Brand equity is a phrase used in the marketing industry which describes the value of having a well-known brand name, based on the idea that the owner of a well-known brand name can generate more money from products with that brand name than from products with a less well known name, as consumers believe that a product with a well-known name is better than products with less well known names.
Some marketing researchers have concluded that brands are one of the most valuable assets a company has, as brand equity is one of the factors which can increase the financial value of a brand to the brand owner, although not the only one. Elements that can be included in the valuation of brand equity include (but not limited to): changing market share, profit margins, consumer recognition of logos and other visual elements, brand language associations made by consumers, consumers' perceptions of quality and other relevant brand values.
Consumers' knowledge about a brand also governs how manufacturers and advertisers market the brand. Brand equity is created through strategic investments in communication channels and market education and appreciates through economic growth in profit margins, market share, prestige value, and critical associations. Generally, these strategic investments appreciate over time to deliver a return on investment. This is directly related to marketing ROI. Brand equity can also appreciate without strategic direction. A Stockholm University study in 2011 documents the case of Jerusalem's city brand. The city organically developed a brand, which experienced tremendous brand equity appreciation over the course of centuries through non-strategic activities. A booming tourism industry in Jerusalem has been the most evident indicator of a strong ROI.
Brand equity is strategically crucial, but famously difficult to quantify. Many experts have developed tools to analyze this asset, but there is no universally accepted way to measure it. As one of the serial challenges that marketing professionals and academics find with the concept of brand equity, the disconnect between quantitative and qualitative equity values is difficult to reconcile. Quantitative brand equity includes numerical values such as profit margins and market share, but fails to capture qualitative elements such as prestige and associations of interest. Overall, most marketing practitioners take a more qualitative approach to brand equity because of this challenge. In a survey of nearly 200 senior marketing managers, only 26 percent responded that they found the "brand equity" metric very useful.
The purpose of brand equity metrics is to measure the value of a brand. A brand encompasses the name, logo, image, and perceptions that identify a product, service, or provider in the minds of customers. It takes shape in advertising, packaging, and other marketing communications, and becomes a focus of the relationship with consumers. In time, a brand comes to embody a promise about the goods it identifies—a promise about quality, performance, or other dimensions of value, which can influence consumers' choices among competing products. When consumers trust a brand and find it relevant, they may select the offerings associated with that brand over those of competitors, even at a premium price. When a brand's promise extends beyond a particular product, its owner may leverage it to enter new markets. For all these reasons, a brand can hold tremendous value, which is known as brand equity.
There are many ways to measure a brand. Some measurements approaches are at the firm level, some at the product level, and still others are at the consumer level.
Firm Level: Firm level approaches measure the brand as a financial asset. In short, a calculation is made regarding how much the brand is worth as an intangible asset. For example, if you were to take the value of the firm, as derived by its market capitalization—and then subtract tangible assets and "measurable" intangible assets—the residual would be the brand equity. One high-profile firm level approach is by the consulting firm Interbrand. To do its calculation, Interbrand estimates brand value on the basis of projected profits discounted to a present value. The discount rate is a subjective rate determined by Interbrand and Wall Street equity specialists and reflects the risk profile, market leadership, stability and global reach of the brand. Brand valuation modeling is closely related to brand equity, and a number of models and approaches have been developed by different consultancies. Brand valuation models typically combine a brand equity measure (e.g.: the proportion of sales contributed by "brand") with commercial metrics such as margin or economic profit.
Product Level: The classic product level brand measurement example is to compare the price of a no-name or private label product to an "equivalent" branded product. The difference in price, assuming all things equal, is due to the brand. More recently a revenue premium approach has been advocated. Marketing mix modeling can isolate "base" and "incremental" sales, and it is sometimes argued that base sales approximate to a measure of brand equity. More sophisticated marketing mix models have a floating base that can capture changes in underlying brand equity for a product over time.
Consumer Level: This approach seeks to map the mind of the consumer to find out what associations with the brand the consumer has. This approach seeks to measure the awareness (recall and recognition) and brand image (the overall associations that the brand has). Free association tests and projective techniques are commonly used to uncover the tangible and intangible attributes, attitudes, and intentions about a brand. Brands with high levels of awareness and strong, favorable and unique associations are high equity brands.
All of these calculations are, at best, approximations. A more complete understanding of the brand can occur if multiple measures are used.
- Positive brand equity vs. negative brand equity
Brand equity is the positive effect of the brand on the difference between the prices that the consumer accepts to pay when the brand known compared to the value of the benefit received.
There are two schools of thought regarding the existence of negative brand equity. One perspective states brand equity cannot be negative, hypothesizing only positive brand equity is created by marketing activities such as advertising, PR, and promotion. A second perspective is that negative equity can exist, due to catastrophic events to the brand, such as a wide product recall or continued negative press attention (Blackwater or Halliburton, for example).
Colloquially, the term "negative brand equity" may be used to describe a product or service where a brand has a negligible effect on a product level when compared to a no-name or private label product.
- Family branding vs. individual branding strategies
The greater a company's brand equity, the greater the probability that the company will use a family branding strategy rather than an individual branding strategy. This is because family branding allows them to leverage the equity accumulated in the core brand. Aspects of brand equity include: brand loyalty, awareness, association and perception of quality.
