Conceptualizing, Measuring, and Managing Customer-Based Brand Equity

Author(s): Kevin Lane Keller
Source: Journal of Marketing, Vol. 57, No. 1 (Jan., 1993), pp. 1-22
Published by: American Marketing Association
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Kevin Lane Keller
Conceptualizing, Measuring,
and
Managing
Customer-Based Brand
Equity
The author
presents
a
conceptual
mod el of brand
equity
fromthe
perspective
of the ind ivid ual consumer.
Customer-based brand
equity
is d efined as the d ifferential effectof brand
knowled ge
on consumer re-
sponse
tothe
marketing
of the brand . A brand issaid tohave
positive (negative)
customer-based brand
equity
when consumers reactmore
(less)
favorably
toan elementof the
marketing
mix for the
brand
than
they
d otothe same
marketing
mix elementwhen itisattributed toa
fictitiously
named or unnamed
version of the
prod uct
or service. Brand
knowled ge
is
conceptualized accord ing
toan associative network
memory
mod el in terms of two
components,
brand awareness and brand
image (i.e.,
a setof brand
associations). Customer-based brand
equity
occurs when the consumer isfamiliar with the brand and
hold s some
favorable,strong,
and
unique
brand associations in
memory.
Issues in
build ing,measuring,
and
managing
customer-based brand
equity
are
d iscussed , aswell as areasfor future research.
M
UCH attention hasbeen d evoted
recently
tothe
concept
of brand
equity (Aaker
and Biel
1992;
Leuthesser
1988;
Maltz
1991).
Brand
equity
hasbeen
viewed froma
variety
of
perspectives(Aaker 1991;
Farquhar 1989;
Srivastava and Shocker
1991;
Tauber
1988).
In a
general sense,
brand
equity
isd efined in
termsof the
marketing
effects
uniquely
attributable to
the brand -for
example,
when certain outcomesre-
sultfromthe
marketing
of a
prod uct
or service be-
cause of itsbrand name thatwould notoccur if the
same
prod uct
or service d id nothave thatname.
There have been two
general
motivationsfor
stud ying
brand
equity.
One isa
financially
based mo-
tivation toestimate the value of a brand more
pre-
cisely
for
accountingpurposes
(in termsof assetval-
uation for the balance
sheet)
or for
merger,acquisition,
Kevin Lane Keller isAssociate Professor of
Marketing
and Fletcher Jones
Faculty
Scholar for
1992-1993, Grad uate School of
Business, Stanford
Univerity.
Thisarticle waswritten while the author was
Visiting
Profes-
sor atthe Australian Grad uate School of
Management, University
of
New South
Wales,Syd ney,
Australia. He thanksDavid
Aaker, Sheri
Brid ges,
Deborah
Macinnis, John
Roberts, John
Rossiter, Richard Stae-
lin,Jennifer
Aaker, and the
anonymous
JMreviewers for
d etailed , con-
structive comments.
Journal of
Marketing
Vol. 57
(January 1993),1-22
or d ivestiture
purposes.
Several d ifferentmethod sof
brand valuation have been
suggested (Barwise
etal.
1989;
Wentz
1989).
For
example,
Interbrand
Group
hasused a
subjective multiplier
of brand
profits
based
on the brand 's
performance along
seven d imensions
(lead ership,stability,
market
stability,
interational-
ity,trend ,support,
and
protection);
Grand
Metropol-
itan hasvalued
newly acquired
brand s
by d etermining
the d ifference between the
acquisition price
and fixed
assets. Simon and Sullivan
(1990)
d efine brand
equity
in termsof the incremental d iscounted future cash flows
thatwould resultfroma
prod ucthaving
itsbrand name
in
comparison
with the
proceed s
thatwould accrue if
the same
prod uct
d id nothave thatbrand name. Based
on the financial marketvalue of the
company,
their
estimation
technique
extractsthe value of brand
eq-
uity
fromthe value of a firm'sother assets.
A second reason for
stud ying
brand
equity
arises
froma
strategy-based
motivation to
improve
market-
ingprod uctivity.
Given
higher costs,greater compe-
tition,and
flattening
d emand in
many markets,
firms
seek toincrease the
efficiency
of their
marketing
ex-
penses.
As a
consequence,
marketersneed a more
thorough und erstand ing
of consumer behavior asa ba-
Customer-Based Brand
Equity /
1
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sisfor
making
better
strategic
d ecisionsabout
target
marketd efinition and
prod uctpositioning,
aswell as
better tactical d ecisionsabout
specificmarketing
mix
actions.
Perhaps
a firm'smostvaluable assetfor im-
provingmarketingprod uctivity
isthe
knowled ge
that
hasbeen created aboutthe brand in consumers' mind s
fromthe firm'sinvestmentin
previousmarketingpro-
grams.
Financial valuation issueshave little relevance
if no
und erlying
value for the brand hasbeen created
or if
managers
d onotknow how to
exploit
thatvalue
by d evelopingprofitable
brand
strategies.
The
goal
of thisarticle istoassist
managers
and
researcherswhoare interested in the
strategicaspects
of brand
equity. Specifically,
brand
equity
is
concep-
tualized fromthe
perspective
of the ind ivid ual con-
sumer and a
conceptual
framework is
provid ed
of what
consumersknow aboutbrand sand whatsuch knowl-
ed ge implies
for
marketingstrategies.
Customer-based
brand
equity
isd efined asthe d ifferential effectof brand
knowled ge
on consumer
response
tothe
marketing
of
the brand . That
is,
customer-based brand
equity
in-
volvesconsumers' reactionstoan elementof the mar-
keting
mix for the brand in
comparison
with their re-
actionstothe same
marketing
mix elementattributed
toa
fictitiously
named or unnamed version of the
prod uct
or service. Customer-based brand
equity
oc-
curswhen the consumer isfamiliar with the brand and
hold ssome
favorable,strong,
and
unique
brand as-
sociationsin
memory.
Conceptualizing
brand
equity
fromthis
perspec-
tive isuseful because it
suggests
both
specificguid e-
lines for
marketingstrategies
and tacticsand areas
where research can be useful in
assistingmanagerial
d ecision
making.
Two
importantpointsemerge
from
this
conceptualization. First,
marketersshould take a
broad view of
marketingactivity
for a brand and rec-
ognize
the variouseffectsithason brand
knowled ge,
aswell ashow
changes
in brand
knowled ge
affectmore
trad itional outcome measuressuch assales.
Second ,
marketersmustrealize thatthe
long-term
successof
all future
marketingprograms
for a brand is
greatly
affected
by
the
knowled ge
aboutthe brand in
memory
thathasbeen established
by
the firm'sshort-termmar-
keting
efforts. In
short,
because the contentand struc-
ture of
memory
for the brand will influence the ef-
fectivenessof future brand
strategies,
itiscritical that
managers
und erstand how their
marketingprograms
affectconsumer
learning
and thus
subsequent
recall
for brand -related information.
The nextsection
provid es
a
conceptualization
of
brand
knowled ge by applying
some basic
memory
no-
tions. Brand
knowled ge
is d efined in termsof two
components,
brand awarenessand brand
image.
Brand
awarenessrelatestobrand recall and
recognition per-
formance
by
consumers. Brand
image
referstothe set
of associationslinked tothe brand thatconsumershold
in
memory.
Then the
concept
of customer-based brand
equity
isconsid ered in more d etail
by
d iscussion of
how itcan be
built,measured ,and
managed .
After
the
conceptual
framework is summarized ,areasfor
future research are id entified .
Brand
Knowled ge
Background
A brand can be d efined as"a
name,term,sign,sym-
bol,
or
d esign,
or combination of themwhich isin-
tend ed to
id entify
the
good s
and servicesof one seller
or
group
of sellersand tod ifferentiate themfromthose
of
competitors" (Kotler 1991; p. 442).
These ind ivid -
ual brand
components
are here called "brand id enti-
ties" and their
totality
"the brand ." Some basicmem-
ory principles
can be used tound erstand
knowled ge
aboutthe brand and how itrelatestobrand
equity.
The
importance
of
knowled ge
in
memory
toconsumer
d ecision
making
hasbeen well d ocumented
(Alba,
Hutchinson,and
Lynch 1991). Und erstand ing
the
contentand structure of brand
knowled ge
is
important
because
they
influence whatcomestomind when a
consumer thinksabouta brand -for
example,
in re-
sponse
to
marketingactivity
for thatbrand .
Most
wid ely accepted conceptualizations
of mem-
ory
structure involve some
type
of associative mod el
formulation
(And erson 1983; Wyer
and Srull
1989).
For
example,
the "associative network
memory
mod el"
viewssemantic
memory
or
knowled ge
as
consisting
of a setof nod esand links. Nod esare stored infor-
mation connected
by
linksthat
vary
in
strength.
A
"spread ing
activation"
process
fromnod e tonod e d e-
terminesthe extentof retrieval in
memory (Collins
and Loftus
1975; Raaijmakers
and Shiffrin
1981;
Ratcliff and McKoon
1988).
A nod e becomesa
po-
tential source of activation for other nod eseither when
external information is
being
encod ed or when inter-
nal information isretrieved from
long-termmemory.
Activation can
spread
fromthisnod e toother linked
nod esin
memory.
When the activation of another nod e
exceed s some threshold
level,
the information con-
tained in thatnod e isrecalled .
Thus,
the
strength
of
association between the activated nod e and all linked
nod esd eterminesthe extentof this
"spread ing
acti-
vation" and the
particular
information thatcan be re-
trieved from
memory.
For
example,
in
consid ering
a
softd rink
purchase,
a consumer
may
think of
Pepsi
because of its
strong
association with the
prod uct
cat-
egory.
Consumer
knowled ge
most
strongly
linked to
Pepsi
should alsothen come to
mind ,
such as
per-
ceptions
of its
taste,
sugar
and caffeine
content,
or
even recalled
images
froma recent
ad vertising
cam-
paign
or
pastprod uctexperiences.
Consistentwith an associative network
memory
2
/
Journal of
Marketing, January
1993
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mod el,
brand
knowled ge
is
conceptualized
as con-
sisting
of a brand nod e in
memory
towhich a
variety
of associations are linked . Given this
conceptualiza-
tion,
the
key question is,
what
properties
d othe brand
nod e and brand associations have? As
d eveloped here,
the relevantd imensions that
d istinguish
brand knowl-
ed ge
and affectconsumer
response
are the awareness
of the brand (in termsof brand recall and
recognition)
and the
favorability, strength,
and
uniqueness
of the
brand associations in consumer
memory.
These d i-
mensions are affected
by
other characteristics of and
relationships among
the brand associations. For ex-
ample,
factorsrelated tothe
type
of brand association
(such
asitslevel of abstraction and
qualitative nature)
and the
congruity among
brand
associations,
among
others,
affectthe
favorability, strength,
and
unique-
ness of brand associations. To
simplify
the d iscus-
sion, emphasis
is
placed
on the brand name
compo-
nentof the brand
id entities,
d efined as "that
part
of a
brand which can be vocalized "
(Kotler 1991,p. 442),
though
other
components
of the brand id entities
(e.g.,
brand
logo
or
symbol)
are consid ered also.
Brand Awareness
The firstd imension
d istinguishing
brand
knowled ge
isbrand awareness. Itisrelated tothe
strength
of the
brand nod e or trace in
memory,
asreflected
by
con-
sumers'
ability
to
id entify
the brand und er d ifferent
cond itions
(Rossiter
and
Percy 1987).
In other
word s,
how well d othe brand id entities serve their function?
In
particular,
brand name awareness relates tothe
likelihood thata brand name will come tomind and
the ease with which itd oes so. Brand awareness con-
sists of brand
recognition
and brand recall
perfor-
mance. Brand
recognition
relates toconsumers' abil-
ity
toconfirm
prior exposure
tothe brand when
given
the brand asa cue. In other
word s,
brand
recognition
requires
thatconsumers
correctly
d iscriminate the brand
as
having
been seen or heard
previously.
Brand recall
relatestoconsumers'
ability
toretrieve the brand when
given
the
prod uctcategory,
the need s fulfilled
by
the
category,
or some other
type
of
probe
as a cue. In
other
word s,
brand recall
requires
thatconsumers cor-
rectly generate
the brand from
memory.
The relative
importance
of brand recall and
recognition d epend s
on
the extenttowhich consumers make d ecisions in the
store
(where they potentially may
be
exposed
tothe
brand )
versus outsid e the
store,
among
other factors
(Bettman 1979;
Rossiter and
Percy 1987).
