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Kevin Lane Keller

The author presents a conceptual model of brand equity from the perspective of the individual consumer.
Customer-based brand equity is defined as the differential effect of brand knowledge on consumer response to the marketing of the brand. A brand is said to have positive (negative) customer-based brand
equity when consumers react more (less) favorably to an element of the marketing mix for the brand
than they do to the same marketing mix element when it is attributed to a fictitiously named or unnamed
version of the product or service. Brand knowledge is conceptualized according to an associative network
memory model in terms of two components, brand awareness and brand image (i.e., a set of brand
associations). Customer-based brand equity occurs when the consumer is familiar with the brand and
holds some favorable, strong, and unique brand associations in memory. Issues in building, measuring,
and managing customer-based brand equity are discussed, as well as areas for future research.


UCH attentionhas been devoted recently to the
concept of brandequity (Aaker and Biel 1992;
Leuthesser 1988; Maltz 1991). Brandequity has been
viewed from a variety of perspectives (Aaker 1991;
Farquhar1989; Srivastavaand Shocker 1991; Tauber
1988). In a general sense, brandequity is defined in
terms of the marketingeffects uniquely attributableto
the brand-for example, when certain outcomes result from the marketingof a product or service because of its brand name that would not occur if the
same productor service did not have that name.
There have been two general motivations for
studying brandequity. One is a financiallybased motivation to estimate the value of a brand more precisely for accountingpurposes (in terms of asset valuationfor the balancesheet) or for merger,acquisition,
is Associate
of Marketing
Schoolof Business,
sor at the Australian
Schoolof Management,

Journal of Marketing
Vol. 57 (January 1993), 1-22

or divestiturepurposes. Several different methods of
brandvaluation have been suggested (Barwise et al.
1989; Wentz 1989). For example, InterbrandGroup
has used a subjectivemultiplierof brandprofits based
on the brand's performancealong seven dimensions
(leadership, stability, market stability, interationality, trend, support, and protection);GrandMetropolitan has valued newly acquiredbrandsby determining
the difference between the acquisitionprice and fixed
assets. Simon and Sullivan (1990) define brandequity
in termsof the incrementaldiscountedfuturecash flows
thatwould resultfrom a producthavingits brandname
in comparisonwith the proceeds that would accrue if
the same productdid not have thatbrandname. Based
on the financial market value of the company, their
estimation technique extracts the value of brand equity from the value of a firm's other assets.
A second reason for studying brandequity arises
from a strategy-basedmotivationto improve marketing productivity. Given higher costs, greatercompetition, and flatteningdemand in many markets,firms
seek to increase the efficiency of their marketingexpenses. As a consequence, marketersneed a more
thoroughunderstandingof consumerbehavioras a ba-

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sis for making better strategic decisions about target
marketdefinition and productpositioning, as well as
better tactical decisions about specific marketingmix
actions. Perhapsa firm's most valuable asset for improving marketingproductivityis the knowledge that
has been createdabout the brandin consumers' minds
from the firm's investmentin previous marketingprograms. Financialvaluationissues have little relevance
if no underlyingvalue for the brandhas been created
or if managersdo not know how to exploit that value
by developing profitablebrandstrategies.
The goal of this article is to assist managersand
researcherswho are interestedin the strategicaspects
of brandequity. Specifically, brandequity is conceptualized from the perspective of the individual consumerand a conceptualframeworkis providedof what
consumers know about brandsand what such knowledge implies for marketingstrategies.Customer-based
brandequityis definedas the differentialeffect of brand
knowledge on consumerresponse to the marketingof
the brand. That is, customer-basedbrand equity involves consumers' reactionsto an element of the marketing mix for the brandin comparisonwith their reactions to the same marketingmix element attributed
to a fictitiously named or unnamed version of the
product or service. Customer-basedbrandequity occurs when the consumeris familiarwith the brandand
holds some favorable, strong, and unique brand associations in memory.
Conceptualizingbrand equity from this perspective is useful because it suggests both specific guidelines for marketing strategies and tactics and areas
where research can be useful in assisting managerial
decision making. Two importantpoints emerge from
this conceptualization.First, marketersshould take a
broad view of marketingactivity for a brandand recognize the various effects it has on brandknowledge,
as well as how changesin brandknowledgeaffect more
traditionaloutcome measures such as sales. Second,
marketersmust realize that the long-term success of
all future marketingprogramsfor a brand is greatly
affected by the knowledge about the brandin memory
thathas been establishedby the firm's short-termmarketing efforts. In short, because the content and structure of memory for the brand will influence the effectiveness of futurebrandstrategies, it is critical that
managers understandhow their marketing programs
affect consumer learning and thus subsequent recall
for brand-relatedinformation.
The next section provides a conceptualizationof
brandknowledge by applyingsome basic memory notions. Brand knowledge is defined in terms of two
components,brandawarenessand brandimage. Brand
awarenessrelates to brandrecall and recognition performanceby consumers. Brandimage refers to the set
of associationslinked to the brandthatconsumershold

2 / Journalof Marketing,January1993

in memory. Then the conceptof customer-basedbrand
equity is considered in more detail by discussion of
how it can be built, measured, and managed. After
the conceptual framework is summarized, areas for
future researchare identified.

Brand Knowledge
A brandcan be defined as "a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or combinationof them which is intendedto identify the goods and services of one seller
or groupof sellers and to differentiatethem from those
of competitors"(Kotler 1991; p. 442). These individual brand components are here called "brandidentities" and their totality "the brand."Some basic memory principles can be used to understandknowledge
about the brand and how it relates to brand equity.
The importanceof knowledge in memoryto consumer
decision making has been well documented (Alba,
Hutchinson, and Lynch 1991). Understandingthe
content and structureof brandknowledge is important
because they influence what comes to mind when a
consumer thinks about a brand-for example, in response to marketingactivity for that brand.
Most widely acceptedconceptualizationsof memory structureinvolve some type of associative model
formulation(Anderson 1983; Wyer and Srull 1989).
For example, the "associativenetworkmemorymodel"
views semantic memory or knowledge as consisting
of a set of nodes and links. Nodes are stored information connected by links that vary in strength. A
"spreadingactivation"process from node to node determines the extent of retrieval in memory (Collins
and Loftus 1975; Raaijmakers and Shiffrin 1981;
Ratcliff and McKoon 1988). A node becomes a potentialsource of activationfor othernodes eitherwhen
external informationis being encoded or when internal informationis retrievedfrom long-termmemory.
Activation can spread from this node to other linked
nodes in memory.When the activationof anothernode
exceeds some threshold level, the informationcontained in that node is recalled. Thus, the strengthof
association between the activatednode and all linked
nodes determines the extent of this "spreadingactivation" and the particularinformationthat can be retrieved from memory. For example, in consideringa
soft drink purchase, a consumer may think of Pepsi
because of its strong associationwith the productcategory. Consumerknowledge most strongly linked to
Pepsi should also then come to mind, such as perceptions of its taste, sugar and caffeine content, or
even recalled images from a recent advertisingcampaign or past productexperiences.
Consistent with an associative network memory

