa?”My answer; Understand what brand equity is all about. There lies your solution.
When I initiated this forum as a platform of finding solutions for marketing and brand management in Kenya, the need was necessitated by the fact that there aren’t enough local forums where information can be obtained especially on matters pertaining to Marketing and Brand Management in Kenya and Africa as a whole.
In my new journey of being a solution rather than a problem, I discovered that brand equity is a very integral part of brand management which many Kenyan firms pay little or no attention to. Most of them are in pursuit of looking for the light forgetting that a tunnel ever exists, not focusing on its purpose and more so failure to implement and understand its definition in the Kenyan context.
In this regard we will try to travel the tunnel of what brand equity is all about which will automatically lead us to the light of how to build and maintain strong positive brand equity.
Brand equity can be defined in many different ways. In my research and analysis of the Kenyan context, the ideal definition of brand equity, (what brand Gurus call the Consumer-based perspective/view) is;
“It’s an intangible asset arising from the ability of a brand accomplishing three main aspects over time:
- retain current customers and attract new ones,
- grow stronger versus competition,
- and delivers more profits to its owners.”
The main aim of breaking down these aspects of “brand equity” into three is so that we can more easily determine:
(a) a reliable way to measure brand equity, (the consumer-based view) (b) track changes in brand equity over time.
From this definition we deduce that the foundational aspect of brand equity is the retention and attraction of customers, which eventually forms the layer for brands to be stronger vis-à-vis competition and eventually enable firms deliver better profits. This stem from people’s experiences with and perceptions of a brand which is a key motivator for Kenyan Brands.
For us to find the light, we have to analyze in detail the foundational aspect of brand equity and relate it to the Kenyan context.
1. The need to retain customers
In Kenya the need to retain customers is very necessary in creating brand equity since its largely experiential. High equity brands exhibit stronger levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty. This is perfectly executed when you reward them. History has shown that consumers will continue to buy a brand that offers them “their money’s worth.”
Case in point :-The OMO brand. Their promotions aims to create brand saliency and rewarding the customer (two in one combination: highly effective) as compared to their competitors like Ariel Enzymax who limit themselves to Brand saliency (or Harpic where Nyambane engages a house wife/mother, offering solution but in return:-No reward for her loyalty). What do I mean? The good thing with OMO brand is that it goes further by giving their promotion an experiential feeling where their brand ambassadors visit the estates, engage the house wives/mother as they put OMO to the test and reward them diligently. This is further reaffirmed when they recently started the OMO Ng’arisha maisha game show (though a lot of work has to be done…) recruiting the services of Churchill who rewards participants with option of either receiving cash or removing stains to unravel their gifts. In order for you to retain, you have to reward.
2. The need to attract new customers
This is largely perceptual. Because customers do not have actual brand experience, they must go by what they hear, see and believe about a brand. The two primary ways the market receives this information is through messages controlled by marketing, such as advertising and PR efforts, as well as uncontrolled messages such as press stories and “word of mouth.”
Case in point:-The Tusker Brand .Simply put,the 88 year old brand makes head way in Kenya. The brand equity which they efficiently do so through promotions (for rewarding their loyal customers) as one of their main avenue, has been a successful strategy making Tusker, which enjoy over 30% market share in Kenya ,a total success. .(Excerpts from the Daily Nation-Smart company 20th July)Very true.In addition, increasing their brand awareness to cement the relationships with their customers and consumers through promotions, for the eventual goal of being a social brand is a step in the right direction.The brand management has been able to articulate that the Tusker brand reflects the Kenyan set up/wishes: A country of peace and stability (In comparison to our neighbors), a place of making new friends with no worries (Kenya Hakuna matata) a place endowed with rich tourism wildlife (the place of the 7th wonder).With this in mind the Tusker brand has been able to penetrate the international market with ease, attracting new customers.
In summary,all I’m trying to say is understand the dynamics of brand equity to unlock the secret of a positive brand value for your company.