In the early 2000s in North America, the Ford Motor Company made a strategic decision to brand all new or redesigned cars with names starting with "F." This aligned with the previous tradition of naming all sport utility vehicles since the Ford Explorer with the letter "E." The Toronto Star quoted an analyst who warned that changing the name of the well known Windstar to the Freestar would cause confusion and discard brand equity built up, while a marketing manager believed that a name change would highlight the new redesign. The aging Taurus, which became one of the most significant cars in American auto history, would be abandoned in favor of three entirely new names, all starting with "F," the Five Hundred, Freestar, and Fusion. By 2007, the Freestar was discontinued without a replacement. The Five Hundred name was thrown out and Taurus was brought back for the next generation of that car in a surprise move by Alan Mulally.
In practice, brand equity is difficult to measure. Because brands are crucial assets, however, both marketers and academic researchers have devised means to contemplate their value. Some of these techniques are described below.
- Brand Equity Ten (Aaker)
David Aaker, a marketing professor and brand consultant, highlights ten attributes of a brand that can be used to assess its strength. These include Differentiation, Satisfaction or Loyalty, Perceived Quality, Leadership or Popularity, Perceived Value, Brand Personality, Organizational Associations, Brand Awareness, Market Share, and Market Price and Distribution Coverage. Aaker doesn't weight the attributes or combine them in an overall score, as he believes any weighting would be arbitrary and would vary among brands and categories. Rather he recommends tracking each attribute separately.
- Brand Equity Index (Moran)
Marketing executive Bill Moran has derived an index of brand equity as the product of three factors:
- Effective Market Share is a weighted average. It represents the sum of a brand's market shares in all segments in which it competes, weighted by each segment's proportion of that brand's total sales.
- Relative Price is a ratio. It represents the price of goods sold under a given brand, divided by the average price of comparable goods in the market.
- Durability is a measure of customer retention or loyalty. It represents the percentage of a brand's customers who will continue to buy goods under that brand in the following year.
- Brand Asset Valuator (Young & Rubicam)
Young & Rubicam, a marketing communications agency, has developed the Brand Asset Valuator, a tool to diagnose the power and value of a brand. In using it, the agency surveys consumers' perspectives along four dimensions:
- Differentiation: The defining characteristics of the brand and its distinctiveness relative to competitors.
- Relevance: The appropriateness and connection of the brand to a given consumer.
- Esteem: Consumers' respect for and attraction to the brand.
- Knowledge: Consumers' awareness of the brand and understanding of what it represents.
- Brand Valuation Model (Interbrand and Brand Finance)
- Interbrand, a brand strategy agency, draws upon financial results and projections in its own model for brand valuation. It reviews a company's financial statements, analyzes its market dynamics and the role of brand in income generation, and separates those earnings attributable to tangible assets (capital, product, packaging, and so on) from the residual that can be ascribed to a brand. It then forecasts future earnings and discounts these on the basis of brand strength and risk. The agency estimates brand value on this basis and tabulates a yearly list of the 100 most valuable global brands.
- The Royalty Relief approach of Brand Finance, an independent brand valuation consultancy, is based on the assumption that if a company did not own the trademarks that it exploits, it would need to license them from a third party brand owner instead. Ownership therefore ‘relieves’ the company from paying a license fee (the royalty) for the use of the third party trademarks. The royalty relief method involves estimating likely future sales, applying an appropriate royalty rate to them and then discounting estimated future, post-tax royalties, to arrive at a Net Present Value (NPV). This is held to represent the brand value. The independent consultancy publishes yearly lists by industry sector and geographic region as well as a top 500 global list.
- Conjoint Analysis
Marketers use conjoint analysis to measure consumers' preference for various attributes of a product, service, or provider, such as features, design, price, or location. By including brand and price as two of the attributes under consideration, they can gain insight into consumers' valuation of a brand—that is, their willingness to pay a premium for it.
- Brand management
- Brand language
- Customer engagement
- Equity (disambiguation)
- Product management
- Brand Architecture
- Brand extension
- Threaded marketing
- Visual brand language
As of 1 May 2012, this article is derived in whole or in part from equity Farris, Paul W.; Neil T. Bendle; Phillip E. Pfeifer; David J. Reibstein (2010). Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance.. The copyright holder has licensed the content utilized under CC-By-SA and GFDL. All relevant terms must be followed.
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- Metti, Michael Sebastian (2011-06-01). "Jerusalem - the most powerful brand in history". Stockholm University School of Business. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
- Farris, Paul W.; Neil T. Bendle; Phillip E. Pfeifer; David J. Reibstein (2010). Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 0137058292. The Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) endorses the definitions, purposes, and constructs of classes of measures that appear in Marketing Metrics as part of its ongoing Common Language: Marketing Activities and Metrics Project.
- Chu, Singfat and Hean Tat Keh (2006). "Brand Value Creation: Analysis of the Interbrand-Business Week Brand Value Rankings," Marketing Letters, 17, 323-331
- Aaker, David A. (1996), "Measuring Brand Equity Across Products and Markets," California Management Review, 38 (Spring), 102-120.
- The International Organization for Standardization is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. ISO 10668:2010 specifies requirements for procedures and methods of monetary brand value measurement.