Brand recall relates to consumers' ability to retrieve the brand when given the product category. Brand awareness consists of brand recognition and brand recall performance. and uniqueness of the brand associations in consumer memory. among others. Rossiter and Percy 1987). as reflected by consumers' ability to identify the brand under different conditions (Rossiter and Percy 1987). strength.. Types of brand associations. consumers have been shown to adopt a decision rule to buy only familiar. strength. Brand recognition may be more important to the extent that product decisions are made in the store. Brand associations are the other informational nodes linked to the brand node in memory and contain the meaning of the brand for consumers. or some other type of probe as a cue. Johnson 1984. how well do the brand identities serve their function? In particular. For example. Brand Awareness The first dimension distinguishing brand knowledge is brand awareness. brand awareness affects consumer decision making by influencing the formation and strength of brand associations in the brand image. Brand Image Though brand image long has been recognized as an importantconcept in marketing (e. the relevant dimensions that distinguish brand knowledge and affect consumer response are the awareness of the brand (in terms of brand recall and recognition) and the favorability. even in the absence of a well-formed attitude (Bettman and Park 1980. and Busato-Schach 1977. Given this conceptualization. consumers do not know anything else about the brands). there is less agreement on its appropriate definition (Dobni and Zinkhan 1990). especially in high involvement decision settings.. Chattopadhyay and Alba 1988. and the nature of that brand node should affect how easily different kinds of information can become attached to the brand in memory. Brand awareness plays an important role in consumer decision making for three major reasons. defined as "that part of a brand which can be vocalized" (Kotler 1991. it is useful to examine the different types of brand associations that may be present in consumer memory.. what properties do the brand node and brand associations have? As developed here. In other words. 442). the key question is. and an associative network memory model of brand knowledge. Finally. For example. the handful of brands that receive serious consideration for purchase. These dimensions are affected by other characteristics of and relationships among the brand associations. A necessary condition for the creation of a brand image is that a brand node has been established in memory. Park and Lessig 1981). To simplify the discussion. In other words. brand name awareness relates to the likelihood that a brand name will come to mind and the ease with which it does so. brand awareness can affect decisions about brands in the consideration set. strength. consumers do not care about the product or service) or a lack of consumer ability (i. and uniqueness of brand associations are the dimensions distinguishing brand knowledge that play an important role in determining the differential response that makes up brand equity. The favorability. factors related to the type of brand association (such as its level of abstraction and qualitative nature) and the congruity among brand associations. Roselius 1971). a minimum level of brand awareness may be sufficient for product choice. well-established brands (Jacoby. even if there are essentially no other brand associations. Raising brand awareness increases the likelihood that the brand will be a member of the consideration set (Baker et al.g. The relative importance of brand recall and recognition depends on the extent to which consumers make decisions in the store (where they potentially may be exposed to the brand) versus outside the store. among other factors (Bettman 1979.e. p. 1986. In low involvement decision settings. It is related to the strength of the brand node or trace in memory.g. brand knowledge is conceptualized as consisting of a brand node in memory to which a variety of associations are linked. brand image is defined here as perceptions about a brand as reflected by the brand associations held in consumer memory. Russo and Johnson 1980)-that is. it is important that consumers think of the brand when they think about the product category. Brand recognition relates to consumers' ability to confirm prior exposure to the brand when given the brand as a cue. and uniqueness of brand associations. Hoyer and Brown 1990. Gardnerand Levy 1955). Nedungadi 1990). affect the favorability.model. emphasis is placed on the brand name component of the brand identities. Brand associations take different forms. The elaboration likelihood model (Petty and Cacioppo 1986) suggests that consumers may base choices on brand awareness considerations when they have low involvement. though other components of the brand identities (e.. In other words. by Customer-Based BrandEquity/ 3 . brand recall requires that consumers correctly generate the brand from memory. Second. Consistent with definitions by Herzog (1963) and Newman (1957). which could result from either a lack of consumer motivation (i.e. among others. Before considering those dimensions. Syzabillo. One way to distinguish among brand associations is by their level of abstraction (Alba and Hutchinson 1987. the needs fulfilled by the category. brand logo or symbol) are considered also. brand recognition requires that consumers correctly discriminate the brand as having been seen or heard previously. First.

