Welcome to a Tacticware Resource Group educational article. Our topic in this article is about Growing Brand Equity!
This article is available for free download on tacticware.com.
At Tacticware, we discuss the most difficult subjects for today’s leaders. We suggest that leadership, company culture, and effective strategies are the source of growing Brand Equity.
The proverbial Silver Bullet for people-related challenges simply do not exist. Every customer transaction is impacted by the quality of the organization. But keep in mind our dialogue is not about basic business mechanics; it’s about communication and the quality of both our customers and employees.
Brand Equity is defined as follows:
“When a company has positive brand equity, customers invite collaboration and innovation, trust delivers competitive advantage, and shareholder value is maximized.” ― Paul Fournier
Brand equity is defined by the total quality of the organization. Total quality rests on a foundation of Leadership, Culture, and Strategy. As we strive to increase the value of Brand Equity, management’s assessment of perception changes. Without clear and effective leadership, culture has few boundaries or expectations. Without a quality culture, strategy is poorly executed or tactical in nature. All is dependent on the quality of the leadership team.
Customers, employees, managers and suppliers all contribute to brand equity. Each contribute to the success of the organization. All departments contribute to brand equity. Financially, brand equity is measured by the (Value of All Assets – the Value of All Liabilities). As sales revenue grows through best practices, liabilities generally diminish as a percentage.
Pivot Your Thinking
Relationships are transactional. That is, company relationships with customers, employees, and suppliers are modified with each personal interaction, communication, or order transaction. Relationship quality is determined by the level of trust between both parties. Brand equity growth begins with understanding the value of trust.
Trust is defined as – assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. ― Merriam-Webster
Customers failing to trust a supplier, limit their exposure. First, they limit order dependence. They seek out alternative suppliers to mitigate risk. Secondly, because they lack trust, they fail to collaborate and innovate with the supplier. Frankly, it’s a predictable response to trust challenges. The result, sales revenue stagnates, and brand equity diminishes.
Employees failing to trust the company, simply look for other employment. Employee attrition rates escalate when management creates an environment of hostility, or unequal job accountability. Job performance declines as does quality communication with customers. The result, sales revenue stagnates, and brand equity diminishes.
Suppliers failing to trust the company, limit their financial risk. They see the customers “House of Cards” floundering under the weight of challenged leadership. Suppliers have the right to choose and invest in their customers. When the company-supplier relationship is challenged, suppliers view the company as a risk, and they quickly move on to better pastures.
Disruptors of Brand Equity
Effective leaders consistently verify the cultural health of the organization. Without a healthy management approach, employee culture, performance, and relationships erode.
Disruption to brand equity growth occurs when these conditions are not top of mind by leadership.
- Quality: products/service exactly as promised
- Relationships: consistent and professional relationships
- Retention: of customers, employees, managers, and suppliers
- Service: timely, actionable, and friendly solutions resolving challenges
- Innovation: true innovation that contributes to growth
- Value: fair and predictable pricing
Companies embracing healthy leadership, culture, and effective strategies live differently. They have a collaborative relationship with customers, employees, and suppliers. The difference is communication, accountability, and achievement. All parties are striving for excellence.
Without effective leadership, culture and strategy wander. Brand equity struggles to meet its potential. The business fails to retain or gain competitive advantage. The business ceases to be relevant.
What’s My Culture?
Bench-marking your company culture is the first step in increasing brand equity. The 360 Organizational Assessment identifies areas of opportunity. The assessment is an excellent indicator of why Brand Equity could be challenged in your organization.
After one understands cultural key indicators, plans can be made for improvement. Cultural change is not a quick fix. It requires commitment, engagement, and accountability
You may have noticed there are overarching approaches to solve each need. Some may be solved internally – with focus groups or by management actions. The other approach recommends bringing in an unbiased, outside source for knowledge transfer or analysis. Both have their merits.
What We’ve Learned
Leadership, cultural governance, and communication are the greatest responsibilities of the management team. Without quality leadership, culture stagnates, customer value erodes, and attrition invades.
Objectively speaking, it can be helpful to employ an unbiased observer to help your organization when considering cultural analysis and improvement. Oftentimes an outside, objective ally can assist in determining all sides and pieces of the puzzle, giving an honest view of culture with no play of politics.
Paul Fournier is President of Tacticware Resource Group. Tacticware is a management consultancy firm offering guidance in growing Brand Equity through leadership, cultural management systems, and strategic planning. We provide resources in upSkill management training, coaching, and 360 Cultural Assessments and surveys. We assist clients nationally. Learn more about transforming your business by contacting us.
Quality people do not have a color, gender, or age. We are committed to diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity. We do not discriminate against racial, ethnic, and/or religious groups, older workers, women, veterans, and people with disabilities. As a matter of policy, we remain apolitical, religion neutral, and respectful of local customs.
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