Brand rec-
ognition may
be more
important
tothe extentthat
prod uct
d ecisions are mad e in the store.
Brand awareness
plays
an
important
role in con-
sumer d ecision
making
for three
major
reasons.
First,
itis
important
thatconsumers think of the brand when
they
think aboutthe
prod uctcategory. Raising
brand
awareness increases the likelihood thatthe brand will
be a member of the consid eration set
(Baker etal.
1986;
Ned ungad i 1990),
the hand ful of brand sthat
receive serious consid eration for
purchase.
Second ,
brand awareness can affectd ecisions aboutbrand sin
the consid eration
set,
even if there are
essentially
no
other brand associations. For
example,
consumershave
been shown to
ad opt
a d ecision rule to
buy only
fa-
miliar,
well-established brand s
(Jacoby,Syzabillo,
and
Busato-Schach
1977;
Roselius
1971).
In low involve-
mentd ecision
settings,
a minimumlevel of brand
awareness
may
be sufficientfor
prod uct
choice, even
in the absence of a well-formed attitud e
(Bettman and
Park
1980; Hoyer
and Brown
1990;
Park and
Lessig
1981).
The elaboration likelihood mod el
(Petty
and
Cacioppo1986) suggests
thatconsumers
may
base
choices on brand awareness consid erations when
they
have low
involvement,
which could resultfromeither
a lack of consumer motivation
(i.e.,
consumersd onot
care aboutthe
prod uct
or
service)
or a lack of con-
sumer
ability (i.e.,
consumers d onotknow
anything
else aboutthe
brand s). Finally,
brand awareness af-
fects consumer d ecision
makingby influencing
the
formation and
strength
of brand associations in the
brand
image.
A
necessary
cond ition for the creation
of a brand
image
isthata brand nod e hasbeen estab-
lished in
memory,
and the nature of thatbrand nod e
should affecthow
easily
d ifferentkind s of informa-
tion can become attached tothe brand in
memory.
Brand
Image
Though
brand
image long
hasbeen
recognized
as an
importantconcept
in
marketing(e.g.,
Gard ner and
Levy
1955),
there is less
agreement
on its
appropriate
d ef-
inition
(Dobni
and Zinkhan
1990).
Consistentwith
d efinitions
by Herzog(1963)
and Newman
(1957),
amongothers,
and an associative network
memory
mod el of brand
knowled ge,
brand
image
is d efined
here as
perceptions
abouta brand asreflected
by
the
brand associations held in consumer
memory.
Brand
associations are the other informational nod es linked
tothe brand nod e in
memory
and contain the
meaning
of the brand for consumers. The
favorability,strength,
and
uniqueness
of brand associations are the d imen-
sions
d istinguishing
brand
knowled ge
that
play
an im-
portant
role in
d etermining
the d ifferential
response
thatmakes
up
brand
equity, especially
in
high
in-
volvementd ecision
settings.
Before
consid ering
those
d imensions,
itisuseful toexamine the d ifferent
types
of brand associations that
may
be
present
in consumer
memory.
Types
of
brand associations. Brand associations
take d ifferentforms. One
way
to
d istinguish among
brand associationsis
by
their level of abstraction
(Alba
and Hutchinson
1987; Chattopad hyay
and Alba
1988;
Johnson
1984; Russoand Johnson
1980)-that is,by
Customer-Based Brand
Equity /
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how much information issummarized or subsumed in
the association.
Along
thisd imension,brand associ-
ationscan be classified intothree
major categories
of
increasingscope: attributes,benefits,
and attitud es.
Several ad d itional d istinctionscan be mad e within these
categoriesaccord ing
tothe
qualitative
nature of the
association.
Attributesare those
d escriptive
featuresthatchar-
acterize a
prod uct
or service-whata consumer thinks
the
prod uct
or service isor hasand whatisinvolved
with its
purchase
or
consumption.
Attributescan be
categorized
in a
variety
of
ways(Myers
and Shocker
1981). Here,
attributesare
d istinguished accord ing
to
how
d irectly they
relate to
prod uct
or service
perfor-
mance. Prod uct-related attributes are d efined as the
ingred ientsnecessary
for
performing
the
prod uct
or
service function
soughtby
consumers.
Hence,they
relate toa
prod uct'sphysical composition
or a ser-
vice's
requirements.
Prod uct-related attributes
vary by
prod uct
or service
category. Non-prod uct-related
at-
tributesare d efined asexternal
aspects
of the
prod uct
or service thatrelate toits
purchase
or
consumption.
The four main
types
of
non-prod uct-related
attributes
are
(1) price information,(2) packaging
or
prod uct
appearance information,(3)
user
imagery (i.e.,
what
type
of
person
usesthe
prod uct
or
service),
and
(4)
usage imagery (i.e.,
where and in what
types
of sit-
uationsthe
prod uct
or service is
used ).
Because
prod uct-related
attributesare more com-
monly acknowled ged ,only non-prod uct-related
attri-
butesare elaborated here. The
price
of the
prod uct
or
service is consid ered a
non-prod uct-related
attribute
because it
represents
a
necessary step
in the
purchase
process
but
typically
d oes notrelate
d irectly
tothe
prod uctperformance
or service function. Price is a
particularly important
attribute association because
consumersoften have
strong
beliefsaboutthe
price
and value of a brand and
may organize
their
prod uct
category knowled ge
in termsof the
price
tiersof d if-
ferentbrand s
(Blattberg
and Wisniewski
1989).
Sim-
ilarly,packaging
is consid ered
part
of the
purchase
and
consumption processbut,
in most
cases,
d oesnot
d irectly
relate tothe
necessary ingred ients
for
prod uct
performance.
User and
usage imagery
attributescan
be formed
d irectly
froma consumer'sown
experi-
encesand contactwith brand usersor
ind irectly through
the
d epiction
of the
target
marketascommunicated in
brand
ad vertising
or
by
some other source of infor-
mation
(e.g.,
word of
mouth).
Associationsof a
typ-
ical brand user
may
be based on
d emographic
factors
(e.g.,sex,age,race,
and
income),
psychographic
fac-
tors
(e.g., accord ing
toattitud estoward
career,pos-
sessions,
the
environment,
or
political institutions),
and other factors. Associationsof a
typical usage
sit-
uation
may
be based on the time of
d ay,week,
or
year,
the location
(insid e
or outsid e the
home),
or the
type
of
activity (formal
or
informal),among
other as-
pects.
User and
usage image
attributescan also
pro-
d uce brand
personality
attributes. Plummer (1985) as-
serts thatone
component
of brand
image
is the
personality
or character of the brand itself. He sum-
marizesresearch
d emonstrating
thatbrand scan be
characterized
by personality d escriptors
such as
"youthful," "colorful,"
and
"gentle."
These
types
of
associationsseemtoarise mostoften asa resultof
inferencesaboutthe
und erlying
user or
usage
situa-
tion. Brand
personality
attributes
may
alsoreflect
emotionsor
feelings
evoked
by
the brand .
Benefits
are the
personal
value consumersattach
tothe
prod uct
or service attributes-that
is,whatcon-
sumersthink the
prod uct
or service can d ofor them.
Benefitscan be further
d istinguished
intothree cate-
goriesaccord ing
tothe
und erlying
motivationstowhich
they
relate
(Park,Jaworski,
and Maclnnis
1986): (1)
functional
benefits,(2) experiential benefits,and
(3)
symbolic
benefits. Functional
benefits
are the more
intrinsic
ad vantages
of
prod uct
or service
consump-
tion and
usually correspond
tothe
prod uct-related
at-
tributes. These benefitsoften are linked to
fairly
basic
motivations,
such as
physiological
and
safety
need s
(Maslow 1970),
and involve a d esire for
problem
re-
moval or avoid ance
(Fennell 1978;
Rossiter and
Percy
1987). Experiential benefits
relate towhatitfeelslike
touse the
prod uct
or service and also
usually
corre-
spond
tothe
prod uct-related
attributes. These benefits
satisfy experiential
need ssuch as
sensory pleasure,
variety,
and
cognitive
stimulation.
Symbolicbenefits
are the more extrinsic
ad vantages
of
prod uct
or ser-
vice
consumption. They usually correspond
tonon-
prod uct-related
attributesand relate to
und erlying
need s
for social
approval
or
personal expression
and outer-
d irected self-esteem.
Hence,
consumers
may
value the
prestige,exclusivity,
or
fashionability
of a brand be-
cause of how itrelatestotheir
self-concept(Solomon
1983). Symbolic
benefitsshould be
especially
rele-
vantfor
socially visible,"bad ge" prod ucts.
Brand attitud esare d efined asconsumers' overall
evaluationsof a brand
(Wilkie 1986).
Brand attitud es
are
important
because
they
often formthe basisfor
consumer behavior
(e.g.,
brand
choice). Though
d if-
ferentmod elsof brand attitud eshave been
proposed ,
one
wid ely accepted approach
isbased on a multiat-
tribute formulation in which brand attitud esare a
function of the associated attributesand benefitsthat
are salientfor the brand . Fishbein and
Ajzen (1975;
Ajzen
and Fishbein
1980) proposed
whathasbeen
probably
the mostinfluential multiattribute mod el to
marketing(Bettman 1986).
This
expectancy-value
mod el viewsattitud esasa
multiplicative
function of
(1)
the salientbeliefsa consumer hasaboutthe
prod -
uctor service
(i.e.,
the extenttowhich consumersthink
the brand hascertain attributesor
benefits)
and
(2)
the
4
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Marketing, January
1993
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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
evaluative
jud gment
of those beliefs
(i.e.,
how
good
or bad itisthatthe brand hasthose attributesor ben-
efits).
Brand attitud escan be related tobeliefs about
prod uct-related
attributesand the functional and ex-
periential benefits,
consistentwith work on
perceived
quality (Zeithaml 1988).
Brand attitud escan alsobe
related tobeliefsabout
non-prod uct-related
attributes
and
symbolic
benefits
(Rossiter
and
Percy 1987),con-
sistentwith the functional
theory
of attitud es
(Katz
1960;
Lutz
1991),
which maintainsthatattitud escan
serve a
"value-expressive"
function
by allowing
in-
d ivid ualsto
express
their
self-concepts.
Because itis
d ifficultto
specify correctly
all of the relevantattri-
butesand
benefits,
researchers
build ing
multiattribute
mod elsof consumer
preference
have includ ed a
gen-
eral
component
of attitud e toward the brand thatisnot
captured by
the attribute or benefitvaluesof the brand
(Park 1991;
Srinivasan
1979). Moreover,
as noted
previously,
research alsohasshown thatattitud escan
be formed
by
less
thoughtful
d ecision
making(Chaiken
1986; Petty
and
Cacioppo1986)-for example,
on the
basisof
simple
heuristicsand d ecision rules. If con-
sumerslack either the motivation or
ability
toevaluate
the
prod uct
or
service,they may
use
signals
or "ex-
trinsiccues"
(Olson
and
Jacoby 1972)
toinfer
prod uct
or service
quality
on the basisof what
they
d oknow
aboutthe brand
(e.g.,prod uctappearance
such ascolor
or
scent).
Thus,
the d ifferent
types
of brand associations
makingup
the brand
image
includ e
prod uct-related
or
non-prod uct-related attributes; functional,
experien-
tial,
or
symbolicbenefits;
and overall brand attitud es.
These associationscan
vary accord ing
totheir favor-
ability,strength,
and
uniqueness.
Favorability of
brand associations. Associations
d iffer
accord ing
tohow
favorably they
are evaluated .
The successof a
marketingprogram
isreflected in the
creation of favorable brand associations-that
is,
con-
sumersbelieve the brand hasattributesand benefits
that
satisfy
their need sand wantssuch thata
positive
overall brand attitud e isformed .
MacKenzie
(1986)
summarizesresearch evid ence
suggesting
thatthe "evaluative
jud gment" component
of
expectancy-value
mod els of attitud e
(i.e.,
con-
sumer
perceptions
of the
favorability
of an
attribute)
isboth
conceptually
and
empirically
related toattri-
bute
importance. Specifically,
attribute
importance
has
been
equated
with
polarity
of attribute evaluation
(Ajzen
and Fishbein
1980;
Fishbein and
Ajzen 1975).
In other
word s,consumersare
unlikely
toview an attribute or
benefitas
very good
or bad if
they
d onotalsocon-
sid er ittobe
very important. Hence,
itisd ifficultto
create a favorable association for an
unimportant
at-
tribute.