" These types of associations seem to arise most often as a result of inferences about the underlying user or usage situation.. The price of the productor service is considered a non-product-relatedattribute because it representsa necessary step in the purchase process but typically does not relate directly to the product performanceor service function.These benefits satisfy experiential needs such as sensory pleasure." "colorful. or the 4 / Journalof Marketing. and (3) symbolic benefits. in most cases. where and in what types of situations the productor service is used). Associations of a typical usage situation may be based on the time of day. Functional benefits are the more intrinsic advantages of product or service consumption and usually correspondto the product-relatedattributes. packaging is considered part of the purchase and consumptionprocess but. Brandattitudes are importantbecause they often form the basis for consumer behavior (e. race. Severaladditionaldistinctionscan be madewithinthese categories according to the qualitative nature of the association. week. Non-product-related at- tributes are defined as external aspects of the product or service that relate to its purchaseor consumption. Product-related attributes are defined as the ingredients necessary for performing the product or service function sought by consumers. word of mouth). or political institutions). and (4) usage imagery (i.e.Plummer(1985) asserts that one component of brand image is the personality or characterof the brand itself. what type of person uses the product or service). Price is a particularly important attribute association because consumers often have strong beliefs about the price and value of a brandand may organize their product category knowledge in terms of the price tiers of different brands(Blattbergand Wisniewski 1989).. brand associations can be classified into three majorcategories of increasing scope: attributes.e. and other factors. Brand personality attributes may also reflect emotions or feelings evoked by the brand. exclusivity. brandchoice). such as physiological and safety needs (Maslow 1970). Though different models of brandattitudeshave been proposed. benefits. and income). and attitudes. Hence. attributesare distinguishedaccordingto how directly they relate to productor service performance. or year. consumersmay value the prestige." and "gentle. Symbolic benefits are the more extrinsic advantagesof product or service consumption. (2) experientialbenefits. User and usage image attributescan also produce brandpersonalityattributes.e. does not directly relate to the necessary ingredientsfor product performance. the much informationis summarizedor subsumedin the association. what consumers think the productor service can do for them. Experientialbenefitsrelate to what it feels like to use the productor service and also usually correspond to the product-relatedattributes. The four main types of non-product-relatedattributes are (1) price information. Along this dimension. Symbolic benefits should be especially relevant for socially visible. according to attitudestoward career. the location (inside or outside the home). Jaworski. Attributescan be categorized in a variety of ways (Myers and Shocker 1981).. or fashionabilityof a brandbecause of how it relates to their self-concept (Solomon 1983). only non-product-relatedattributes are elaboratedhere.. User and usage imagery attributescan be formed directly from a consumer's own experiences and contactwith brandusersor indirectlythrough the depiction of the targetmarketas communicatedin brand advertising or by some other source of information (e. Brand attitudes are defined as consumers' overall evaluationsof a brand(Wilkie 1986).. psychographicfactors (e. possessions. sex. Because product-relatedattributesare more commonly acknowledged. He summarizes research demonstratingthat brands can be characterized by personality descriptors such as "youthful. Benefits are the personal value consumers attach to the productor service attributes-that is.g. Rossiterand Percy 1987). Associations of a typical branduser may be based on demographicfactors (e. Fishbein and Ajzen (1975. They usually correspondto nonattributesand relateto underlyingneeds product-related for social approvalor personal expression and outerdirectedself-esteem. among other aspects. they relate to a product's physical composition or a service's requirements.g.. (2) packaging or product appearanceinformation. age. the extentto whichconsumersthink the brandhas certainattributesor benefits) and (2) the . variety.g.January1993 type of activity (formal or informal). and Maclnnis 1986): (1) functional benefits. This expectancy-value model views attitudesas a multiplicativefunction of (1) the salient beliefs a consumerhas about the product or service(i.. Here. Attributesare those descriptive featuresthat characterizea productor service-what a consumerthinks the productor service is or has and what is involved with its purchase or consumption. one widely accepted approachis based on a multiattribute formulation in which brand attitudes are a function of the associated attributesand benefits that are salient for the brand. Similarly.These benefits often are linked to fairly basic motivations. and cognitive stimulation. Ajzen and Fishbein 1980) proposed what has been probably the most influential multiattributemodel to marketing (Bettman 1986). Benefits can be furtherdistinguishedinto three categories accordingto the underlyingmotivationsto which they relate (Park. and involve a desire for problemremoval or avoidance(Fennell 1978. Hence.(3) user imagery (i.Product-relatedattributesvary by product or service category. "badge"products.

the greaterthe likelihood thatthe informationcan be recalled(Isen 1992). researchersbuilding multiattribute models of consumer preferencehave included a general componentof attitudetowardthe brandthat is not capturedby the attributeor benefit values of the brand (Park 1991.stronger associations are created in memory. so that once informationbecomes stored in memory its strength of association decays very slowly (Loftus and Loftus 1980). Brand associ- Customer-Based BrandEquity / 5 . and turn. consumers often have an association in memory from the brand to the product or package color.or depth-of-processing approach(Craik and Lockhart1972.e.. strength.increasesboth the likelihoodthat informationwill be accessible and the ease with which it can be recalled by "spreadingactivation.however. Moreover.. Thus. In other words. Srinivasan 1979). and Srivastava 1979). on the basis of simple heuristics and decision rules. the strongerthe resulting associations in memory will be. Because it is difficult to specify correctly all of the relevant attributes and benefits. Uniqueness of brand associations. information may not be "accessible" and easily retrieved withoutstronglyassociatedremindersor retrievalcues (Tulving and Psotka 1971). Not all associations for a brand. the evaluations of brandassociations may be situationally or context-dependentand vary according to consumers' particulargoals in their purchase or consumption decisions (Day. functional. they may use signals or "extrinsic cues" (Olson and Jacoby 1972) to infer product or service quality on the basis of what they do know aboutthe brand(e.. Craik. how much a person thinks aboutthe information)and the natureor qualityof the processing the informationreceives at encoding (i. MacKenzie (1986) summarizesresearchevidence suggesting that the "evaluativejudgment"component of expectancy-value models of attitude (i. Brand attitudescan also be related to beliefs about non-product-relatedattributes and symbolic benefits (Rossiterand Percy 1987). and Jacoby 1976) maintains that the more the meaning of informationis attended to during encoding. speed and efficiency of service may be very importantwhen a consumer is under time pressure but may have little impact when a consumer is less hurried. For example. Brand attitudes can be related to beliefs about product-relatedattributesand the functional and experientialbenefits. the particularassociations for a brand that are salient and "come to mind" depend on the context in which the brand is considered. Shocker.evaluative judgment of those beliefs (i. Thus.Forexample. The larger the numberof cues linked to a piece of information. Associations differ accordingto how favorablythey are evaluated. The strengthof associations depends on how the informationentersconsumermemory(encoding) and how it is maintainedas partof the brand image (storage). Though "available" and potentially retrievable in memory. when a consumer actively thinks about and "elaborates"on the significanceof productor service information. Lutz 1991).e. These associations can vary accordingto their favorability.e. This strength. Favorability of brand associations. consistent with the functional theory of attitudes (Katz 1960. researchalso has shown that attitudescan be formedby less thoughtfuldecisionmaking(Chaiken 1986. Fishbeinand Ajzen 1975). and overall brandattitudes. Strength is a function of both the amount or quantityof processing the informationreceives at encoding (i. The success of a marketingprogramis reflectedin the creationof favorablebrandassociations-that is.Hence. as noted previously. productappearancesuch as color or scent). For example. If consumerslack either the motivationor ability to evaluate the product or service. the different types of brand associations making up the brandimage include product-relatedor non-product-relatedattributes." Cognitive psychologists believe memory is extremely durable. Strength of brand associations.g.Specifically. consumers believe the brand has attributesand benefits that satisfy their needs and wants such that a positive overall brandattitudeis formed. the mannerin which a person thinks about the information). which maintainsthat attitudescan serve a "value-expressive"function by allowing individuals to express their self-concepts. how good or bad it is that the brandhas those attributesor benefits).. Petty and Cacioppo 1986)-for example. Craik and Tulving 1975. attributeimportancehas been equatedwith polarityof attributeevaluation(Ajzen and Fishbein 1980.the levels. it is difficult to create a favorable association for an unimportantattribute.e. Though this association may facilitate brandrecognition or awareness or lead to inferences about product quality. consumer perceptionsof the favorabilityof an attribute) is both conceptually and empirically related to attribute importance. Associations can be characterizedalso by the strengthof connection to the brandnode. Lockhart. Moreover. An association may be valued in one situationbut not another(Millerand Ginter1979). will be relevantand valued in a purchaseor consumptiondecision. experiential. or symbolic benefits.. consistent with work on perceived quality (Zeithaml 1988). consumersare unlikely to view an attributeor benefit as very good or bad if they do not also consider it to be very important. it may not always be considered a meaningful factor in a purchase decision. Thus. however.

