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A brand is one of the most vital and enduring assets of an organization, which allows it to create strong competitive advantage in the market, through differentiation. The commercial effect of brand on a company is often measured in terms of brand equity. Now before we delve deeper into brand equity, let us first look at the concept of brand itself.

A Brand represents anything and every that an offered product or service means to the customers. It is a lot more than just a name, it represents the relationship between the company and its customers. In simple words, a brand refers to the feelings and perceptions of the customers towards a product or service and its performance. Thus, the value of a brand relies on how it is viewed by the customers. Highlighting a popular quote:

“a product is created in a factory, but a brand is created in the mind”

For example, the brand Apple represents niche and premium value, whereas the brand Volkswagen represent value for money cars for masses. Different brand bear different perceptions among the customers, which determines the brand equity. The Brand Equity is the differential effect that a brand and its attributes (name, symbol, logo, etc.) has on the response of the customers towards the product and services, and its marketing activities. Thus, positive brand equity leads to more positive response from the customers, leading to more sales and revenue. By the end of this article, you should have a clear understanding on how to develop strong positive brand equity using theoretical frameworks, with even asking for any assignment help.

Keller's Brand Equity Framework

As mentioned earlier, companies with positive brand equity are more likely to create a positive brand perception among the customers, leading to loyalty and brand preference, which can have a significant impact on the revenue generation of the firm. The brand equity framework by Keller helps organization to build its brand equity by understanding the target customers and developing and implementing required strategies accordingly. For a management student, this model can be really help for your marketing essay, where you need to develop new branding strategies.

The Keller’s brand equity model forms a pyramid structure, with four distinct levels, forming the building blocks of brand equity.

At the base of the pyramid, there is brand salience, which determines the identity of the brand as perceived by the target audience. It represents the way the customers look and identify the brand and how they differentiate it from the rest of the rival brands in the market. For an organization, it is important to create a brand image, which is easily identifiable by the customers and is relatable for them.

Next to the brand salience, comes the brand performance and imagery, which together determines the brand meaning. The brand performance encompasses the overall performance of the product and services offered by the company. Brands like BMW, Apple and Google are known for their high brand performance, in their respective industries. The performance of the products includes the key features, attributes, reliability and design. On the other hand, the brand imagery refers to what the customers think of the brand if it were a human. For example, the Harley Davidson is ‘tough’ and barbie is ‘soft’.

Next comes, the brand judgement and feelings, which determines the brand response, which is the reaction of the customers towards the brand. As a customer purchases and uses a product or service of a brand, they present a response towards the brand, based on how well the brand was able to meet or exceed their expectations. The judgement of the customers refers to how well the experience of the customer was with the product. On the other hand, the feelings encompass emotional attachment of the customers towards the brand, due to brand experience. From the organizational point of view, it is extremely crucial for a company to have create positive brand interaction so that the customer responses are also positive. Positive responses lead to positive word of mouth and brand loyalty.

Finally, the brand resonance determines the relationship between the customers and the brand. The resonance refers to how well the brand identity and image is relatable to the customers. Organizations often design their brand in such a manner that the brand image become highly appealing and relatable to the target audience.

The Keller’ brand equity model can help you in formulate the right marketing strategy, where you can design a brand which is highly effective appealing to the customers.It can also be used to analyze any case study on brand management.

Aaker's Brand Equity Model

The Aaker’s brand equity model, also known as the five assets model, showcases five different brand components which determines how the buying behavior of the customers. These five components are:

  • Brand loyalty
  • Brand awareness
  • Perceived quality
  • Brand association
  • Proprietary Assets  

Brand Loyalty: The brand loyalty is considered as the brand’s currency, as higher brand loyalty leads to better firm performance. A company with high brand loyalty enjoys reduced marketing costs. It helps in retention of customers and also leads to positive word of mouth leading to new customer acquisition. It also enables a firm to respond effectively to rival brands.

Brand Awareness: The awareness of the brand among the customers brings it into the consideration set, as the customer plans for his purchase. Higher brand awareness suggests that a customer is more likely to consider the brand as a viable option while deciding on his purchase. It also helps in overcoming the clutter in the marketcaused by the presence of several brands with identical images.

Perceived Quality: The perceived quality refers to how the customers perceive the products and services offered by the company. The perception towards the brand covers product reliability, features, price performance and design. For example, the perceived quality of Apple is reliable and premium.

Brand Association: It refers to the degree to which the brand and its attributes can retrieve information from the customer’s mind, such as product features, pricing, deals, etc. It also determines the extent to which the brand name is able to create a positive attitude within the customer. It plays a crucial role in driving purchase in the target market.

Proprietary Assets: The proprietary assets refer to the intellectual properties associated with the brand such as the brand name, logo, trademarks, symbol, mascots, etc. These assets are extremely helpful in creating strong brand associations.

Brand management plays a crucial role while designing a business plan. You need to decide what type of brand image do you want to set up for the customers and how it will be relatable for them.Using the brand equity models can help you to choose the most suitable brand management strategy, which can help you to create a strong competitive advantage. Both the Aaker and the Keller model are appropriate for developing positive brand equity, even though they take different perspectives for managing a brand. This thorough explanation of brand and brand equity using theoretical frameworks should help you with your college paper on branding and brand development.

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