by Mike Bawden, partner, Bawden & Lareau Public Relations, LLC

We often spend time with clients talking about building brand “equity” – but there’s more to making sure the concepts of equity and growth are connected in real life. We call that brand “energy.”

So, what is “brand energy”?

It’s a term we’ve borrowed from Forrester Research. According to Forrester’s Dipanjan Chatterjee, it’s brand energy that moves the needle and generates your return on marketing investment. In short, it’s the brand’s energy that unlocks the potential in the brand equity and creates market growth.

According to Chatterjee in this article in Forbes, there are three pieces to the brand energy framework: salience, fit and emotional activation.

“Salience goes back to the classic notion of awareness – awareness but more. First and foremost, if people are not aware of you, if you’re not on the shopping list, you will not be purchased. But it’s not good enough to just be aware, you need to be familiar, you need to have knowledge of, and more than anything else, you need to make the top three of the list.”

The second piece is “fit” and relates to having both the right product or service to meet the needs of the consumer, but also presenting the brand in a way that “fits” with the consumer’s image of himself or herself. Aligning a brand’s values with the values of its customers is a way to ensure the kind of resonance necessary to convince a consumer your brand is a good fit with who they are (or want to be).
Chatterjee concludes with the final piece of the brand energy puzzle: “emotional activation.”

“Emotion is critical to building long-term relationships with customers,” he says. “This absolutely influences brand equity. Whether B2C or B2B, people ‘feel’ something about the brands in their life. It’s what keeps them coming back and telling others about their experience.”

We’ve all experienced this. When a commercial we catch on the TV captures us so deeply that we talk about it with our friends, or a story in a magazine or newspaper gets torn out and mailed off to a relative – these are examples of “emotional activation” at work.

That’s why our mantra at BLPR is “stories well told.” We strive to unlock the brand energy we see inside every client, at every opportunity.

Let us put that enthusiasm to work for you.