Building brand equity beyond the web
By adopting the right elements from D2C brands, manufacturers can turn positive shopping experiences into positive brand experiences in ways not previously available through a traditional retail model.
Insight 1: Brand reputation matters more than ever
While traditional retail shopping environments augment a manufacturer’s brand with customer support and service feature offerings provided by the retailer, the D2C model puts manufacturer brands front and center—for better or for worse. If executed well, D2C can generate a huge payoff.
When asked about the importance of brand name and brand reputation when making purchasing decisions, respondents overwhelmingly agree: it matters.
Brand reputation and brand equity can produce powerful, long-term, marketing advantages. For example, Shopify found companies with positive brand equity can often:
- Charge more for a product
- Leverage that equity to create new product lines and line extensions
- Boost their stock price.
In fact, brands that consistently produce great customer experiences can charge a price premium on products and services. At the same time, negative brand experiences can also have the opposite effects: distracting from otherwise quality products and limiting a consumer’s willingness to buy from you.
Nearly three quarters of respondents said they expect a manufacturer’s website to provide the best product information. For manufacturers who fail to deliver the right mix of content, navigation, and accessibility, these poor web experiences are one of the fastest ways to damage consumer trust and even lose out on future sales.
In a competitive, highly saturated product ecosystem, brand equity built on seamless digital experiences can be the difference between the companies that excel in the digital age and those that struggle.
Insight 2: A brand's website offers a powerful place to start building equity
Branded websites also exist as powerful new touchpoints for manufacturers to communicate directly with their customers. As such, consistent, helpful content and UX-optimized designs can turn those touchpoints into exceptional customer experiences. The data shows positive product research experiences can have a big impact on buyer decision-making; more than 80 percent of respondents cited a positive research experience as a critical factor in their purchase decision.
It can also be a powerful place to showcase brand values. For example, 50 percent of respondents rated a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as an important or very important factor in their decision to purchase a product.
While content dedicated to these initiatives is important, building diversity and inclusion into your website design can enhance accessibility and demonstrate this commitment in an actionable way.
One in four Americans claim some form of disability, including 61 million adults, according to the CDC. Website accessibility principles deliver frictionless experiences for more users through adaptive web design and closed-captioning services, among many other potential tools and features. Committing to digital accessibility signals your brand’s intentions and values toward all users and it can help position your business as a leader in next-generation, inclusive customer experiences.