On Monday, March 23, 2020, the Department of Communications Studies hosted a webinar entitled “Branding Strategies & Social Media” with guest lecturers Kelcey Zacarese, Ruowen Meng, and Allison Wong.
The webinar is part of Professor Xiaowen Xu’s Communication and Digital Advertising course. Zacarese is the Manager in Strategy & Social Insights and both Meng and Wong are Senior Analytical Brand Strategists for BrandAsset Valuator (BAV) Group, a global consultancy with expertise in consumer insights and brand marketing strategy. Attendees were mostly students majored in Communication Studies and Marketing.
The presentation began with an introduction to the company’s unique management tool that has helped Fortune 500 companies and other well-known brands to compare and analyze information related to their branding strategy. The tool measures extensive brand qualities as well as consumer perceptions of brands, in order to drive momentum and financial success in the marketplace.
The presenters explained that brands have tangible value through brand equity, or the value of a brand as a distinct asset, which can drive consumer behaviors and emotions. They went on to discuss how we can measure or quantify brand equity. They explained that commodity products, such as water bottles, are very relevant to our lives but are not high in differentiation due to their ubiquitous nature. They also mentioned that we can analyze brand health based on their location on a power grid. This grid contains different consumer perceptions towards a product or brand, including indifference, curiosity, commitment, and fatigue stage.
The presenters later revealed that we cannot look at brand equity in isolation; we must examine other aspects as well such as online equity, the brand’s overall value or presence online, especially on social media. The presenters showed the audience a chart called the “Culture Capital Chart” which illustrates a brand’s relationship between brand and online equity. For instance, Netflix has both a high brand and online equity, especially recently, given the large influx of users resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the presentation, the speakers and students had interaction sessions to identify a brand’s standing on the brand equity model. After the presentation, students in attendance asked the presenters a number of questions about and beyond the webinar, such as what a typical day looks like in their positions, their favorite parts of their jobs. Overall, the presentation was both informative and captivating as the lecturers taught attendees about the analytical side of marketing and branding.
Written by Ilana Weinberg ’22