Rosch and Mervis 1975. Furthermore.and uniqueness. such as red for ketchup). Competitive overlap with other brandsassociated with the productcategorydoes have a downside. they can be overcome throughthe use of ad retrievalcues-that is.. or image benefits. Abstract associations (e.. some productcategory associationsthat are linked to the brandare sharedwith otherbrandsin the category. These beliefs include many of the product-relatedattributes for the relevant brands.Re- . One importantreason for considering brand attitudes to be a brand association is that they can vary in strength(Farquhar1989). abstractassociations tend to be more durableand accessiblein memorythan the underlying attributeinformation(Chattopadhyay and Alba 1988).such as airlines. it still competes indirectly with other forms of transportation.consumersmight expect a bank to offer a variety of checking and savings accounts. however. brandattitudesmay be stored and retrieved in memory separatelyfrom the underlying attributeinformation(Lynch. Park and Smith 1989) suggests that even if a branddoes not face direct competition in its productcategory. These differences may be communicatedexplicitly by making direct comparisons with competitors or may be highlighted implicitly without stating a competitive point of reference. and so on. Thus. imagerelatedattributes.the brand will most likely share some associations with otherbrands.ations may or may not be sharedwith othercompeting brands. provide branchand electronic delivery services. tend to be inherently more evaluative because of the embedded meaning they contain. Certain attributes or benefits may be considered "prototypical"and essential to all brands in the category. unless the brandhas no competitors. Wind 1982). For example.NedungadiandHutchinson1985. Attitudestrengthhas been measured by the reaction time needed to evaluative queries about the attitudeobject (Fazio et al. as well as more descriptive attributesthat do not necessarily relate to product or service performance(e. in terms of possible consumer confusion. it can still share more abstract associations and face indirect competitionin a morebroadlydefinedproductcategory.Sharedassociationscan help to establish category membership(Maclnnis and Nakamoto 1991) and define the scope of competition with other products and services (Sujanand Bettman 1989). be built well enough to last throughrepeatedwearings. cars. Johnson 1984.and Weigold 1988). experiential. For example.Keller (1991b) also creating"interference" showed that though these interferenceeffects can produce lower brandevaluations. if a consumer thinks banksare basically "unfriendly"and "bad. Research on noncomparablealternatives (Bettman and Sujan 1987.Thus.andthusdoes not shareproductrelated attributeswith other brands. In fact. The essence of brandpositioning is that the brand has a sustainable competitive advantage or "unique selling proposition"that gives consumers a compelling reason for buying that particularbrand (Aaker 1982. and they may consider Bank of 6 / Journalof Marketing. Because of this evaluative nature. Ries and Trout 1979. benefits and especially attitudes). either in terms of specific beliefs or overall attitudes. in contrast.they may be based on product-relatedor non-product-relatedattributesor functional. consumersmight expect a runningshoe to provide supportand comfort. and so on. The presenceof stronglyheld. Yet. A productor service categorycan be characterized also by a set of associations that include specific beliefs about any memberin the category in additionto overall attitudestoward all members in the category. at the point of purchase). though a railroadmay not compete directly with another railroad. may easily create unique associations. Ward and Loken 1986). and buses. some product category associations may become linked to the brand. Because the brand is linked to the product category. the color of a product.g. in almost all cases. favorablyevaluated associations that are unique to the brand and imply superiorityover other brands is critical to a brand's success.such as user type or usage situation."he or she probablywill have similarlyunfavorablebeliefs about and attitudetowardany particularbank simply by virtue of its membershipin the category. Mamorstein. For example. strength. 1986)..January1993 America or some other marketleader to be the best example of a bank. Note that the strengthof the brandassociations with the product category is an important determinant of brand awareness (Nedungadi and Hutchinson 1985. Interaction among characteristics of brand asso- ciations. Individualswho can evaluatean attitudeobjectquickly are assumed to have a highly accessible attitude. Similarly.g. Ward and Loken 1986). and a specific brand may be considered an "exemplar"that is most of the productor servicecategory(Cohen representative andBasu 1987. For example. The level of abstractionand qualitativenature of brand associations should affect their favorability.Productcategory attitudes can be a particularlyimportantdeterminantof consumer response. distinctive ad execution informationthat is present when a consumer actually makes a brandevaluation(e. and they may believe that Nike or some other leading brand best representsa runningshoe. Keller (1987) and Burke and Srull (1988) have shown that the numberof competingbrandsadvertising in a productcategory can affect consumers' ability to recall communicationeffects for a brandby in memory.g.

