Branding is the ability to distinguish your products/services within a target market and brand equity is the total value of a brand based on associations and expectations.

Following are key elements that help determine brand equity:

1. Brand Awareness is critical and falls into two categories:

  • Recognition: refers to consumers remembering past exposure to your brand.
  • Recall: is about what product/service comes to mind when a category is discussed.

2. Brand Loyalty measures how loyal a consumer is to a brand:

  • Cultivate strong relationships by providing exceptional customer service and high quality products/services.
  • Offer loyalty rewards and incentives to encourage repeat purchases and referrals.

3. Perceived Quality is the value consumers equate with a brand … perception is everything:

  • Differentiate yourself from competitors – specialization and/or exclusivity can lead to a higher perceived quality.
  • Share your brand story to build trust and establish an emotional connection; consider how your product/service addresses customer needs.

4. Actual Associations is anything with which a consumer might associate a brand:

  • Use a logo, specific color, tagline, etc., to encourage consumers to think about your business.
  • Ensure consistency across all marketing materials, such as websites, social media profiles, etc., creating a cohesive visual identity.

Brand equity is an invaluable resource that sets your product/service apart and keeps your customers loyal. Understanding this equity can help generate insights to help narrow down a target market and determine a brand’s need for growth or repositioning.

Source:, reported by Erica Dushley Saraway, Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor/VP Marketing & Sales