Notall associationsfor a
brand ,however,will be
relevantand valued in a
purchase
or
consumption
d e-
cision. For
example,
consumersoften have an asso-
ciation in
memory
fromthe brand tothe
prod uct
or
package
color.
Though
thisassociation
may
facilitate
brand
recognition
or awarenessor lead toinferences
about
prod uctquality,
it
may
not
always
be consid -
ered a
meaningful
factor in a
purchase
d ecision.
Moreover,
the evaluationsof brand associations
may
be
situationally
or
context-d epend ent
and
vary
ac-
cord ing
toconsumers'
particular goals
in their
pur-
chase or
consumption
d ecisions
(Day,
Shocker,and
Srivastava
1979).
An association
may
be valued in
one situation butnotanother
(Miller
and Ginter
1979).
For
example,speed
and
efficiency
of service
may
be
very important
when a consumer isund er time
pres-
sure but
may
have little
impact
when a consumer is
lesshurried .
Strength of
brand associations. Associations can
be characterized also
by
the
strength
of connection to
the brand nod e. The
strength
of associations
d epend s
on how the information entersconsumer
memory (en-
cod ing)
and how itismaintained as
part
of the brand
image (storage). Strength
is a function of both the
amountor
quantity
of
processing
the information re-
ceives at
encod ing(i.e.,
how much a
person
thinks
aboutthe
information)
and the nature or
quality
of the
processing
the information receivesat
encod ing(i.e.,
the manner in which a
person
thinksaboutthe infor-
mation).
For
example,
the levels-or
d epth-of-processing
approach (Craik
and Lockhart
1972;
Craik and Tulv-
ing1975; Lockhart,Craik,
and
Jacoby 1976)
main-
tainsthatthe more the
meaning
of information isat-
tend ed to
d uringencod ing,
the
stronger
the
resulting
associationsin
memory
will be.
Thus,
when a con-
sumer
actively
thinksaboutand "elaborates" on the
significance
of
prod uct
or service
information,stronger
associationsare created in
memory.
This
strength,
in
turn,increasesboth the likelihood thatinformation will
be accessible and the ease with which itcan be re-
called
by "spread ing
activation."
Cognitive psychologists
believe
memory
is ex-
tremely d urable,
sothatonce information becomes
stored in
memory
its
strength
of association
d ecays
very slowly (Loftus
and Loftus
1980). Though
"avail-
able" and
potentially
retrievable in
memory,
infor-
mation
may
notbe "accessible" and
easily
retrieved
without
strongly
associated remind ersor retrieval cues
(Tulving
and Psotka
1971). Thus,
the
particular
as-
sociationsfor a brand thatare salientand "come to
mind "
d epend
on the contextin which the brand is
consid ered . The
larger
the number of cueslinked to
a
piece
of
information,however,
the
greater
the like-
lihood thatthe information can be recalled
(Isen 1992).
Uniqueness of
brand associations. Brand associ-
Customer-Based Brand
Equity /
5
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ations
may
or
may
notbe shared with other
competing
brand s. The essence of brand
positioning
isthatthe
brand has a sustainable
competitive ad vantage
or
"unique sellingproposition"
that
gives
consumersa
compelling
reason for
buying
that
particular
brand
(Aaker 1982;
Riesand Trout
1979; Wind
1982). These
d ifferences
may
be communicated
explicitly by
mak-
ing
d irect
comparisons
with
competitors
or
may
be
highlighted implicitly
without
stating
a
competitive
point
of reference.
Furthermore,they may
be based
on
prod uct-related
or
non-prod uct-related
attributesor
functional,experiential,
or
image
benefits.
The
presence
of
strongly held ,favorably
evaluated
associationsthatare
unique
tothe brand and
imply
superiority
over other brand siscritical toa brand 's
success.
Yet,
unlessthe brand hasno
competitors,
the
brand will most
likely
share some associationswith
other brand s. Shared associationscan
help
toestablish
category membership(Maclnnis
and Nakamoto
1991)
and d efine the
scope
of
competition
with other
prod -
uctsand services
(Sujan
and Bettman
1989).
Research
on
noncomparable
alternatives
(Bettman
and
Sujan
1987;
Johnson
1984;
Park and Smith
1989) suggests
thateven if a brand d oesnotface d irect
competition
in its
prod uctcategory,
and thusd oesnotshare
prod uct-
related attributeswith other
brand s,
itcan still share
more abstractassociationsand face ind irect
compe-
tition in a more
broad ly
d efined
prod uctcategory. Thus,
though
a railroad
may
not
compete d irectly
with an-
other
railroad ,
itstill
competesind irectly
with other
formsof
transportation,
such as
airlines,cars,
and
buses.
A
prod uct
or service
category
can be characterized
also
by
a setof associationsthatinclud e
specific
be-
liefsabout
any
member in the
category
in ad d ition to
overall attitud estoward all membersin the
category.
These beliefsinclud e
many
of the
prod uct-related
at-
tributesfor the relevant
brand s,
aswell asmore d e-
scriptive
attributesthatd onot
necessarily
relate to
prod uct
or service
performance (e.g.,
the color of a
prod uct,
such asred for
ketchup).
Certain attributes
or benefits
may
be consid ered
"prototypical"
and es-
sential toall brand sin the
category,
and a
specific
brand
may
be consid ered an
"exemplar"
thatismost
representative
of the
prod uct
or service
category (Cohen
and Basu
1987;
Ned ungad i
and Hutchinson
1985;
Rosch
and Mervis
1975;
Ward and Loken
1986).
For ex-
ample,
consumers
mightexpect
a
running
shoe to
pro-
vid e
support
and
comfort,
be builtwell
enough
tolast
through repeated wearings,
and so
on,
and
they may
believe thatNike or some other
lead ing
brand best
represents
a
running
shoe.
Similarly,
consumers
might
expect
a bank tooffer a
variety
of
checking
and sav-
ingsaccounts,provid e
branch and electronic
d elivery
services,
and so
on,
and
they may
consid er Bank of
America or some other marketlead er tobe the best
example
of a bank.
Because the brand is linked tothe
prod uct
cate-
gory,
some
prod uctcategory
associations
may
be-
come linked tothe
brand ,either in termsof
specific
beliefsor overall attitud es. Prod uct
category
attitud es
can be a
particularly important
d eterminantof con-
sumer
response.
For
example,
if a consumer thinks
banksare
basically "unfriend ly"
and
"bad ," he or she
probably
will have
similarly
unfavorable beliefsabout
and attitud e toward
any particular
bank
simply by
vir-
tue of its
membership
in the
category. Thus,in almost
all
cases,
some
prod uctcategory
associationsthatare
linked tothe brand are shared with other brand sin the
category.
Note thatthe
strength
of the brand associ-
ations with the
prod uctcategory
is an
important
d eterminantof brand awareness
(Ned ungad i
and
Hutchinson
1985;
Ward and Loken
1986).
Competitive overlap
with other brand sassociated
with the
prod uctcategory
d oeshave a
d ownsid e,how-
ever,
in termsof
possible
consumer confusion. For
example,
Keller
(1987)
and Burke and Srull
(1988)
have shown thatthe number of
competing
brand sad -
vertising
in a
prod uctcategory
can affectconsumers'
ability
torecall communication effectsfor a brand
by
creating
"interference" in
memory.
Keller
(1991b)
also
showed that
though
these interference effectscan
pro-
d uce lower brand
evaluations,they
can be overcome
through
the use of ad retrieval cues-that
is,
d istinc-
tive ad execution information thatis
present
when a
consumer
actually
makesa brand evaluation
(e.g.,
at
the
point
of
purchase).
Interaction
among
characteristics
of
brand asso-
ciations. The level of abstraction and
qualitative
na-
ture of brand associationsshould affecttheir favora-
bility,strength,
and
uniqueness.
For
example,image-
related
attributes,
such asuser
type
or
usage situation,
may easily
create
unique
associations. Abstractas-
sociations
(e.g.,
benefitsand
especially attitud es),
in
contrast,
tend tobe
inherently
more evaluative be-
cause of the embed d ed
meaningthey
contain. Be-
cause of thisevaluative
nature,
abstractassociations
tend tobe more d urable and accessible in
memory
than
the
und erlying
attribute information
(Chattopad hyay
and Alba
1988).
In
fact,
brand attitud es
may
be stored
and retrieved in
memory separately
fromthe und er-
lying
attribute information
(Lynch,Mamorstein,
and
Weigold 1988).
One
important
reason for
consid ering
brand atti-
tud estobe a brand association isthat
they
can
vary
in
strength (Farquhar 1989).
Attitud e
strength
hasbeen
measured
by
the reaction time need ed toevaluative
queries
aboutthe attitud e
object(Fazio
etal.
1986).
Ind ivid ualswhocan evaluate an attitud e
objectquickly
are assumed tohave a
highly
accessible attitud e. Re-
6
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1993
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search hasshown thatattitud esformed fromd irectbe-
havior or
experience
are more accessible than atti-
tud esbased on information or ind irectformsof behavior
(Fazio
and Zanna
1981). Highly
accessible brand at-
titud esare more
likely
tobe activated
spontaneously
upon exposure
tothe brand and
guid e subsequent
brand
choices
(Berger
and Mitchell
1989; Fazio,Powell,
and
Williams
1989).
Figure
1 summarizesthe d imensionsof brand
knowled ge.
Congruence of
brand associations. The favora-
bility
and
strength
of a brand association can be af-
fected
by
other brand associationsin
memory.
Con-
gruence
is d efined as the extenttowhich a brand
association sharescontentand
meaning
with another
brand association. The
congruence
of brand associa-
tionsshould affect
(1)
how
easily
an
existing
associ-
ation can be recalled and
(2)
how
easily
ad d itional
associationscan become linked tothe brand nod e in
memory.
In
general,
information thatisconsistentin
meaning
with
existing
brand associationsshould be
more
easily
learned and remembered than unrelated
information-though
the
unexpected ness
of infor-
mation inconsistentin
meaning
with the brand some-
timescan lead tomore elaborate
processing
and
stronger
associationsthan even consistentinformation
(Houston,
Child ers,
and Heckler
1987; Myers-Levy
and
Tybout
1989; Wyer
and Srull
1989).
That
is,
consumers
may
have
expectations
astothe likelihood thata
prod uct
or service hasa
particular
association
given
thatithas
some other association
(Bettman,John,
and Scott
1986;
Sujan 1985).
These
expectations
should affectcon-
sumers'
ability
tolearn new brand information. For
example,
if a
running
shoe hasa brand association
with
"very
d urable and
long-lasting," presumably
it
would be easier toestablish an association with "all
weather" than with
"stylish."
Asnoted
subsequently,
these
expectations
also
may
resultin the formation of
inferred brand associations.
Thus,
the
strength
of an
association should
d epend
on how itscontentrelates
tothe contentof other associationsfor the brand .
The
congruence among
brand associationsd eter-
minesthe "cohesiveness" of the brand
image-that
is,
the extenttowhich the brand
image
ischaracter-
ized
by
associationsor subsetsof associationsthatshare
FIGURE 1
Dimensions of Brand
Knowled ge
Customer-Based Brand
Equity /
7
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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
meaning.
The cohesivenessof the brand
image may
d etermine consumers' more holisticor
gestalt
reac-
tionstothe brand .
Moreover,a "d iffuse" brand im-
age,
where there islittle
congruence among
brand as-
sociationsfor
consumers,
can
present
several
potential
problems
for marketers.
First,
consumers
may
be con-
fused astothe
meaning
of the brand
and ,because
they
d onothave asmuch information towhich new
information can be
easily related ,
new associations
may
be weaker and
possibly
lessfavorable
(Heckler,Keller,
and Houston
1992). Moreover,
because
any
one as-
sociation shareslittle
meaning
with other associa-
tions,
brand associations
may
be more
easily changed
by competitive
actions.
Finally,
another
problem
with
a d iffuse brand
image
is the
greater
likelihood that
consumerswill d iscountor overlook some
potentially
relevantbrand associationsin
making
brand d eci-
sions. For
example,
research on
"part-listcuing
ef-
fects" hasshown thatrecall of information can inhibit
and lower the recall of other information frommem-
ory (Alba
and
Chattopad hyay 1985a,b,1986;
Hoch
1984;
Keller
1991a). Hence,only
some of the
poten-
tially
retrievable brand associations
actually may
be
recalled when the brand
image
is notcohesive and
consistent.
