What Is Brand Equity?

A Quick Primer

BOOK DEFINITION:

BRAND EQUITY IS A SET OF ASSETS AND LIABILITIES LINKED TO A BRAND, INCLUDING IT’S NAME AND SYMBOL, THAT ADD OR SUBTRACT FROM THE VALUE PROVIDED BY A PRODUCT OR SERVICE TO A FIRM AND/OR THAT FIRM’S CUSTOMERS.

THE BURGHARD GROUP DEFINITION:

MEANINGFUL POINTS OF PARITY AND DIFFERENCE (+/-) THAT HELP DIFFERENTIATE A BRAND FROM THE COMPETITION IN THE PURCHASE DECISION.

STRATEGIC EQUITIES:  PROMISE (BENEFIT), REASON WHY OR BRAND CHARACTER ATTRIBUTES THAT HAVE BECOME HIGHLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE BRAND IN CONSUMER’S MINDS.

EXECUTIONAL EQUITIES:  LONG-TERM, PROVEN ADVERTISING PROPERTIES (SELLING LINES, VISUALS, CAMPAIGN IDEAS) THAT HAVE TAKEN ON ASPECIAL STATUS IN CONSUMERS’ MINDS.

EXAMPLES:

            – TARGET: BULLSEYE LOGO

            – FOLGERS: BENEFIT DISPLYED USING POIGNANT MOMENTS 

            – APPLE: COOL DESIGN

BRAND EQUITIES ARE DIFFICULT TO DEVELOP:

  • CAN’T JUST STATE YOUR INTENDED BRAND EQUITY AND SAY YOU OWN IT.
  • REQUIRES PATIENCE, COURAGE AND VISION TO DEVELOP AND ESTABLISH BRAND EQUITY.
  • DON’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT.
  • TAKE YEARS AND COSTS MONEY TO TAKE HOLD AND BUILD IN CONSUMER MINDS.

BUILD THROUGH EQUITY COMMUNICATION:

EQUITY COMMUNICATION CONSISTENTLY REINFORCES THE EQUITIES THAT THE BRAND AND ITS FAMILY OF ITEMS STAND FOR IN CONSUMER’S MIND OVER THE LONG TERM CAN BE QUANTITATIVELY MEASURED BY MARKET RESEARCH. 

HOW TO BUILD BRAND EQUITY?

  1. MEDIA – CONSISTENTLY PUT MEDIA WEIGHT BEHIND YOUR EQUITY COMMUNICATION IN ALL CHANNELS (INCLUDING SOCIAL MEDIA).
  • INITIATIVES  – LEVERAGE YOUR BRAND EQUITIES WHEN INTRODUCING LINE EXTENSIONS.
  • REVIEW, REVIEW, REVIEW – TIMES CHANGE AND YOUR BRAND TEAM SHOULD CONTINUALLY REVIEW THE RELEVANCE OF THEIR CONSUMER/BUYER INSIGHTS AND STRATEGIES.

THE BALANCING ACT:

TWO PERFECTLY APPROPRIATE, AGGRESSIVE COPY DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVES:

  1. YOU WANT LONG TERM, SUSTAINING CAMPAIGNS THAT BUILD BUSINESS AND EQUITIES TO MAKE YOUR BRANDS CONSUMER/BUYER PREFERABLE TO YOUR COMPETITORS BRANDS.
  • YOU WANT EFFECTIVE, SHORT TERM, TRIAL BUILDING COMMUNICATION FOR LINE EXTENSION INITIATIVES.

THESE OBJECTIVES OFTEN ARE IN CONFLICT WITH EACH OTHER BECAUSE:

  1. THE BENEFITS INHERENT IN MANY NEW ITEMS ARE OFTEN DIFFERENT FROM YOUR BRANDS’ ESTABLISHED BENEFIT EQUITIES.
  • THERE IS JUDGMENT THAT, TO BE TRULY EFFECTIVE, INTRODUCTORY EXECUTIONS MUST LOOK DIFFERENT FROM A BRAND’S EQUITY ADVERTISING.
  • REMOVING SUPPORT OF A BRANDS EQUITY COMMUNICATION TO FUND INTRODUCTORY COMMUNICATION WITH DIFFERENT BENEFITS INTERRUPTS THE FLOW OF CONSISTENT EQUITY BUILDING.

MANAGING THE EQUITIES:                           

BEFORE MANAGING PRECIOUS BRAND EQUITIES YOU HAVE TO IDENTIFY THEM AND MAKE CERTAIN EVERYONE WORKING ON THE BRAND AGREES WITH WHAT THEY ARE. 

EQUITY MONITOR (QUANTITATIVE MEASUREMENT OF EQUITIES):

MULTIPLE STEP PROCESS –

  1. DEFINE THE EQUITIES THAT DRIVE TRIAL AND REPEAT PURCHASE.
  2. DETERMINE WHICH EQUITIES YOUR BRAND “OWNS” (BASED ON STATISTICAL SIGNIFIGANCE OF ASSOCIATION VERSUS COMPETITION FROM AN INITIAL EQUITY MONITOR STUDY).
  3. EVALUATE THE EQUITY BUILDING POTENTIAL OF YOUR COMMUNICATION EFFORT (YOU CAN USE JUDGEMENT AND/OR MARKET RESEARCH).
  4. REALIGN YOUR COMMUNICATION STRATEGY AND TACTICS.
  5. MEASURE PROGRESS VERSUS COMPETITION OVER TIME (E.G. ANNUAL EQUITY MONITOR STUDY).
  6. REPEAT STEPS 4 AND 5.

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