John. Congruence of brand associations. Thus. The congruence of brandassociations should affect (1) how easily an existing association can be recalled and (2) how easily additional associations can become linked to the brandnode in memory.searchhas shown thatattitudesformedfrom directbehavior or experience are more accessible than attitudesbasedon informationor indirectformsof behavior (Fazio and Zanna 1981). In general. the extent to which the brandimage is characterized by associationsor subsetsof associationsthatshare FIGURE 1 Dimensions of Brand Knowledge Customer-Based BrandEquity/ 7 . consumersmay have expectations as to the likelihood that a product or service has a particularassociationgiven that it has some otherassociation(Bettman. informationthat is consistent in meaning with existing brand associations should be more easily learned and rememberedthan unrelated information-though the unexpectedness of information inconsistent in meaning with the brandsometimes can lead to moreelaborateprocessingandstronger associationsthaneven consistentinformation(Houston. Highly accessible brandattitudes are more likely to be activated spontaneously upon exposureto the brandand guide subsequentbrand choices (Bergerand Mitchell 1989. The congruence among brand associations determines the "cohesiveness" of the brand image-that is. Powell. The favora- bility and strengthof a brandassociation can be affected by other brand associations in memory. Fazio." As noted subsequently. Childers. these expectationsalso may result in the formationof inferredbrand associations. and Williams 1989). That is. and Heckler 1987. Wyer and Srull 1989). if a running shoe has a brand association with "very durable and long-lasting. Figure 1 summarizes the dimensions of brand knowledge. Sujan 1985). Congruence is defined as the extent to which a brand association shares content and meaning with another brandassociation. the strengthof an association should depend on how its content relates to the content of other associations for the brand. Myers-Levy and Tybout 1989." presumablyit would be easier to establish an association with "all weather"than with "stylish. and Scott 1986. These expectations should affect consumers' ability to learn new brand information. For example.

Moreover. accordingto this definition. Hoch 1984. promotion. favorable. In particular. brandassociationsmay be more easily changed by competitive actions..g. in which case no underlyingcustomer-basedbrandequity may be present. Three impor- tantconceptsare includedin the definition:"differential effect. lower costs. brandchoice. and managed. Defining Customer-Based Brand Equity Customer-based brand equity is defined as the differential effect of brand knowledge on consumer response to the marketing of the brand. strong. as well as the particularmarketingmix element under consideration. and behavior arising from marketingmix activity (e. the view of brand loyalty adopted here is that it occurs when favorable beliefs and attitudes for the brand are manifested in repeat buying behavior. strong. or distribution of the brand than they do to the same marketing mix element when it is attributed to a fictitiously named or unnamed version of the product or service. The cohesiveness of the brand image may determine consumers' more holistic or gestalt reactions to the brand.Thus. measured. . research on "part-listcuing effects" has shown that recall of informationcan inhibit and lower the recall of other informationfrom memory (Alba and Chattopadhyay1985a. Thus. where there is little congruenceamong brandassociationsfor consumers. January1993 brand with the response to the same marketingof a fictitiously named or unnamedversion of the product or service. Favorable consumer responseand positive customer-basedbrandequity. comprehension of copy points from an ad. reactionsto a coupon promotion. If the brand is seen by consumersto be the same as a prototypical version of the productor service in the category.the favorability. price. Consumer response to marketing is defined in terms of consumer perceptions. Finally. that framework is used to consider in more detail how knowledge affects consumer response to the marketingof a brand by defining customer-basedbrand equity and examining how it is built. and Houston 1992). establishing brandawareness and a "positive brand image" (i. strength. The preceding section provides a detailed framework of brand knowledge. For example. the focus is on brandeffects on the individual consumer. and greaterprofits.Keller. their response should not differ from their response to a hypotheticalproductor service.e. 1986. and unique associations that go beyond the objective reality of the product(Park 1991). only some of the potentially retrievablebrand associations actually may be recalled when the brand image is not cohesive and consistent. those responses should differ. if the brandhas some associationsmay be weakerand possibly less favorable(Heckler. or evaluations of a proposed brand extension). A brief discussion highlighting some relevant considerations for each of these elements follows. it is first necessary to establish knowledge structuresfor the brand so that consumers respond favorably to marketingactivity for the brand. Customer-Based Brand Equity As noted.can presentseveral potential problemsfor marketers. a "diffuse" brand image. in turn. Though the eventual goal of any marketingprogramis to increase sales. In this section. Brand knowledge is defined in terms of brandawareness and brand image and is conceptualized accordingto the characteristicsand relationships of brandassociationsdescribedpreviously. can lead to enhanced revenue.. High levels of brandawarenessand a positivebrand image also have specific implicationsfor the pricing.high levels of brandawarenessand a positive brandimage should increasethe probability of brandchoice.First.b." Differential effect is determined by comparing consumer response to the marketingof a 8 / Journalof Marketing. brandequity has been defined in a variety of ways. Fundamentally. because they do not have as much informationto which new informationcan be easily related. and uniquenessof the brandassociationsplay a criticalrole in determiningthe differentialresponse. Keller 1991a). Some of these beliefs may reflect the objective reality of the product. Brandknowledge is centralto this definition. depending on what marketingmix element is under consideration. The actual natureof how the responses differ depends on consumers' evaluations of these associations. as well as producegreaterconsumer (and retailer) loyalty and decrease vulnerability to competitivemarketingactions. Moreover. consumersmay be confused as to the meaning of the brand and. Hence. and unique brand associations) in consumer memorycreatesdifferenttypes of customer-basedbrand equity. preferences. a brand is said to have positive (negative) customer-based brand equity if consumers react more (less) favorably to the product. anotherproblemwith a diffuse brand image is the greater likelihood that consumerswill discount or overlook some potentially relevant brand associations in making brand decisions. unique associations. The advantage of conceptualizing brand equity from this perspective is that it enables managers to consider specifically how their marketing programimproves the value of their brands. because any one association shares little meaning with other associations." "brandknowledge.Thus.meaning. depending on the particularpurpose." and "consumerresponse to marketing. but in other cases they may reflect favorable. Because the goal of this article is to facilitate the development of more effective marketingstrategiesand tactics.