Customer-Based Brand
Equity
As
noted ,
brand
equity
hasbeen d efined in a
variety
of
ways,d epend ing
on the
particular purpose.
Be-
cause the
goal
of thisarticle is tofacilitate the d e-
velopment
of more effective
marketingstrategies
and
tactics,
the focusison brand effectson the ind ivid ual
consumer. The
ad vantage
of
conceptualizing
brand
equity
fromthis
perspective
is thatitenablesman-
agers
toconsid er
specifically
how their
marketing
programimproves
the value of their brand s.
Though
the eventual
goal
of
any marketingprogram
istoin-
crease
sales,
itisfirst
necessary
toestablish knowl-
ed ge
structuresfor the brand sothatconsumersre-
spond favorably
to
marketingactivity
for the brand .
The
preced ing
section
provid es
a d etailed framework
of brand
knowled ge.
In this
section,
thatframework
isused toconsid er in more d etail how
knowled ge
af-
fectsconsumer
response
tothe
marketing
of a brand
by d efining
customer-based brand
equity
and exam-
ining
how itis
built,measured ,
and
managed .
Defining
Customer-Based Brand
Equity
Customer-based brand
equity
is
d efined
as the
d iffer-
ential
effectof
brand
knowled ge
on consumer re-
sponse
tothe
marketingof
the brand . Three
impor-
tant
concepts
are includ ed in the d efinition: "d ifferential
effect,"
"brand
knowled ge,"
and "consumer
response
to
marketing." Differential effect
is d etermined
by
comparing
consumer
response
tothe
marketing
of a
brand with the
response
tothe same marketingof a
fictitiously
named or unnamed version of the
prod uct
or service. Brand
knowled ge
is d efined in termsof
brand awarenessand brand
image
and is
conceptual-
ized
accord ing
tothe characteristicsand
relationships
of brand associationsd escribed
previously.
Consumer
response
to
marketing
isd efined in termsof consumer
perceptions,preferences,
and behavior
arising
from
marketing
mix
activity (e.g.,
brand choice,compre-
hension of
copy points
froman
ad ,
reactionstoa cou-
pon promotion,
or evaluationsof a
proposed
brand
extension).
Thus,accord ing
tothis
d efinition,
a brand issaid
tohave
positive (negative)
customer-based brand
eq-
uity if
consumers reactmore
(less) favorably
tothe
prod uct,price,promotion,
or d istribution
of
the brand
than
they
d otothe same
marketing
mix elementwhen
itisattributed toa
fictitiously
named or unnamed ver-
sion
of
the
prod uct
or service. Favorable consumer
response
and
positive
customer-based brand
equity,
in
turn,
can lead toenhanced
revenue,
lower
costs,
and
greater profits.
Brand
knowled ge
iscentral tothisd ef-
inition. In
particular,
the
favorability,strength,
and
uniqueness
of the brand associations
play
a critical role
in
d etermining
the d ifferential
response.
If the brand
isseen
by
consumerstobe the same asa
prototypical
version of the
prod uct
or service in the
category,
their
response
should notd iffer fromtheir
response
toa
hypothetical prod uct
or
service;
if the brand hassome
salient,
unique associations,
those
responses
should
d iffer. The actual nature of how the
responses
d iffer
d epend s
on consumers' evaluationsof these associa-
tions,
aswell asthe
particular marketing
mix element
und er consid eration.
Thus,establishing
brand aware-
nessand a
"positive
brand
image" (i.e., favorable,
strong,
and
unique
brand
associations)
in consumer
memory
createsd ifferent
types
of customer-based brand
equity,d epend ing
on what
marketing
mix elementis
und er consid eration. A brief d iscussion
highlighting
some relevantconsid erationsfor each of these ele-
mentsfollows.
Fund amentally, high
levelsof brand awarenessand
a
positive
brand
image
should increase the
probability
of brand choice,aswell as
prod uce greater
consumer
(and
retailer) loyalty
and d ecrease
vulnerability
to
competitive marketing
actions.
Thus,
the view of brand
loyalty ad opted
here isthatitoccurswhen favorable
beliefsand attitud esfor the brand are manifested in
repeatbuying
behavior. Some of these beliefs
may
reflectthe
objective reality
of the
prod uct,
in which
case no
und erlying
customer-based brand
equity may
be
present,
butin other cases
they may
reflectfavor-
able,
strong,
and
unique
associationsthat
gobeyond
the
objective reality
of the
prod uct(Park 1991).
High
levelsof brand awarenessand a
positive
brand
image
alsohave
specificimplications
for the
pricing,
8
/
Journal of
Marketing, January
1993
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d istribution,
and
promotion
activitiesrelated tothe
brand .
First,
a
positive image
should enable the brand
tocommand
larger margins
and have more inelastic
responses
to
price
increases. The most
important
as-
pect
of the brand
image
thataffectsconsumer re-
sponses
to
prices
is
probably
overall brand attitud e.
Consumerswith a
strong,
favorable brand attitud e
should be more
willing
to
pay premiumprices
for the
brand
(Starr
and Rubinson
1978). Similarly,
a
posi-
tive
image
should resultin increased consumer search
(Simonson,Huber,
and
Payne 1988)
and a
willing-
nesstoseek outd istribution channelsfor the
prod uct
or service.
Finally,high
levelsof brand awarenessand
a
positive
brand
image
can increase
marketing
com-
munication effectiveness. All
aspects
of the brand im-
age
are relevantin
d etermining
consumer
response
to
ad vertising
and
promotion.
For
example,
several au-
thorsnote that
ad vertisingresponse
and
d ecay patterns
are a function of consumers' attitud esand behavior
toward the brand
(Ray 1982;
Rossiter and
Percy 1987).
They
maintain thatconsumerswhoare
positively pre-
d isposed
toward a brand
may require
fewer ad ex-
posures
tomeetcommunication
objectives. Similarly,
one could
argue
that
strong
attribute or benefitasso-
ciationsfor the brand
require
lessreinforcement
through
marketing
communications.
In these d ifferent
ways,
customer-based brand
eq-
uity
is enhanced
by creating
favorable
response
to
pricing,d istribution,
ad vertising,
and
promotion
ac-
tivity
for the brand .
Moreover,
a familiar brand with
a
positive
brand
image
can also
yield licensingop-
portunities(i.e.,
the brand name is used
by
another
firmon one of its
prod ucts)
and
support
brand exten-
sions
(i.e.,
a firmusesan
existing
brand name toin-
trod uce a new
prod uct
or
service),
two
important growth
strategies
for firmsin recent
years. Licensing
can be
a valuable source of
royalty income,
asevid enced
by
the substantial
merchand ising
effortsin recent
years,
and
typically
hasbeen
employed
when brand associ-
ationshave
strong
user
imagery
or brand
personality
attributes. A more substantial investmentand risk
pro-
file for the
company,however,
is
required
with brand
extensions. Because of their
potentially lasting
effects
on consumer
knowled ge
and the effectivenessof fu-
ture
marketingactivity,
brand extensionsare consid -
ered in more d etail in the section on
managing
customer-based brand
equity.
Build ing
Customer-Based Brand
Equity
Build ing
customer-based brand
equity requires
the
creation of a familiar brand thathas
favorable,
strong,
and
unique
brand associations. Thiscan be d one both
through
the initial choice of the brand
id entities,
such
asthe brand
name,
logo,
or
symbol,
and
through
the
integration
of the brand id entitiesintothe
supporting
marketingprogram.
Choosing
brand id entities. Tosee how the initial
choice of the brand id entitiescan affectbrand
equity,
consid er the choice of a brand name. A
variety
of cri-
teria have been
suggested
for the selection of a brand
name
(e.g.,
Aaker
1991;
Kotler
1991; Robertson 1989).
They generally
can be classified
accord ing
towhether
they help
enhance brand awarenessor facilitate the
linkage
of brand associations.
Alba and Hutchinson
(1987) give
an extensive d is-
cussion of
psychological principles
thatcan be useful
in
und erstand ing
how the choice of a name affectsbrand
recall and
recognition processes.
Some criteria often
noted
by
other researchersare thatbrand namesshould
be
simple,familiar,
and
d istinctive,along
the follow-
ing
lines. Toenhance the likelihood of successful
pro-
cessing
at
encod ing,
the brand name should be
easy
to
comprehend ,pronounce,
and
spell.
In
fact,market
researcherssometimesevaluate the "flicker
percep-
tion" of brand names
(i.e.,
how
quickly
a brand name
can be
perceived
and und erstood when
exposed only
for an
instant)
toassessconsumer
learning
of cand i-
d ate brand names
(Dolan 1985).
To
improve
con-
sumer
learning
of the
brand ,
mnemonicfactors
(e.g.,
One-A-Day)
and vivid word sare often
employed
that
have rich evaluative or
experiential imagery (Robertson
1987;
butsee
Myers-Levy 1989). Similarly,
the use
of a familiar word should be
ad vantageous
because
much information is
present
in
memory
towhich the
name relates.
Finally,
a d istinctive word isoften
sought
toattractattention and red uce confusion
among
com-
peting
brand s.
These d ifferentchoice criteria for a brand name
are not
necessarily mutually compatible,
and it
may
be d ifficulttochoose namesthatare
simple,familiar,
and d istinctive.
Moreover,
factors
affecting
the ease
with which a brand name isrecalled d iffer fromfac-
tors
affecting
the ease with which a brand name is
recognized .
For
example,past
research
suggests
that
high frequency
word s
(accord ing
toconventional use
in
language)
are easier torecall than low
frequency
word s,
butlow
frequency
word s
may
be easier torec-
ognize
than
high frequency
word s
(Gregg
1976; Lynch
and Srull
1982).
This
find ingsuggests
that
choosing
a familiar word
representing
a well-known
concept
or
some other common
object
or
property
asa brand name
may
facilitate brand
recall,
butthat
choosing
a more
unusual or d istinctive word
may
facilitate brand rec-
ognition. Decid ing
whether to
emphasize
recall or
recognition properties
in
choosing
a brand name d e-
pend s
on
managerial prioritiesconcerning
the extent
of consumers' in-store
processing
for the
prod uct,
the
nature of the
competitive environment,
and soon.
The choice of a brand name
may
alsoaffectthe
favorability,strength,
and
uniqueness
of brand asso-
ciations. The suggestivenessor
meaningfulness
of the
brand name should affecthow
easily
brand associa-
Customer-Based Brand
Equity /
9
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tionsare created . The brand name can be chosen to
suggestsemantically (1)
the
prod uct
or service cate-
gory
or
(2) important
attributesor benefitswithin that
category.
The firstconsid eration should enhance brand
name awarenessand the id entification with the
prod -
uct
category.
The second consid eration afford stwo
important
benefits.
First,
even in the absence of
any
marketingactivity,
the semantic
meaning
of a
sugges-
tive brand name
may
enable consumerstoinfer cer-
tain attributesand benefits. For
example,
consumers
could assume on the basisof the namesalone that
Daybreak
cereal is wholesome and
natural,Chief
laund ry d etergent
removes
tough stains,
and Diamond
toothpaste
whitensand
brightens
teeth.
Second ,a
suggestive
brand name
may
facilitate
marketing
ac-
tivity d esigned
tolink certain associationstothe brand .
Id eally,
the brand name can be
effectively supported
through marketing
communicationsand a d istinctive
slogan
thatties
together
the brand name and its
po-
sitioning.
Similar choice criteria
apply
tothe other brand
id entities,
such the brand
logo
or
symbol. Moreover,
another
importantobjective
istochoose the various
brand id entitiestobe
mutually reinforcing
sothat
they
interact
positively
to
satisfy
these criteria. Neverthe-
less,although
the
jud icious
choice of brand id entities
can contribute
significantly
tocustomer-based brand
equity,
the
primary input
comesfrom
supporting
mar-
keting
activitiesfor the brand and the various
prod uct,
price,ad vertising,promotion,
and d istribution d eci-
sions,
asd iscussed next.
Developing supporting marketingprograms.
Marketingprograms
are
d esigned
toenhance brand
awarenessand establish
favorable,strong,
and
unique
brand associationsin
memory
sothatconsumers
pur-
chase the
prod uct
or service. Brand awarenessisre-
lated tobrand
familiarity.
Alba and Hutchinson
(1987)
d efine brand
familiarity
asthe number of
prod uct-
related
experiences
thathave been accumulated
by
the
consumer
(through prod uctusage,ad vertising,etc.).
