Brands have never been so important in the marketplace as they are today. We are surrounded by equity marketing that touts the biggest brands and why we should love them. But while advertising may tell us to “Just Do It” with Nike and to use L’Oreal hair products “Because you are worth it”, the web is still having it’s first baby steps when it comes to brand equity marketing.

In places like China where social media has become the dominant form on the web and in their smartphones, they have mastered the art of cross marketing with big name brands. There you can do everything from using your mobile wallet to pay for dinner, to ordering a cab and heading out of town. All of this is done from the dominant social media site WeChat, which everyone has live on their phone at all times.

It is just a matter of time before the rest of the world catches up, probably with our dominant social media site, Facebook. But in many ways, we are already half way there or more. See if you don’t recognize these four basic tenants of all brand equity, where learning to love the big brands comes naturally through our interaction with them on social media.

Learning a Brand’s Differentiation

You can probably guess what this means from the name. For a brand to be marketed successfully, it must be different in significant ways to all the other brands in its market. Social media, because it is so interwoven in our own lives, is a perfect place to do this. Here we learn about the distinctive features of our favorite brands from what we eat to what we wear.

We see software ads on Facebook, share the latest sales for our favorite t-shirt brands on Twitter and take pics of promotions for Coke in our home towns to share on Instagram or Snapchat. We love the brands we love because we see them as being different, maybe even better, then the rest.

How Relevant Is this Brand?

This is when we begin to see lifestyle placements in brands on social media. It is easy to pass it by, you don’t really notice if it is part of your life. Just ask anyone who sports a Nike Air Jordan set of shoes if they think Michael Jordan is the best player of all time. They most likely will either say “hell, yes!” or look at you puzzled not knowing who that person was. And yet these continue to be high ranking shoes, still selling well over a decade after the man retired from basketball.

If you love sports and want to spend your money on what you consider the best athletic shoes, then buying an equity brand like Air Jordans, named after the player’s legendary ability to rise up from a stand to make a basket, are relevant to you. The company continues to promote them on social media sites through conversations with fans. When you add the third pillar, esteem, to this equation you have the perfect equity marketing brand of all time.

Selling the Brand with Awareness

Finally, if you can make sure that everyone is aware of the brand, the knowledge and familiarity will make it an easier sell. This is a perfect fit for social media which replicates the old “water cooler talk” of offices with quick conversations with people whose opinion you trust. Social media is the perfect match for this modern marketing form, and time will tell how well we use it.