the brand name should be easy to comprehend. Moreover. brandextensions are considered in more detail in the section on managing customer-basedbrandequity. Moreover. along the following lines. To see how the initial choice of the brandidentities can affect brandequity.e.mnemonic factors (e. market researcherssometimes evaluate the "flicker perception" of brandnames (i. Similarly. a familiarbrandwith a positive brand image can also yield licensing opportunities (i. customer-basedbrandequity is enhanced by creating favorable response to pricing. For example. a positive image should enable the brand to command larger margins and have more inelastic responses to price increases.. The most importantaspect of the brand image that affects consumer responses to prices is probably overall brand attitude. Licensing can be a valuable source of royalty income.g.Rossiterand Percy 1987). The choice of a brand name may also affect the favorability. several authorsnote thatadvertisingresponseand decay patterns are a function of consumers' attitudes and behavior towardthe brand(Ray 1982. is requiredwith brand extensions. the use of a familiar word should be advantageousbecause much informationis present in memory to which the namerelates. and distinctive. and throughthe integrationof the brand identities into the supporting marketingprogram. high levels of brandawarenessand a positive brand image can increase marketingcommunicationeffectiveness. For example. a firm uses an existing brandname to introducea new productor service). Huber. but see Myers-Levy 1989). These different choice criteria for a brand name are not necessarily mutually compatible. familiar.. such as the brandname. Choosing brand identities. A varietyof criteria have been suggested for the selection of a brand name (e. Building Customer-Based Brand Equity Building customer-based brand equity requires the creationof a familiarbrandthathas favorable. Consumers with a strong. logo.e. and uniqueness of brandassociations. and Payne 1988) and a willingness to seek out distributionchannels for the product or service. Deciding whether to emphasize recall or recognition propertiesin choosing a brandname depends on managerialprioritiesconcerning the extent of consumers' in-storeprocessing for the product..and so on.Kotler1991.pronounce. The suggestiveness or meaningfulnessof the brand name should affect how easily brand associa- Customer-Based BrandEquity/ 9 . as evidenced by the substantialmerchandisingefforts in recent years. past researchsuggests that high frequency words (accordingto conventionaluse in language) are easier to recall than low frequency words. distribution. To enhancethe likelihood of successful processing at encoding. one could argue that strong attributeor benefit associationsfor the brandrequireless reinforcementthrough marketingcommunications. Some criteriaoften noted by otherresearchersare thatbrandnames should be simple. and unique brandassociations..e.Robertson1989). strength. but that choosing a more unusual or distinctive word may facilitate brandrecognition. or symbol. strong. This finding suggests that choosing a familiarword representinga well-known concept or some othercommonobjector propertyas a brandname may facilitate brandrecall. and promotion activities related to the brand. To improve consumer learningof the brand.. favorable brand attitude should be more willing to pay premiumprices for the brand (Starr and Rubinson 1978).First. and distinctive. They maintainthat consumerswho are positively predisposed toward a brand may require fewer ad exposures to meet communicationobjectives. and it may be difficult to choose names that are simple. and typically has been employed when brandassociations have strong user imagery or brandpersonality attributes. advertising.the natureof the competitive environment. and promotion activity for the brand.distribution.and spell.two importantgrowth strategies for firms in recent years. This can be done both throughthe initial choice of the brandidentities. but low frequencywords may be easier to recognize thanhigh frequencywords (Gregg 1976. the brand name is used by another firm on one of its products)and supportbrandextensions (i. One-A-Day) and vivid words are often employed that have rich evaluativeor experientialimagery(Robertson 1987. They generally can be classified accordingto whether they help enhance brand awareness or facilitate the linkage of brandassociations. Lynch and Srull 1982).Finally. Similarly. Alba and Hutchinson(1987) give an extensive discussion of psychological principlesthat can be useful in understanding how the choice of a nameaffectsbrand recall and recognition processes. In these differentways. a positive image should result in increasedconsumersearch (Simonson. familiar. consider the choice of a brandname. Because of theirpotentiallylasting effects on consumer knowledge and the effectiveness of future marketingactivity. All aspects of the brandimage are relevant in determiningconsumerresponse to advertisingand promotion. Aaker1991. Finally. however. a distinctiveword is often sought to attractattentionand reduce confusion among competing brands.A more substantialinvestmentand risk profile for the company. how quickly a brandname can be perceived and understoodwhen exposed only for an instant) to assess consumer learning of candidate brand names (Dolan 1985). In fact.g. Similarly. factors affecting the ease with which a brandname is recalled differ from factors affecting the ease with which a brand name is recognized.

