Even if demand for your product or service has completely halted, the brand building work should continue (within financially viable parameters of course). While sales tactics may not work for now, long term brand building activities will be critical to remain relevant after the crisis.
A time for brand management fundamentals to kick in!
Brand management is only as effective as marketers’ understanding of consumers’ knowledge structures of brands. As such marketers would ideally need “mental maps” of consumers’ brand knowledge. That knowledge can be summarised as the brand’s equity.
Brand equity is also defined as the value of the brand and, thus, the value of the strategic market position. It is the difference between the price that customers will pay for the generic utility and the same utility when branded (i.e. when the utility is strategically positioned).
Why is Brand Equity so Important?
Strong brand equity brings the following advantages to successful brands: decreased vulnerability to competitive marketing strategies and now during the pandemic crisis a better chance for sustainability and remaining buoyant.
Strong brand equity brings the following outcomes:
Simply put, a lack of equity reduces a brand to commodity status.
There are two important elements that you can manage: Brand awareness and brand image.
Brand awareness is directly proportional to customers’ ability to identify and recall the brand under different conditions.
Brand image comprises customer perceptions of the brand. It is directly proportional to what the consumer/shopper associates with the brand.
The strength of associations is a function of the quantity (amount) and quality (nature) of information processing consumers’ give to their brand experiences. For instance, the deeper a consumer thinks about product information (like an advertisement) and relates it to their existing knowledge, the stronger the brand association in their memory will be.
Now is even a more important time to consider the following strategic outcomes:
Products come and go; brands have long-enduring features. Once brand awareness
and, especially, brand image are weakened or even ruined—the damage is difficult to reverse.