Introduction of a Strong Brand
Brands are developed over a period of time. They are not made in a day. The process of brand building is continuous. This section considers in more detail about building a strong brand. There are four steps involved in building a brand.
Table of Contents
Steps in Brand Building
- Ensure identification of the brand with customers and an association of the brand in customers’ minds with a specific product class or customer need.
- Firmly establish the totality of brand meaning in the minds of customers by strategically linking a cost of tangible and intangible brand associations with certain properties.
- Elicit the proper customer responses to this brand identification and brand meaning.
- Convert brand response to create an intense, active loyalty relationship between customers and the brand.
Brand Building Blocks
The four steps involved in a brand building can be depicted as six “brand building blocks” as shown below.
The right brand identity can be made by creating brand salience with customers. Brand salience relates to the aspects of the awareness of the brand, i.e. it relates to what extent the brand is evoked under various situations, and to what extent is the brand easily recalled or recognized. What types of reminders are necessary? How pervasive is this brand awareness?
Brand awareness refers to customers’ ability to recall and recognize the brand, as reflected by their ability to identify the brand under different conditions.
Breadth and Depth of Awareness
Creating brand awareness involves giving the product an identity by linking brand elements to a product category and associated purchase and usage situations. The depth of brand awareness concerns the likelihood that a brand element will come to mind. The breadth of brand awareness concerns the range of purchase and usage situations in which the brand element comes to mind.
Product Category Structure
To fully understand brand recall, it is important to appreciate product category structure, or how product categories are organized in memory. In consumers’ minds a product hierarchy often exists, with product class information at the highest level, product category information at the second-highest level, product type information at the next level, and brand information at the lowest level. The organization of the product category hierarchy will play an important role in consumer decision-making.
Brand performance relates to how the product or service attempts to meet customers’ more functional needs. It refers to the intrinsic properties of the brand in terms of inherent product or service characteristics.
The product is the primary influence of consumers’ experience with a brand. Designing and delivering a product that fully satisfies consumer needs and wants is a prerequisite for successful marketing.
The other main type of brand meaning involves brand imagery. Brand imagery deals with the extrinsic properties of the product or service, including how the brand attempts to meet customers’ psychological or social needs. Brand imagery is how people think about a brand abstractly, rather than what they think the brand does. Thus, the imagery refers to more intangible aspects of the brand.
Brand judgments focus on customers’ personal opinions and evaluations concerning the brand. Brand judgments involve how customers put together all the different performance and imagery associations of the brand to form different kinds of opinions.
Warmth: The brands make consumers feel a sense of calm or peacefulness.
Consumers may feel sentimental, warmhearted, or affectionate about the brand.
Brand feelings are customers’ emotional responses and reactions concerning the brand. Brand feelings relate to how the brand affects customers’ feelings about themselves and their relationship with others. The following are the six important types of brand-building feelings:
Warmth: The brands make consumers feel a sense of calm or peacefulness. Consumers may feel sentimental, warmhearted, or affectionate about the brand.
Fun: Upbeat type of feelings; the brand makes consumers feel amused, lighthearted, joyous, playful, cheerful and so on.
Excitement: A different form of upbeat feeling: the brand makes consumers feel energized and feel that they are experiencing something special.
Security: The brand produces a feeling of safety, comfort, and self-assurance. As a result of the brand, consumers do not experience worry or concerns that they might have otherwise felt.
Social approval: The brand results in consumers having positive feelings about the reactions of others; that is, consumers feel that others look favorably on their appearance, behavior, and so on.
Self-respect: The brand makes consumers feel better about themselves: consumers feel a sense of pride, accomplishment or fulfillment.
Brand Resonance: The final step of the model focuses on the ultimate relationship and level of identification that the customer has with the brand. Brand resonance refers to the nature of this relationship and the extent to which customers feel that they are “in sync” with the brand.
Brand Building Implications
Brands can assess their progress in their brand-building efforts as well as a guide for marketing research initiatives. The Customer based brand equity model reinforces several important branding tenets. They are discussed below:
Customers own Brands
The strongest brands will be those brands to which consumers become so attached and passionate. The key point to recognize is that the power of the brand and its ultimate value to the firm resides with customers. The customers learn about the brand and experience the benefits of a brand. So the success of the marketing efforts depends on the consumer’s response.
Brands should have a Duality
A strong brand has a duality. There are two different ways to build loyalty in terms of product-related performance associations and in terms of non-product related imagery associations. Strong brands do product performance and imagery to create a rich, varied, but complementary set of consumer responses to the brand.