publicity. strength. even in the absence of any marketingactivity. can produce differential consumer response to the marketingof a brand.. as discussed next.tions are created. Frequent and prominent mentions in advertising and promotion vehicles can intrusively increase consumer exposure to the brand. consumers could assume on the basis of the names alone that Daybreak cereal is wholesome and natural. and Diamond toothpaste whitens and brightens teeth.throughrepeatedexposures to a brand. and uniquenessof brand associations which. Brand awareness is related to brandfamiliarity. althoughthe judicious choice of brandidentities can contributesignificantly to customer-basedbrand equity. The second consideration affords two importantbenefits. etc. resultingin many communicationeffects being stored in memory (e. Favorable. First. strong. These episodic memory traces (Tulving 1983) may be especially importantfor user and usage image attribute associations. or word of mouth. the brandname can be effectively supported through marketingcommunicationsand a distinctive slogan that ties together the brand name and its positioning. Marketing communicationsalso may be helpful in creating user and usage imagery attributes. as well as affective and cognitive responses to that information).The first considerationshould enhancebrand name awareness and the identificationwith the product category. promotion.g. The defini- tion of customer-basedbrand equity does not distinguish between the sources of brandbeliefs (Fishbein and Ajzen 1975)-that is. For example. At times. price. January1993 product or service specifications themselves are the primary basis for the product-relatedattributeassociations and determinea consumer's fundamentalunderstanding of what the product or service means. and unique brandassociations in memory so that consumerspurchase the productor service. afford a flexible means of shaping consumerperceptionsof the productor service. as can event or sportssponsorship. Nevertheless. strong. the position and prominenceof the brandidentities in a television ad (Keller 1992). Leveraging secondary associations. A second way is by informationabout the productor service communicated by the may also produceweak links from these effects to the brand. All that matters is the favorability. Though delaying brand identificationuntil the end of a television commercial may increase attention levels during commercial exposure. and distributiondecisions. should lead to increasedconsumerability to recognize and recall the brand. The marketingcommunicationefforts by the firm. Finally. Similar choice criteria apply to the other brand identities.g. such the brandlogo or symbol. direct experience may create strongerassociations in memory given its inherent self-relevance (Hertel 1982). Second. A third importantway that belief associations are created is on the basis of inferences . and unique associationscan be createdby the marketingprogramin a varietyof wellestablished ways that are only highlighted here. The 10 / Journalof Marketing. Nevertheless. other commercial sources. a suggestive brand name may facilitate marketingactivity designedto link certainassociationsto the brand. advertising.Alba and Hutchinson(1987) define brand familiarity as the number of productrelatedexperiencesthat have been accumulatedby the consumer (throughproductusage. in contrast. combined with brandawareness.. Chief laundrydetergentremoves tough stains. it is worthwhile to consider in greater depth how belief associations about the attributesand benefits of the brandarise. the pricingpolicy for the branddirectlycreates associations to the relevantprice tier or level for the brandin the productcategory. The brandname can be chosen to suggest semantically (1) the productor service category or (2) importantattributesor benefits within that category. especially for user and usage imageryattributes. marketersmay have to translateattributesinto their correspondingbenefits for consumers throughadvertising or other forms of communication.The strength of brand associations from communicationeffects depends on how the brand identities are integratedinto the supporting marketing program-for example. Marketing programs are designed to enhance brand awarenessand establishfavorable. the primaryinputcomes from supportingmarketing activities for the brandand the variousproduct. ad execution and brandclaim information. another importantobjective is to choose the various brandidentitiesto be mutuallyreinforcingso thatthey interactpositively to satisfy these criteria. Similarly.).and other activities. in terms of the frequency and magnitudeof discounts). Ideally. the appropriate marketingstrategyto increase brandawareness and familiarityis clear from the definition-anything that causes the consumer to "experience"or be exposed to the brand has the potential to increase familiarity and awareness. wordof-mouth and other social influences also play an importantrole. Thus. Greaterbrandfamiliarity. advertising. the semanticmeaningof a suggestive brand name may enable consumers to infer certain attributesand benefits. Developing supporting marketing programs. as well as its correspondingprice volatility or variance(e. Of the two. One way belief associations are created is on the basis of direct experience with the productor service. whetherbeliefs are created by the marketeror by some other source of influence such as referencegroups or publicity. Moreover.

The type and strengthof inferencing are a function of the correlationsperceived by consumersamong attributesor benefits (Ford and Smith 1987. a well-known person could lend credibility to product or service claims because of his or her expertise. perceptions of company reputationand credibility). and Japaneseelectronics probablyall benefit from such inferences. one such association would be a favorable attitudetoward the celebrity-for example. the brand may vary by the extent to which it is identified with a particularcompany. Dick. some consumers in certain categories may infer a high level of product or service quality from a high price. as noted previously.but its strengthof associationwith the brand depends on the emphasis it receives. as when consumersinfer the favorabilityof a brandattributeor benefit on the basis of their overall brand attitude or their evaluation of some other perceived attributeor benefit. When the brandbecomes linked with the event. Similarly. For example. Similarly. the country in which the company makes the product or provides the service) in such a way thatconsumersinfer specific beliefs and evaluations (Erickson. That is. (3) the distributionchannels. Bold. Consumerscan form "brand" images of retailers (Jacoby and Mazursky 1984) on the basis of theirproductassortment. Thus. Similartypes of images may be formed for catalogs and other forms of direct marketing. consumersmay infer that the brand shares associations with that entity. bargaindrivenand mass appeal). and where it is purchased). a brand may be associated with its "countryof origin" (i.. companies may choose individual brand names for different products and services without any explicit mentionof the company(e. and so on.This informationis almost always potentially available to consumers. Second. prestigeandexclusivityvs. trustworthiness.. Germanautomobiles. Another type of inferredassociation occurs when the brand association itself is linked to other information in memory that is not directly related to the productor service. Gain.e. General Electric and Heinz). These store images have associationsthat may be linked to the products they sell (e. For example. consumers have images of celebrity endorsors in their minds as a result of observing the celebrities in their own field of endeavoror as a result of media coverage. Hong and Wyer 1989. identification with the product category itself can also result in inferences producingsecondary associations. Ideally. more specific beliefs may be involved (Kahle and Homer 1985. As a result.The latter two types of brandingstrategies should facilitate access to consumers'overall attitudes towardthe company. First. Third. companies may choose a hybrid or sub-brandstrategy whereby they combine their company name with individual brand names (e. expertise.or attractiveness. (2) the countryof origin. trustworthiness. Huber and McCann 1982). The sub-brandstrategyoffers an additionalpotentialbenefit in that it can allow for the creation of more specific brandbeliefs.pricingand credit policy. McCracken 1989). Kellogg's Corn Flakes and Courtyardby Marriott).from some existing brandassociations. Oxydol. Additionally. Procter& Gamblewith Tide. (4) a celebrity spokespersonor endorsorof the productor service.and Biehal (1990) referto these types of inferences as based on "probabilisticconsistency. and Duz laundrydetergents). that may become linked to the brand. many associations are assumed to exist for the brand because it is characterizedby otherassociations. thus producingindirector "secondary"links for the brand. The first three types of secondaryassociations involve "factualsources"for the brand(i.. Johansson. a brandmay also become associatedwith a particularevent. the distributionchannels for a product may also create secondaryassociations. Again.g. These secondary associations may lead to a transfer of global associations such as attitude or credibility (e. Secondary associations may arise from primaryattributeassociations related to (1) the company. Chakravarti. Establishinga connection with a company may cause existing associations for that company to become secondary associations for the brand (e. The final two types of secondaryassociations occur when the primarybrandassociations are for user and usage situation attributes. quality of service.. other associationsfor the celebrity may become related to the brand.g. who makes it. Secondarybrandassociations may be importantif Customer-Based BrandEquity / 11 ." They note that "evaluative consistency" inferences may also occur.g. The branding strategy adopted by the company making the productor providingthe service is the most importantfactor affecting the strengthof the company's associationwith the brand. Cheer.g. Dash..especially when they are for a particular personor event... French wines.e. or (5) an event. First. where it is made. well as possiblysome productrelatedattributeassociations. as well as infer specific attributesor benefits such as prestige and social status. Finally. thatevent may be characterizedby a set of attributeand attitudeassociationsin memory..g. Because the brandbecomes identified with this other entity. A celebrity invariablyhas some personality attributeassociations. 1990). and Chao 1984. companies may choose their name for all of their productsor services (e.g.and attractiveness) or more specific attributesand benefits related to the product or service meaning. Considerthe case in which advertisingcreates an associationbetween a brand and a celebrity endorser (Rossiter and Percy 1987).Three main brandingstrategies are possible (Kotler 1991). some of these associations with the event may become indirectlyassociatedwith the brand.