Greater brand
familiarity,through repeated exposures
toa
brand ,
should lead toincreased consumer
ability
to
recognize
and recall the brand .
Thus,
the
appro-
priate marketingstrategy
toincrease brand awareness
and
familiarity
isclear fromthe
d efinition-anything
thatcausesthe consumer to
"experience"
or be ex-
posed
tothe brand hasthe
potential
toincrease fa-
miliarity
and awareness.
Frequent
and
prominent
mentionsin
ad vertising
and
promotion
vehiclescan
intrusively
increase consumer
exposure
tothe
brand ,
ascan eventor
sportssponsorship,publicity,
and other
activities.
Favorable,
strong,
and
unique
associationscan be
created
by
the
marketingprogram
in a
variety
of well-
established
ways
thatare
only highlighted
here. The
prod uct
or service
specifications
themselvesare the
primary
basisfor the
prod uct-related
attribute asso-
ciationsand d etermine a consumer'sfund amental un-
d erstand ing
of whatthe
prod uct
or service means.
Similarly,
the
pricingpolicy
for the brand
d irectly
cre-
atesassociationstothe relevant
price
tier or level for
the brand in the
prod uctcategory,
aswell asitscor-
respond ingprice volatility
or variance
(e.g.,
in terms
of the
frequency
and
magnitud e
of
d iscounts).
The
marketing
communication efforts
by
the firm,
in
contrast,
afford a flexible meansof
shaping
con-
sumer
perceptions
of the
prod uct
or service. Attimes,
marketers
may
have totranslate attributesintotheir
correspond ing
benefitsfor consumers
through
ad ver-
tising
or other formsof communication.
Marketing
communicationsalso
may
be
helpful
in
creating
user
and
usage imagery
attributes. The
strength
of brand
associationsfromcommunication effects
d epend s
on
how the brand id entitiesare
integrated
intothe
sup-
portingmarketingprogram-for example,
the
posi-
tion and
prominence
of the brand id entitiesin a tele-
vision ad
(Keller 1992). Though d elaying
brand
id entification until the end of a television commercial
may
increase attention levels
d uring
commercial ex-
posure,resulting
in
many
communication effects
being
stored in
memory (e.g.,
ad execution and brand claim
information,
as well as affective and
cognitive
re-
sponses
tothat
information),
it
may
also
prod uce
weak
linksfromthese effectstothe brand .
Finally,
word -
of-mouth and other social influencesalso
play
an im-
portantrole,
especially
for user and
usage imagery
at-
tributes.
Leveragingsecond ary
associations. The d efini-
tion of customer-based brand
equity
d oesnotd istin-
guish
between the sourcesof brand beliefs
(Fishbein
and
Ajzen 1975)-that is,
whether beliefsare created
by
the marketer or
by
some other source of influence
such asreference
groups
or
publicity.
All thatmatters
isthe
favorability,strength,
and
uniqueness
of brand
associations
which,combined with brand
awareness,
can
prod uce
d ifferential consumer
response
tothe
marketing
of a brand .
Nevertheless,
itisworthwhile
toconsid er in
greater d epth
how belief associations
aboutthe attributesand benefitsof the brand arise.
One
way
belief associationsare created ison the
basisof d irect
experience
with the
prod uct
or service.
A second
way
is
by
information aboutthe
prod uct
or
service communicated
by
the
company,
other com-
mercial
sources,
or word of mouth. Of the
two,
d irect
experience may
create
stronger
associationsin mem-
ory given
its inherentself-relevance
(Hertel 1982).
These
episod icmemory
traces
(Tulving1983) may
be
especially important
for user and
usage image
attri-
bute associations. A third
importantway
thatbelief
associationsare created ison the basisof inferences
10
/
Journal of
Marketing, January
1993
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fromsome
existing
brand associations. Thatis,many
associationsare assumed toexistfor the brand be-
cause itischaracterized
by
other associations. The
type
and
strength
of
inferencing
are a function of the cor-
relations
perceived by
consumers
among
attributesor
benefits
(Ford
and Smith
1987; Huber and McCann
1982).
For
example,
some consumersin certain cat-
egoriesmay
infer a
high
level of
prod uct
or service
quality
froma
high price,
aswell asinfer
specific
attributesor benefitssuch as
prestige
and social sta-
tus.
Dick,Chakravarti,
and Biehal
(1990)
refer tothese
types
of inferencesasbased on
"probabilistic
consis-
tency." They
note that"evaluative
consistency"
in-
ferences
may
also
occur,
aswhen consumersinfer the
favorability
of a brand attribute or benefiton the basis
of their overall brand attitud e or their evaluation of
some other
perceived
attribute or benefit.
Another
type
of inferred association occurswhen
the brand association itself is linked toother infor-
mation in
memory
thatis not
d irectly
related tothe
prod uct
or service. Because the brand becomesid en-
tified with thisother
entity,
consumers
may
infer that
the brand sharesassociationswith that
entity,
thus
prod ucing
ind irector
"second ary"
linksfor the brand .
These
second ary
associations
may
lead toa transfer
of
global
associationssuch asattitud e or
cred ibility
(e.g., expertise,trustworthiness,
and
attractiveness)
or more
specific
attributesand benefitsrelated tothe
prod uct
or service
meaning. Second ary
associations
may
arise from
primary
attribute associationsrelated
to
(1)
the
company,(2)
the
country
of
origin,(3)
the
d istribution
channels,(4)
a
celebrity spokesperson
or
end orsor of the
prod uct
or
service,
or
(5)
an event.
The firstthree
types
of
second ary
associationsin-
volve "factual sources" for the brand
(i.e.,
whomakes
it,where itis
mad e,
and where itis
purchased ).
This
information isalmost
alwayspotentially
available to
consumers,
butits
strength
of association with the brand
d epend s
on the
emphasis
itreceives.
First,
the brand
may vary by
the extenttowhich itisid entified with
a
particular company. Establishing
a connection with
a
company may
cause
existing
associationsfor that
company
tobecome
second ary
associationsfor the
brand
(e.g., perceptions
of
company reputation
and
cred ibility).
The
brand ingstrategy ad opted by
the
company making
the
prod uct
or
provid ing
the service
isthe most
important
factor
affecting
the
strength
of
the
company's
association with the brand . Three main
brand ingstrategies
are
possible (Kotler 1991). First,
companiesmay
choose ind ivid ual brand namesfor
d ifferent
prod ucts
and serviceswithout
any explicit
mention of the
company (e.g.,
Procter & Gamble with
Tid e,Bold ,Dash,Cheer,Gain,
Oxyd ol,
and Duz
laund ry d etergents). Second ,
companiesmay
choose
their name for all of their
prod ucts
or services
(e.g.,
General Electricand
Heinz). Third ,
companiesmay
choose a
hybrid
or sub-brand
strategy whereby they
combine their
company
name with ind ivid ual brand
names
(e.g.,Kellogg's
Corn Flakesand
Courtyard by
Marriott).
The latter two
types
of
brand ingstrategies
should facilitate accesstoconsumers' overall attitud es
toward the
company.
The sub-brand
strategy
offersan
ad d itional
potential
benefitin thatitcan allow for the
creation of more
specific
brand beliefs.
Similarly,
a brand
may
be associated with its
"country
of
origin" (i.e.,
the
country
in which the
company
makesthe
prod uct
or
provid es
the service)
in such a
way
thatconsumersinfer
specific
beliefsand
evaluations
(Erickson,Johansson,
and Chao1984;
Hong
and
Wyer 1989,1990).
For
example,
French
wines,
German
automobiles,
and
Japanese
electronics
probably
all benefitfromsuch inferences.
Finally,
the
d istribution channelsfor a
prod uctmay
alsocreate
second ary
associations. Consumerscan form"brand "
images
of retailers
(Jacoby
and
Mazursky 1984)
on
the basisof their
prod uctassortment, pricing
and cred it
policy,quality
of
service,
and soon. These store im-
ages
have associationsthat
may
be linked tothe
prod -
ucts
they
sell
(e.g.,prestige
and
exclusivity
vs.
bargain-
d riven and mass
appeal).
Similar
types
of
imagesmay
be formed for
catalogs
and other formsof d irectmar-
keting.
The final two
types
of
second ary
associationsoc-
cur when the
primary
brand associationsare for user
and
usage
situation
attributes,especially
when
they
are for a
particular person
or event. Consid er the case
in which
ad vertising
createsan association between a
brand and a
celebrity
end orser
(Rossiter
and
Percy
1987).
Asa
result,
other associationsfor the
celebrity
may
become related tothe brand .
Id eally,
one such
association would be a favorable attitud e toward the
celebrity-for example,
a well-known
person
could
lend
cred ibility
to
prod uct
or service claimsbecause
of hisor her
expertise,trustworthiness,
or attractive-
ness.
Ad d itionally,
more
specific
beliefs
may
be in-
volved
(Kahle
and Homer
1985;
McCracken
1989).
Thus,consumershave
images
of
celebrity
end orsors
in their mind sasa resultof
observing
the celebrities
in their own field of end eavor or asa resultof med ia
coverage.
A
celebrity invariably
hassome
personality
attribute
associations,
aswell as
possibly
some
prod uct-
related attribute
associations,
that
may
become linked
tothe brand .
Similarly,
a brand
may
alsobecome as-
sociated with a
particular
event.
Again,
thatevent
may
be characterized
by
a setof attribute and attitud e as-
sociationsin
memory.
When the brand becomeslinked
with the
event,
some of these associationswith the
event
may
become
ind irectly
associated with the brand .
Finally,
asnoted
previously,
id entification with the
prod uctcategory
itself can alsoresultin inferences
prod ucingsecond ary associations.
Second ary
brand associations
may
be
important
if
Customer-Based Brand
Equity / 11
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existing
brand associationsare d eficientin some
way.
In other
word s,second ary
associationscan be lever-
aged
tocreate
favorable,strong,
and
unique
associ-
ationsthatotherwise
may
notbe
present. Choosing
to
emphasize
the
company
or a
particular person,place,
or eventshould be based on consumers' awarenessof
that
entity,
aswell ashow the beliefsand attitud es
aboutthe
entity
can become linked tothe brand
(see
chapter
11 of Rossiter and
Percy
1987 for an excellent
d iscussion).
Such a
strategy
makessense if consumers
alread y
have associationsfor the
company,person,
place,
or eventthatare
congruent
with d esired brand
associations. For
example,
consid er a
country
such as
New
Zealand ,
which isknown for
having
more
sheep
than
people.
A New Zealand sweater manufacturer that
promotes
its
prod uct
on the basisof itsNew Zealand
wool
presumably
could more
easily
establish
strong
and favorable brand associationsbecause New Zea-
land
may alread y
mean "wool" to
many people.
Sec-
ond ary
brand associations
may
be
risky,however,be-
cause some control of the brand
image
is
given up.
The
company,person,place,
or eventthatmakes
up
the
primary
brand association will
und oubted ly
have
a hostof associationsof which
only
some smaller set
will be of interesttothe marketer.
Managing
the transfer
process
sothat
only
the relevant
second ary
associa-
tionsbecome linked tothe brand
may
be d ifficult.
Moreover,
these
imagesmay change
over time ascon-
sumerslearn more aboutthe
entity,
and new associ-
ations
may
or
may
notbe
ad vantageous
for the brand .
Measuring
Customer-Based Brand
Equity
There are twobasic
approaches
to
measuring
customer-
based brand
equity.
The "ind irect"
approach attempts
toassess
potential
sourcesof customer-based brand
equity by measuring
brand
knowled ge (i.e.,
brand
awarenessand brand
image).
The "d irect"
approach
attempts
tomeasure customer-based brand
equity
more
d irectly by assessing
the
impact
of brand
knowled ge
on consumer
response
tod ifferentelementsof the firm's
marketingprogram.
The ind irectand d irect
ap-
proaches
to
measuring
customer-based brand
equity
are
complementary
and should be used
together.
The
ind irect
approach
isuseful in
id entifying
what
aspects
of brand
knowled ge
cause the d ifferential
response
that
createscustomer-based brand
equity;
the d irect
ap-
proach
isuseful in
d etermining
the nature of the d if-
ferential
response. Though
d etailed
d escriptions
and
critiques
of the
many specifictechniques
behind these
two
approaches
are
beyond
the
scope
of thisarticle
(see
Aaker 1991 for ad d itional
d iscussion),
itis
worthwhile to
highlight
them
briefly.
Ind irect
approach.
