Dr. Shore, Building a Better Brand
With consumers making an increased number of decisions based on emotion rather than knowledge, branding is becoming significantly more important. And the more important a decision is, and the less knowledgeable the consumer about purchase options, the more crucial a brand becomes.
David Shore took a captivated audience through the steps of building brand equity in his October 17th presentation to PMCQ, beginning with a simple equation that defines the notion of brand equity - BE=SA+PQ+SD. Translated, this formula means that brand equity equals strategic awareness, plus perceived quality and singular distinction. Marketers can create a customer base through strategic awareness, while retaining these customers requires that perceived quality is more than just a promise.
Strategic awareness includes such things as recognition of the name, strong positioning, and consistent use of a well-recognized symbol or logo. Slogans and spokespersons also factor strongly into awareness. Perceived quality, the sec-ond denominator in the equation, is identified as the consumer’s idea of what the brand represents in terms of excellence, value and pricing versus other products in the same class or category.
Singular distinction focuses on product differentiation, on positive associations, and on the customer loyalty the brand has managed to engender.
Building a "power" brand, said Shore, is a matter of establishing effective trust in a brand, but beyond that, providing emotional cues that turn the facts about the brand into warm feelings.
Settling on a brand identity - how you want it to be perceived - and then ensuring that the concept is aligned with a powerful brand image is the key to success, as are simplicity and consistency in message.
Marketing pharmaceuticals presents a particular challenge because the consumer has no way of assessing the product. By building knowledge about the product, a more knowledgeable consumer will be likely to ask his or her physician for it by brand name - and US statistics suggest that 35% of patients got a prescription for the product they asked for.
Finally, brand equity must be protected at all costs, and it is inherent upon any organization to ensure that all new employees receive brand orientation. Orienting the consumer to your product is the ultimate goal, says Mr. Shore. "First you make them awareþthen you make them care".