In the quest for market share and mindshare in the 21st century, marketers find themselves in foreign terrain. Customers empowered by social media have taken over the driver’s seat and are telling brands where, when and how they want to be interacted with. The question for marketers is whether this newfound power is significantly impacting brand equity.

A new Forrester study shows that the pillars of brand equity have indeed started to crack under the weight of consumers’ higher standards. The 2012 North American Brand Performance Study was conducted in February among 1,250 U.S. online adults. We evaluated how brand perception and engagement among 10 global brands is impacting brand preference, referral and pricing power.

On the surface, four classic factors of brand equity appeared intact: credibility, leadership, relevance and uniqueness. But within each pillar, we found that consumers are forming higher standards for brands to live up to.

Read the entire article at Ad Age.

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