The first
approach
tomeasur-
ing
customer-based brand
equity,measuring
brand
knowled ge,requiresmeasuring
brand awarenessand
the characteristicsand
relationshipsamong
brand as-
sociations. Because
any
one measure
typically cap-
tures
only
a
particular aspect
of brand
knowled ge,
multiple
measuresmustbe
employed
to
capture
the
multid imensional nature of brand
knowled ge.
Brand awarenesscan be assessed
effectively through
a
variety
of aid ed and unaid ed
memory
measures(see
Srull 1984 for a
review)
thatcan be
applied
totest
brand recall and
recognition.
For
example,
brand rec-
ognition
measures
may
use the actual brand name or
some
perceptually d egrad ed
version of the brand name
(Alba
and Hutchinson
1987).
Brand recall measures
may
use d ifferentsetsof
cues,
such as
progressively
narrowly
d efined
prod uctcategory
labels. Besid es
correctness,
the ease of recall and
recognition perfor-
mance can be assessed with more subtle measuressuch
as
response
latenciesto
provid e
a fuller
picture
of
memory performance
with
respect
tothe brand
(Fazio
1987).
Brand recall can alsobe cod ed in termsof the
ord er of recall to
capture
the extenttowhich the name
is
"top
of mind " and thus
strongly
associated with the
prod uctcategory
in
memory.
There are
many ways
tomeasure the characteris-
ticsof brand associations
(i.e.,
their
type,
favorabil-
ity,
and
strength). Qualitative techniques
can be em-
ployed
to
suggestpossible
associations. For
example,
free association taskscan be used
whereby
consumers
d escribe whatthe brand meanstothemin an unstruc-
tured
format,
either
ind ivid ually
or in small
groups.
Specifically,
consumers
might
be
probed
in termsof
"who,what,when,where,why,
and how"
types
of
questions
aboutthe brand .
Projective techniques(Levy
1978,1981,1985)
such assentence
completion,pic-
ture
interpretation,
and brand
personality d escriptors
may
alsobe
useful,
especially
if consumersare un-
willing
or otherwise unable to
express
their
feelings.
These ind irect
measures,however,may
notad e-
quately capture
the
favorability
or
strength
of asso-
ciations,
and more d irectmeasuresoften are
necessary
to
provid e
ad d itional information. For
example,Ajzen
and Fishbein
(1980) give
a d etailed
d escription
of how
beliefsand evaluationsof attributesand benefitscan
be scaled and how attitud escan be measured
through
a structured
format,
provid ing
an illustrative
example
in a consumer
setting.
Asnoted
previously,response
time measuresof attitud eshave been used asa
proxy
for attitud e
strength.
Relationshipsamong
brand associationscan be
measured
by
two
general approaches: (1) comparing
the characteristicsof brand associationsin some
way
and
(2) d irectly asking
consumersfor information rel-
evanttothe
congruence,competitive overlap,
or le-
verage
for the brand associations.
Congruence
is the
extenttowhich brand associationsare shared . Con-
gruence
can be assessed
by comparing
the
pattern
of
associationsacrossconsumerstod etermine which as-
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1993
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sociationsare common or d istinctive.
Ad d itionally,
consumerscould be asked
d irectly
their cond itional
expectations
for
attribute,benefit,
or attitud e associ-
ations
(i.e.,
the likelihood thata
prod uct
or service
hasone association
given
thatithas
another).
Competitive overlap
of brand associations is the
extenttowhich brand associationsare linked tothe
prod uctcategory (i.e., id entification)
and are or are
notshared with other brand s
(i.e.,uniqueness).
Id en-
tification
can be assessed
by examining
how con-
sumers
respond
tobrand recall taskswith
prod uct
cat-
egory
or some other
type
of cues.
Uniqueness
of brand
associationscan be assessed
by comparing
the char-
acteristicsof associationsof the focal brand
(i.e.,their
type,favorability,
and
strength)
with the character-
isticsof associationsfor
competing
brand s. Ad d ition-
ally,
consumerscould be asked
d irectly (1)
how
strongly
they id entify
the brand with the
prod uctcategory
and
(2)
what
they
consid er tobe the
unique
and shared
aspects
of the brand . Multivariate
techniques
such as
multid imensional
scaling
alsocan be
employed (Aaker
and
Day 1986).
Leverage
is the extenttowhich other brand as-
sociationslinked toa brand association become sec-
ond ary
associationsfor the brand .
Leverage
can be
assessed
by comparing
the characteristicsfor the
par-
ticular
company,person,place,event,
or
prod uct
cat-
egory
with those characteristicsfor the focal brand ac-
cord ing
totheir
type, favorability,
and
strength.
Ad d itionally,
consumerscould be asked
d irectly
what
inferencesare mad e aboutthe brand on the basisof
knowled ge
of the
particular person,place, event,
company,
or
prod uctcategory.
Direct
approach.
The second
approach
tomea-
suring
customer-based brand
equity,d irectly
measur-
ing
the effectsof brand
knowled ge
on consumer re-
sponse
to
marketing
for the
brand ,requiresexperiments
in which one
group
of consumers
respond s
toan ele-
mentof the
marketingprogram
when itisattributed
tothe brand and another
group
of consumers
respond s
tothatsame elementwhen itisattributed toa ficti-
tiously
named or unnamed version of the
prod uct
or
service.
By attributing
the
marketing
elementtoan
unfamiliar or
anonymousprod uct,
consumersshould
interpret
itwith
respect
totheir
general knowled ge
about
the
prod uct
or
service,
aswell as
prototypical prod uct
or service
specifications
and
price,promotion,
and
d istribution
strategies. Comparing
the
responses
of the
two
groups
thus
provid es
an estimate of the effects
d ue tothe
specificknowled ge
aboutthe brand that
goesbeyond
basic
prod uct
or service
knowled ge.
The classic
example
of this
approach
is the so-
called "blind " testin which consumersevaluate a
prod uct
on the basisof a
d escription,examination,
or
actual
consumption experience,
either with or without
brand attribution. Pastresearch of this
type
hasshown
that
knowled ge
of the brand affectsconsumer
percep-
tions,preferences,
and choicesfor a
prod uct(e.g.,
Allison and Uhl
1964; Jacoby,Olson,and Had d ock
1971).
Blind testscould be used toexamine consumer
response
toother elementsof the
marketing
mix such
as
proposed pricing,promotion,
and channelsof d is-
tribution
changes.
One
important
consid eration with the d irect
ap-
proach
isthe
experimental
realismthatcan be achieved
when some
aspect
of the
marketingprogram
isattrib-
uted toa
fictitiously
named or unnamed version of the
prod uct
or service. Detailed
concept
statementscan be
employed
in some situationswhen it
may
be other-
wise d ifficultfor consumerstoexamine or
experience
the
marketing
mix elementwithout
being
aware of the
brand .
Thus,concept
statements
may
be useful in as-
sessing
customer-based brand
equity
when consumers
make a
prod uct
choice or evaluate a
change
in the
prod uct
or service
composition,jud ge
a
proposed
brand
extension,
or
respond
toa
proposed price
or d istri-
bution
change. Assessing
customer-based brand
eq-
uity
with
marketing
communications
presents
a
bigger
challenge
with the d irect
approach (e.g.,
consumer re-
sponse
toa
proposed
new
ad vertisingcampaign).
In
thiscase,
storyboard s
and animaticor
photomatic
ver-
sionsof an ad could be used rather than a finished ad
toallow for the
necessary d isguise
of the brand .
Though
this
approach
should work well with "informational"
ad s,
it
probably
would be less
appropriate
for "trans-
formational" ad s
emphasizinguser,usage,
or some
other
type
of
imagery,
in which
prod uction
valuesare
a critical
ingred ient
in
achieving
communication
goals
(Rossiter
and
Percy 1987).
Finally,
another
potentially
useful
approach
for d i-
rectly assessing
customer-based brand
equity
iscon-
joint
or trad eoff
analysis(Green
and Srinivasan
1978,
1990;
Green and Wind
1975). Conjointanalysis
can
be used to
explore
the main effectsof the brand name
(i.e.,d ifferencesin
preference
or choice for the
brand )
and interaction effectsbetween the brand name and
other
marketing
mix elementssuch as
price,prod uct
or service
features,
and
promotion
or channel choices
(i.e., d ifferencesin
perceptions
for the
brand ).
For
example,Rangaswamy,Burke,
and Oliva
(1990)
use
conjointanalysis
to
explore
how brand namesinteract
with
physical prod uct
featurestoaffectthe extend a-
bility
of brand namestonew
prod uctcategories.
Note
thatif
conjointanalysis
is
employed ,
care mustbe taken
thatconsumersd onotevaluate unrealistic
prod uct
profiles
or scenariosthatviolate their basic
expecta-
tionsfor the
prod uct
or brand
(Park 1991;
Srinivasan
1979).
Table 1 summarizesthe d ifferentmeasuremental-
ternativesfor customer-based brand
equity.
Customer-Based Brand
Equity/
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TABLE 1
Measurement of Brand Knowled ge Constructs Related toCustomer-Based Brand Equitya
Construct Measure(s) Purpose of Measure(s)
Brand Awareness
Recall Correctid entification of brand given Capture "top-of-mind " accessibility of
prod uctcategory
or some other
type
of brand in memory
probe
ascue
Recognition
Correctd iscrimination of brand as having Capture potential retrievability or
been
previously
seen or heard availability
of brand in memory
Brand
Image
Characteristicsof brand associations
Type
Free association tasks,projective
Provid e
insight
intonature of brand
techniques,d epth
interviews associations
Favorability Ratings
of evaluationsof associations Assess
key
d imension prod ucing
d ifferential consumer
response
Strength Ratings
of beliefsof association Assess key
d imension prod ucing
d ifferential consumer
response
Relationshipsamong
brand associations
Uniqueness Compare
characteristicsof associations Provid e insightintothe extenttowhich
with those of
competitors(ind irect brand associations are notshared with
measure)
other brand s;
assess
key
d imension
Ask consumers what
they
consid er tobe
prod ucing
d ifferential consumer
response
the
unique aspects
of the brand (d irect
measure)
Congruence Compare patterns
of associations across Provid e
insight
intothe extenttowhich
consumers (ind irectmeasure) brand associations are shared ,affecting
Ask consumers cond itional
expectations
their
favorability,strength,
or
uniqueness
aboutassociations (d irectmeasure)
Leverage Compare
characteristicsof
second ary
Provid e
insight
intothe extenttowhich
associations with those for a
primary
brand associations toa
particular person,
brand association (ind irectmeasure) place,event,company,prod uct
class,etc.
Ask consumers
d irectly
whatinferences are linked toother associations,
they
would make aboutthe brand based
prod ucingsecond ary
associations for the
on the
primary
brand association (d irect brand
measure)
'Thistable d escribes the ind irect
approach
of
assessingpotential
sources of customer-based brand
equity by measuring
brand
knowled ge.
The d irect
approach
to
measuring
customer-based brand
equity
involves
measuring
the effects of brand
knowled ge
on consumer
response
to
marketing-for example,by cond uctingexperiments
in which one
group
of consumers
respond
toan
elementof the
marketing
mix when itisattributed tothe brand ,and another
group
of consumers
respond
tothe same
marketing
mix elementwhen itisattributed toa
fictitiously
named or unnamed version of the
prod uct
or service.
Managing
Customer-Based Brand
Equity
Accord ing
tothe d efinition of customer-based brand
equity,
no
single
number or measure
captures
brand
equity. Rather,
brand
equity
should be
thought
of as
a multid imensional
concept
that
d epend s
on
(1)
what
knowled ge
structuresare
present
in the mind sof con-
sumersand
(2)
whatactionsa firmcan take to
capi-
talize on the
potential
offered
by
these
knowled ge
structures. Differentfirms
may
be more or lessable
tomaximize the
potential
value of brand
accord ing
to
the
type
and nature of
marketing
activitiesthat
they
are able tound ertake.
Nevertheless,
six
general guid e-
linesbased on the
preced ingconceptual
framework
are
presented
here to
help
marketersbetter
manage
customer-based brand
equity.
First,
marketersshould
ad opt
a broad view of mar-
keting
d ecisions.
Marketingactivity
for a brand
po-
tentially
can create value for the brand
by improving
consumers'
ability
torecall or
recognize
the brand
and /
or
by creating, maintaining,
or
changing
the favora-
bility,strength,
or
uniqueness
of various
types
of brand
associations.
