4. Brand associations
Associations triggered by a brand can be assessed on the basis of the five following indicators:
– The extent to which a brand name is able to ‘retrieve’ associations from the consumer’s brain (such information from TV advertising)
– The extent to which association contribute to brand differentiation in relation to the competition (these can be abstract associations, such as ‘vitality’, or associations with concrete product benefits, such ‘will leave your washing cleaner’)
– The extent to which brand associations play a role in the buying process (the greater this extent, the higher the total brand equity)
– The extent to which brand associations create positive attitude/ feelings (the greater this extent, the higher the total brand equity)
– The number of brand extensions in the market (the greater this number, the greater the opportunity to add brand associations)
5. Other proprietary assets
Examples are patents and intellectual property rights, relations with trade partners, and airlines’ landing slots (the more proprietary rights a brand has accumulated, the greater the brand’s competitive edge in those fields)
Considering Aaker’s model, strong interrelationships occur among the dimensions of brand equity. The last four brand equity dimensions can enhance brand loyalty, providing reason to buy and affecting use satisfaction. Even when they are not pivotal to brand choice, they can reassure, reducing the incentive to try others. Therefore, brand loyalty is both one of the dimensions of brand equity and is affected by brand equity and the other assets that generate equity. In the same way, perceived quality could be influenced by awareness (a visible name is likely to be well made), by associations (a visible spokesperson would only endorse a quality product) and by loyalty (a loyal customer would not like a poor product). In some circumstances it might be useful to explicitly include brand equity dimensions as outputs of brand equity as well as inputs.
Aaker’s brand equity model lists three ways of how brand assets create value for the customer.
Firstly, brand equity can help a customer interpret, process, store, and retrieve a huge quantity of information about products and brands.
Secondly, it can affect the customer’s confidence in the purchase decision; a customer will usually be more comfortable with the brand that was last used, is considered to have high quality, or is familiar.
Finally, perceived quality and brand associations provide value to the customer by enhancing the customer’s satisfaction.
The model also assumes the ways that brand assets create value for the firm.
Firstly, brand equity can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing programs. A promotion, for example, will be more effective if the brand is familiar and if the promotion does not have to influence a skeptical consumer of brand quality.
Secondly, brand awareness, perceived quality and brand associations can all strengthen brand loyalty by increasing customer satisfaction and providing reasons to buy the product.
Thirdly, brand equity will usually provide higher margins for products, permitting premium pricing and reducing reliance on promotions. Brand equity can also provide a platform for growth by brand extensions and can provide leverage in the distribution channel as well. Channel members have less uncertainty dealing with a proven brand name that has already achieved recognition and has established strong associations.
Finally, a strong brand represents a barrier that prevents customers from switching to a competitor.
Advantages of Aaker Brand Equity model
- Improve perception of product performance
- Increase loyalty
- Companies can use this model to gain leverage when introducing new products
- Differentiate from competitors