By influencing
brand
knowled ge
in one
or more of these d ifferent
ways, marketingactivity
can
potentially
affectsales.
Second , marketers should d efine the
knowled ge
structuresthat
they
would like tocreate in the mind s
of consumers-that
is,by specifying
d esired levels of
awareness and
favorability, strength,
and
uniqueness
of
prod uct-
and
non-prod uct-related
attributes;
func-
tional,experiential,
and
symbolicbenefits;
and over-
all attitud es. In
particular,
marketersshould d ecid e on
the core need s and wantsof consumers tobe satisfied
by
the brand . Marketersshould alsod ecid e the extent
towhich itis
necessary
to
leverage second ary
asso-
ciations for the brand -that
is,
link the brand tothe
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1993
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company,prod uct
class,
or
particular person,place,
or eventin such a
way
thatassociationswith those
entitiesbecome ind irector
"second ary"
associations
for the brand .
Third ,
marketersshould evaluate the
increasingly
large
number of tactical
options
available tocreate these
knowled ge structures,especially
in termsof various
marketing
communication alternatives. For
example,
the recent
growth
of "nontrad itional"
med ia,promo-
tions,
and other
marketingactivity (e.g., sports
and
event
sponsorship;
in-store
ad vertising;
"minibill-
board s" in transit
vehicles,
on
parkingmeters,
and in
other
locations;
and
prod uctplacement
in moviesand
television
shows)
is
appropriate
fromthe
perspective
of customer-based brand
equity.
Asnoted
previously,
the manner in which a brand association is created
d oes not
matter-only
the
resultingfavorability,
strength,
and
uniqueness. Thus,many
of these new
alternativescan offer a cost-effective meansof af-
fecting
brand
knowled ge
and thus
sales,
especially
to
the extentthat
they complement
more trad itional mar-
keting
tactics.
Regard less
of which
options
are cho-
sen,
the entire
marketingprogram
should be coord i-
nated tocreate
congruent
and
strong
brand associations.
Different
marketing
tacticswith the same
strategic
goals,
if
effectively integrated ,
can create
multiple
links
tocore benefitsor other
key associations,
helping
to
prod uce
a consistentand cohesive brand
image.
Mar-
ketersshould
jud ge
the
consistency
and cohesiveness
of the brand
image
with the businessd efinition in mind
(Levitt1960)
and how well the
specific
attributesand
benefitsthatthe
prod uct
or service isintend ed to
pro-
vid e toconsumers
satisfy
their core need sand wants
(Kotler 1991; Park,Jaworski,
and Maclnnis
1986).
Fourth,
marketersshould take a
long-term
view of
marketing
d ecisions. The
changes
in consumer
knowled ge
aboutthe brand fromcurrent
marketing
activity
alsowill have an ind irecteffecton the success
of
future marketing
activities.
Thus,
fromthe
per-
spective
of customer-based brand
equity
in
making
marketingd ecisions,
itis
important
toconsid er how
resultingchanges
in brand awarenessand
image may
help
or hurt
subsequentmarketing
d ecisions. For ex-
ample,
the use of sales
promotionsinvolvingtempo-
rary price
d ecreases
may
create or
strengthen
a "d is-
count" association with the
brand ,
with
implications
for customer
loyalty
and
responses
tofuture
price
changes
or
non-price-oriented marketing
communi-
cation efforts.
Fifth,marketersshould
employ tracking
stud iesto
measure consumer
knowled ge
structuresover time to
(1)
d etect
any changes
in the d ifferentd imensionsof
brand
knowled ge
and
(2) suggest
how these
changes
might
be related tothe effectivenessof d ifferentmar-
keting
mix actions. Tothe extentthata more precise
assessmentof customer-based brand
equity
is
useful,
marketersshould alsocond uctcontrolled
experi-
ments. Consumer
knowled ge
of
competitive
brand s
should be
similarly
tracked to
provid e
information on
their sourcesof customer-based brand
equity. Exper-
imentswith consumer
response
to
marketingactivity
for
competitive
brand scan also
provid e
a useful
benchmark-for
example,
tod etermine the
unique-
nessof brand associations.
Finally,
marketersshould evaluate
potential
ex-
tension cand id atesfor their
viability
and
possible
feed back effectson core brand
image.
Given their
po-
tential
importance
to
long-term
brand
value,brand ex-
tension d ecisionsare consid ered in d etail in the rest
of thissection fromthe
perspective
of customer-based
brand
equity
and other relevantresearch.
Brand extensions
capitalize
on the brand
image
for
the core
prod uct
or service to
efficiently
informcon-
sumersand retailersaboutthe new
prod uct
or service.
Brand extensionscan facilitate
acceptance
of the new
prod uct
or service
by provid ing
twobenefits. First,
awarenessfor the extension
may
be
higher
because
the brand nod e is
alread y present
in
memory. Thus,
consumersshould need
only
toestablish a connection
in
memory
between the
existing
brand nod e and the
new
prod uct
or service extension.
Second ,
inferred
associationsfor the
attributes,benefits,
and overall
perceived quality may
be created . In other
word s,
consumers
may
form
expectations
for the extension
on the basisof what
they alread y
know aboutthe core
brand . These inferencescan lower the costof the in-
trod uctory campaign
for the extension-for
example,
by increasingad vertisingefficiency (Smith
and Park
1992).
Keller and Aaker
(1992)
review relevantliterature
to
provid e
a
conceptual
mod el of how consumersuse
their
knowled ge
toevaluate a brand extension.
They
maintain thatextension evaluationswill
d epend
on the
salience of the core brand associationsin the exten-
sion
context,
how relevantconsumers
perceive
thisin-
formation tobe totheir extension
evaluations,
and how
favorable inferred associationsare in the extension
context. In other
word s,
extension evaluationswill
d epend
on whatkind of information comestomind
aboutthe core brand in the extension
context,
whether
thisinformation isseen as
suggestive
of the
type
of
prod uct
or service thatthe brand extension would
be,
and whether thisinformation isviewed as
good
or bad
in the extension contextin
comparison
with
compet-
itors.
The salience or
accessibility
of the core brand as-
sociations
d epend s
on their
strength
in
memory,
as
well asthe retrieval cues
provid ed by
the extension
context. Some associations
may
be salientwhen con-
sumersevaluate some extensionsbutnotothers. The
relevance of the salientcore brand associationsd e-
pend s,
in
part,
on their
perceived similarity
tothe
pro-
Customer-Based Brand
Equity/
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posed
extension
prod uct
or service
(Feld man and
Lynch
1988).
When overall
similarity
is
high,
consumersare
more
likely
tobase their extension evaluationson their
attitud e toward the core brand
(Boush
and Loken
1991;
Boush etal.
1987; Herr,Farquhar,
and Fazio
1990).
Overall
similarity jud gments
could be mad e in d iffer-
ent
ways(Loken
and Ward
1990),though
researchers
typically
assume that
they
are a function of salient
shared associationsbetween the core brand and the
extension
prod uctcategory.
These
similarity jud g-
mentscould be based on
prod uct-related attributes,as
well as
non-prod uct-related
attributessuch asuser
type
or
usage
situation
(Brid ges1990; Park,
Milberg,
and
Lawson
1991).
When overall
similarity
isnot
very high,
consumersare more
likely
toconsid er
specific
attri-
butesand benefitsinvolved . If
relevant,
the favora-
bility
of inferred attribute and benefitbeliefswill d e-
pend
on how
they
are valued in the extension context.
Though
these evaluationswill
generally correspond
to
the
favorability
of the core brand
associations,
they
can
d iffer,
and in factbe
negative,
even if the core
brand associationsthemselvesare
positive (Aaker
and
Keller
1990). Moreover,
even if
positive
attribute and
benefitassociationsfor the core brand lead toinfer-
ences of
positive
brand extension
associations,
in-
ferred
negative
associations
may
still
emerge (Brid ges
1990). Finally,
when overall
similarity
is
very low,
consumer evaluationsalsowill be
very
low.
When
multiple prod uct
or service extensionsare
associated with the
brand ,
the
congruence among
their
associationsbecomesan
important
d eterminantof the
consistency
and cohesivenessof the brand
image.
It
is often
argued
thatan extension can
help
the core
brand
image by improving
the
favorability
and
strength
of associationsand
clarifying
the businessd efinition
and core benefitsfor the brand . Aaker
(1991)
claims
thatbrand extensions
helped
to
fortify
the brand im-
ages
of
Weight
Watchersand Sunkist. Keller and Aaker
(1992)
found thatthe successful introd uction of a brand
extension
improved
evaluationsof a core brand that
originally
was
perceived
tobe of
only average quality,
although
in their research
setting
consumersd id not
have
strongly
held attitud estoward the core brand and
the
company ad opted
a
family brand ingstrategy
that
raised the salience of itsname (and thus
perceptions
of its
cred ibility).
Ithasalsobeen
argued
thatsuccessful brand ex-
tensions
may potentially
harmthe core brand
image
if
they
weaken
existing
associationsin some
way.
If
a brand becomesassociated with a
d isparate
setof
prod ucts
or
services,prod uctcategory
id entification
and the
correspond ingprod uct
associations
may
be-
come less
strong.
For
example,Pepperid ge Farm,
Cad bury,
and Scott
Paper
have been accused of
"overextend ing" by introd ucing
too
d isparate prod -
ucts. Dilution
effects,
with
potentially
ad verse
profit
implications,may
be
especially likely
when the ex-
isting
associationsfor the core brand are
alread y fairly
weak. For
example,
the successful introd uction of the
Miller Lite beer in the U.S.
may
have accentuated
perceptions
of the
flagship
Miller
High
Life beer asa
"less
hearty"
beer because that
perception
had
alread y
been created in consumers' mind s
by
itsclear bottle
(in contrasttoBud weiser'sd ark
bottle).
As another
example
of a
potential
d ilution
effect,
successful ex-
tensionsfor brand swith an
exclusivity
and
prestige
image
that
effectively
broad en the
target
market
may
prod uce negative
feed back effectson the brand from
membersof the
original
consumer franchise whore-
sentthe market
expansion.
For
example,
the intro-
d uction of the lower
priced
Cad illacCimaron mod el
is
thought
tohave led tod eclinesin
image
and sales
for the entire Cad illacd ivision
(Yovovich 1988).
Though
these d ifferent
types
of d ilution effects
may
occur,
multiple prod uct
or service extensions
may
not
be asharmful tocertain abstractassociationssuch as
brand attitud esand
perceived quality.
In other word s,
although
the brand
may
nothave the same
specific
prod uct
or service
meaning
because of
multiple
ex-
tensions,consumers
may
still see the brand as
rep-
resenting
a
range
of
prod ucts
or servicesof a certain
quality.
An
unsuccessful
brand
extension,
in
contrast,
can
harmthe core brand
image by creating
und esirable as-
sociations. Such effectsare most
likely
when there is
little d ifference between the
original
brand and the ex-
tension. For
example,
Sullivan
(1990)
cond ucted an
econometric
analysis
thatshowed how the
perceived
"sud d en acceleration"
problem
of Aud i's5000 mod el
"spilled
over" and red uced d emand for its4000 and
Quattro
mod els. Roed d er John and Loken
(1990)
found
that
perceptions
of
quality
for a core brand in the health
and
beauty
aid sarea d ecreased with the
hypothetical
introd uction of a lower
quality
extension in a similar
prod uctcategory (i.e.,shampoo). Quality perceptions
of the core brand were
unaffected ,however,
when the
proposed
extension wasin a d issimilar
prod uct
cate-
gory (i.e.,
facial
tissue). Similarly,
Keller and Aaker
(1992)
found thatunsuccessful
intervening
extensions
in d issimilar
prod uctcategories
d id notaffectevalu-
ationsof the core brand
(also
see Romeo
1990).
In
summary,
marketersshould evaluate
potential
extension cand id atesfor their
viability
and their feed -
back effectson core brand
image by (1) id entifying
possible
extension cand id ateson the basisof core brand
associations
(especially
with
respect
tobrand
posi-
tioning
and core
benefits)
and overall
similarity
of the
extension tothe
brand ,(2) evaluating
extension can-
d id ate
potential by measuring
the
salience,relevance,
and
favorability
of core brand associationsin the
pro-
posed
extension contextand the
favorability of any
inferred
associations,
and
(3) consid ering
the exten-
16
/
Journal of
Marketing, January
1993
This content downloaded from 152.3.102.242 on Mon, 30 Sep 2013 12:03:07 PM
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
sion's
potential
feed back effectson the core brand im-
age
and the
favorability,strength,
and
uniqueness
of
core brand associations.
Discussion
Summary
Thisarticle introd ucesthe
concept
of customer-based
brand
equity,
d efined asthe d ifferential effectof brand
knowled ge
on consumer
response
tothe
marketing
of
the brand . A brand issaid tohave
positive (negative)
customer-based brand
equity
if consumersreactmore
(less) favorably
toan elementof the
marketing
mix
for the brand than
-hey
d otothe same
marketing
mix
elementwhen itisattributed toa
fictitiously
named
or unnamed version of the
prod uct
or service. Brand
knowled ge
is
conceptualized accord ing
toan associ-
ative network
memory
mod el in termsof twocom-
ponents,
brand awarenessand brand
image (i.e.,
a set
of brand
associations).
Brand awarenessconsistsof
brand
recognition
and brand recall. Brand associa-
tionsare
conceptualized
in termsof their character-
istics
by type (level
of abstraction and
qualitative
na-
ture),favorability,
and
strength,
and in termsof their
relationship
with other associations
by congruence,
competitive overlap(id entification
and
uniqueness),
and
leverage.
Customer-based brand
equity
occurswhen
the consumer is aware of the brand and hold ssome
favorable,strong,
and
unique
brand associationsin
memory.
The d ifferent
types
of customer-based brand
equity
are d iscussed
by consid ering
the effectsof these
d imensionsof brand
knowled ge
on brand
loyalty
and
consumer
response
to
prod uct,price,promotion,
and
d istribution
strategies.
The article also
explores
some
specificaspects
of
this
conceptualization by consid ering
how customer-
based brand
equity
is
built,measured ,
and
managed .
Build ing
brand
equity requirescreating
a familiar brand
name and a
positive
brand
image-that is,favorable,
strong,
and
unique
brand associations.
Strategies
to
build customer-based brand
equity
are d iscussed in
termsof both the initial choice of the brand id entities
(brand name,logo,
and
symbol)
and how the brand
id entitiesare
supported by
and
integrated
intothe
marketingprogram.
Twobasic
approaches
tomea-
suring
customer-based brand
equity
are outlined . The
ind irect
approach
measuresbrand
knowled ge (brand
awarenessand elementsof brand
image)
toassessthe
potential
sourcesof brand
equity.
The d irect
approach
measuresthe effectsof the brand
knowled ge
on con-
sumer
response
toelementsof the
marketing
mix. Ex-
amples
of both
types
of
approaches
are
provid ed .
Fi-
nally,
six
guid elines
for the
management
of customer-
based brand
equity
are d iscussed . These
guid elines
emphasize
the
importance
of
taking
a broad and
long-
termview of
marketing
a brand ; specifying
the d e-
sired consumer
knowled ge
structuresand core bene-
fitsfor a
brand ; consid ering
a wid e
range
of trad i-
tional and nontrad itional
ad vertising,promotion,
and
other
marketingoptions; coord inating
the
marketing
options
thatare
chosen;
cond uctingtracking
stud ies
and controlled
experiments;
and
evaluatingpotential
extension cand id ates.
Future Research Directions
In the
presentation
of a
conceptual
framework of
customer-based brand
equity,
several constructsand
relationships
are d iscussed .
Consequently,
ad d itional
research is
necessary
both torefine thisframework
and to
suggest
other
implications
for
marketing
strat-
egies
and tactics.
Und oubted ly,
much
previous
re-
search
may
be useful in thiseffort. Because thisre-
search was most
likely
cond ucted with a d ifferent
purpose
in
mind ,however,
ad d itional
insightsmay
be
gained by consid ering
itfromthe
potentially
broad er
perspective
of customer-based brand
equity.
In clos-
ing,
some research
priorities
for
build ing,measuring,
and
managing
customer-based brand
equity
are id en-
tified .
There are several
important
research
questions
about
how tobuild customer-based brand
equity. First,
bet-
ter choice criteria should be established for the brand
id entities
(brand name,logo,
and
symbol).
For ex-
ample,remarkably
little
empirical
research has
sys-
tematically
examined brand name consid erationsas
they pertain
to
enhancing
brand awarenessand build -
ingfavorable,
strong,
and
unique
brand associations.
Such research should
recognize
the numeroustrad e-
offs in choice criteria
by suggesting
when certain
characteristicsof the brand id entitiesshould be em-
phasized .
For
example,memory
retrieval consid er-
ationsthatarise fromassociative
strength
and
part-list
cueing
theoriesin
psychology imply
thata
meaning-
ful,
"suggestive"
brand name
may
facilitate initial
po-
sitioning,
buta
nonsuggestive
or neutral brand name
may
more
effectively
accommod ate later
reposition-
ing. Support
of this
hypothesis
would
imply
thatfirms
may
be better off
ad opting
more flexible
brand ing
strategies,using
more neutral brand
names,
if
they
anticipate need ing
to
reposition
the brand later. In d e-
velopingcontingency-based
choice
criteria,
italsowill
be
necessary
to
clarify
the rolesof variousbrand id en-
tities
by consid ering
more
explicitly
how brand
names,
logos, symbols,slogans,
and other trad emarkscan
contribute
d ifferentially
to
build ing
customer-based
brand
equity.
Thisline of research could consid er vi-
sual and verbal
properties
of these brand id entitiesand
how
they might
affectbrand awarenessand the fa-
vorability,strength,
and
uniqueness
of brand associ-
ations.
In termsof
und erstand ing
how the
supporting
mar-
Customer-Based Brand
Equity / 17
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All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
ketingprogram
build scustomer-based brand
equity,
two
particular
research d irectionscould be
pursued .
First,
factors
influencing
the
favorability,strength,
and
uniqueness
of brand
associations,a focusof much
past
research,
should continue tobe
explored ,
but
along
several d ifferentlines. Are certain
types
of associa-
tions
inherently
more
favorable,stronger,
or
unique
in
memory?
Which
types
of associationsare more eas-
ily
created
by
a
particular marketing
or communica-
tion mix element? Which
types
of associationsare more
likely
toinfluence consumer
response
with
respect
to
a
particular marketing
mix element?
Finally,
whatare
the trad eoffsinvolved in
creatingfavorable,strong,
and
unique
brand associations? For
example,
itwas
suggested previously
thatbenefitscan be more mem-
orable than attribute
information,
butattributes
may
have tobe communicated to
persuad e
consumersand
create favorable benefitassociations. Itwasalso
sug-
gested
above that
non-prod uct-related
or
image
attri-
butes,
such asuser
type
or
usage situation,may
create
unique associations,
butund er some circumstances
they
may
notbe
favorably
received or
strongly
linked to
the brand in
memory.
Second ,
the costsand benefitsof
leveraging
sec-
ond ary
associationsshould be
explored .
For
example,
how and und er whatcond itionsshould a firmincrease
the salience of source factorsrelated tothe brand
(i.e.,
the
company,country
of
origin,
and d istribution chan-
nel)?
All of these source factorshave their own setof
associations. How d oconsumers
merge
or combine
these associationswith other brand associations? In
other
word s,
how d othese source and brand
images
interact? Another
important
issue iswhen and how a
brand should
attempt
tobecome associated with a
par-
ticular
person
or event. For
example,
Rossiter and
Percy
(1987)
offer the
following
criteria for
choosing
a
pre-
senter in
ad vertising: (1) visibility,(2)
cred ibility (ex-
pertise
and
objectivity),(3)
attraction
(likability
and
similarity),
and
(4) power.
These criteria could be
ad apted
toad d resswhen and how a brand should be-
come id entified with an event.
One
important
research
priority
isto
d evelop
valid
benchmarksfor the d irect
approach
to
measuring
customer-based brand
equity-that is,plausible
d e-
scriptions
of the relevant
activity (ad vertising,pro-
motion,prod uct,pricing,etc.)
with noor fictitious
brand id entification. Another useful contribution would
be to
d esign
efficientand effective
approaches
tocon-
d uctingtracking
stud ies. Thiswould entail consid er-
ing
the
pros
and cons of d ifferent
qualitative
and
quantitative approaches
to
measuring
brand knowl-
ed ge
of consumers.
Several research
questions
are relevantfor man-
aging
customer-based brand
equity.
What
strategies
are effective in
creatingstrong
brand associations? How
can d ifferent
marketing
mix elementsbe
integrated
to
create
strong
and
congruent
brand associationsand a
consistentand cohesive brand
image?
Thisline of re-
search should
clearly
examine how trad itional and
nontrad itional
marketingoptions
interact. Effective
strategies
for
integratingmarketing
communications
in termsof
ad vertising,promotion,publicity,
d irect
marketing,
and
package d esign
are
especially
need ed .
For
example,
how can
ad vertising
be coord inated across
broad castand
print
med ia toenhance brand awareness
and
strengthen
brand associations? These research
stud ies
might
consid er
memory principles
and theo-
riesof
encod ing
and retrieval.
Also,
how should the
consistency
and cohesive-
nessof a brand
image
be
managed
over consumer
seg-
ments
(includ inggeographicbound aries)
and over time?
A d iffuse brand
image
with weaker and lessfavorable
brand associations
may
be
particularly
evid entwhen
a brand
attempts
to
reposition
itself
(e.g., switching
toa new
targetmarket) (Heckler,Keller,
and Houston
1992).
Are there
ways
in which a brand
image
can be
"flexible" and
appeal
tod ifferentconsumer
seg-
ments? To
manage
the brand
image
better over time,
more
precise guid elines
astothe "ind irect" effectsof
current
marketingactivity
on the successof future
marketingactivity
are need ed -for
example, by
achieving
a better
und erstand ing
of how brand knowl-
ed ge
influencesconsumer
response.
Finally,
broad er
implications
of customer-based
brand
equity
should be
explored by consid eringag-
gregation
issuesassociated with brand
knowled ge
ef-
fectson market
segments
or the customer franchise as
a
whole,
as
opposed
toeffectson an ind ivid ual con-
sumer. An
aggregate analysis
alsocould consid er the
implication
of customer-based brand
equity
for
sales,
market
share,
and
profits.
Thismore extend ed anal-
ysis
should consid er
aspects
of the
company (e.g.,
its
strengths
and
weaknesses)
and the
competitive
nature
of itsmarkets.
Similarly,
it
may
alsobe useful toin-
corporate
some of the
concepts
thatrelate tocustomer-
based brand
equity
toad d ressother
management
questionspertaining
to
brand ing-for example,
tod e-
velop
a
financially
based
conceptualization
of brand
equity.
Conclusions
The
goal
of thisarticle is to
present
a
conceptual
framework thatwould
provid e
useful structure for
managersd eveloping
brand
strategies
and researchers
stud ying
brand
equity.
In
particular,
the article build s
a theoretical found ation based on
past
research in con-
sumer behavior thatshould be
helpful
in
ad d ressing
some of the new
challenges
in
d eveloping
brand strat-
egies
thathave arisen because of
changes
in the mar-
keting
environment
(e.g.,
fromthe
proliferation
of
brand extensionsand the
growth
of
new,alternative
promotional
and med ia
alternatives).
Though many
of the id eas
expressed
in thiscon-
18
/
Journal of
Marketing, January
1993
This content downloaded from 152.3.102.242 on Mon, 30 Sep 2013 12:03:07 PM
All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
ceptual
framework
may
be familiar to
managers,
its
value isin
integrating
these variousnotions to
provid e
a more
comprehensive picture
of how marketerscan
create value for a brand . For
example,
marketers
may
agree
that
they
should take a broad and
long-term
view
of
marketing
d ecisionsfor a
brand ,
buthow
they
should
d oso
may
notbe obvious.
By recognizing
thatmar-
ketingactivity
can
potentially
enhance or maintain
consumers' awarenessof the brand or the
favorability,
strength,
and
uniqueness
of various
types
of brand as-
sociations,
the customer-based brand
equity
frame-
work
may provid e
the
perspective
thatwill enable
marketerstotake better short-termand
long-term
mar-
keting
actions.
Moreover,
this framework
may
also
suggest
some consid erations thathave been otherwise
overlooked .
Thus,
thisbroad er contextcan
help
man-
agers
can make more
insightful
and informed brand
d ecisions.
For
researchers,
the value of the framework is in
suggesting
areaswhere
managerial guid ance
isneed ed
butacad emic
guid elines
are
currently lacking.
As
sug-
gested by
the
large
number of
suggested
future re-
search d irections
id entified ,
much work need s tobe
d one.
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