Because any one measure typically captures only a particularaspect of brand knowledge. brand awareness and brand image). brandrecognition measures may use the actual brandname or some perceptuallydegradedversionof the brandname (Alba and Hutchinson 1987). place. The indirectapproachis useful in identifyingwhat aspects of brandknowledgecause the differentialresponsethat creates customer-basedbrand equity. 1981. either individually or in small groups. place. or event that are congruentwith desired brand associations. Ajzen and Fishbein (1980) give a detaileddescriptionof how beliefs and evaluations of attributesand benefits can be scaled and how attitudescan be measuredthrough a structuredformat. For example. it is worthwhile to highlight them briefly. person.Managingthe transfer process so that only the relevant secondary associations become linked to the brand may be difficult. where. and new associations may or may not be advantageousfor the brand. and strength). Brand recall measures may use different sets of cues. their type. secondary associations can be leveraged to create favorable. For example.e. measuring brand knowledge.and brandpersonalitydescriptors may also be useful. These indirect measures. Brandrecall can also be coded in terms of the orderof recall to capturethe extent to which the name is "top of mind" and thus stronglyassociatedwith the productcategory in memory. As noted previously. or event that makes up the primarybrand association will undoubtedlyhave a host of associations of which only some smaller set will be of interestto the marketer. and unique associations that otherwise may not be present. which is known for having more sheep thanpeople. because some control of the brand image is given up. however.. person. free associationtasks can be used wherebyconsumers describe what the brandmeans to them in an unstructured format. as well as how the beliefs and attitudes about the entity can become linked to the brand (see chapter11 of Rossiterand Percy 1987 for an excellent discussion). Indirect approach. Moreover.Projectivetechniques(Levy 1978. may not adequately capture the favorability or strength of associations. Such a strategymakes sense if consumers already have associations for the company. providingan illustrativeexample in a consumer setting. or event should be based on consumers' awarenessof that entity. when. The indirect and direct approaches to measuring customer-basedbrand equity are complementaryand should be used together. picture interpretation. In other words. response time measuresof attitudeshave been used as a proxy for attitudestrength. these images may change over time as consumers learn more about the entity. favorability. why.For example. The first approachto measuring customer-based brand equity. There are many ways to measure the characteristics of brand associations (i. and how" types of questionsaboutthe brand. The "direct"approach attemptsto measurecustomer-basedbrandequity more directly by assessing the impact of brandknowledge on consumerresponseto differentelementsof the firm's marketing program. January1993 the characteristicsand relationshipsamong brandassociations. Besides correctness. Congruence can be assessed by comparingthe patternof associations across consumersto determinewhich as- . 1985) such as sentence completion. Specifically. Secondarybrandassociationsmay be risky.e.existing brandassociationsare deficient in some way. and more directmeasuresoften are necessary to provideadditionalinformation. Congruence is the extent to which brand associations are shared. For example. or leverage for the brand associations.the ease of recall and recognitionperformancecan be assessedwith more subtlemeasuressuch as response latencies to provide a fuller picture of memoryperformancewith respect to the brand(Fazio 1987). consider a countrysuch as New Zealand. however. the direct approach is useful in determiningthe natureof the differential response. A New Zealandsweatermanufacturer that its on the basis of its New Zealand promotes product wool presumablycould more easily establish strong and favorable brand associations because New Zealand may alreadymean "wool" to many people. Qualitativetechniquescan be employed to suggest possible associations. Though detailed descriptions and critiquesof the many specific techniquesbehind these two approachesare beyond the scope of this article (see Aaker 1991 for additional discussion). multiple measures must be employed to capture the multidimensionalnatureof brandknowledge. The company. competitive overlap. Brandawarenesscan be assessedeffectivelythrough a variety of aided and unaidedmemorymeasures(see Srull 1984 for a review) that can be applied to test brandrecall and recognition. consumers might be probed in terms of "who.. Relationships among brand associations can be measuredby two general approaches:(1) comparing the characteristicsof brandassociations in some way and (2) directly asking consumersfor informationrelevant to the congruence. Measuring Customer-Based Brand Equity Thereare two basic approachesto measuringcustomerbased brandequity. The "indirect"approachattempts to assess potential sources of customer-basedbrand equity by measuring brand knowledge (i. Choosing to emphasize the company or a particularperson. such as progressively narrowly defined product category labels. what. strong. especially if consumers are unwilling or otherwise unable to express their feelings. place. requires measuringbrand awareness and 12 / Journalof Marketing.

either with or without brandattribution. consumerresponse to a proposed new advertisingcampaign). their type. place..Though this approachshould work well with "informational" ads. consumerscouldbe askeddirectly(1) how strongly they identify the brandwith the productcategory and (2) what they consider to be the unique and shared aspects of the brand. and strength. it probablywould be less appropriatefor "transformational"ads emphasizing user.Past researchof this type has shown thatknowledge of the brandaffects consumerperceptions. as well as prototypicalproduct or service specifications and price. In this case. the likelihood that a product or service has one association given that it has another). One importantconsideration with the direct approachis the experimentalrealismthatcan be achieved when some aspect of the marketingprogramis attributed to a fictitiously namedor unnamedversion of the productor service.e. By attributingthe marketingelement to an unfamiliaror anonymous product.e. person. differencesin preferenceor choice for the brand) and interactioneffects between the brand name and other marketingmix elements such as price. Rangaswamy.or actualconsumptionexperience. For example. The classic example of this approach is the socalled "blind" test in which consumers evaluate a producton the basis of a description. Jacoby. Allison and Uhl 1964..e... identification) and are or are not sharedwith other brands(i. place. consumers could be asked directly their conditional expectations for attribute. Finally.. Leverage can be assessed by comparingthe characteristicsfor the particularcompany.benefit. Uniquenessof brand associations can be assessed by comparingthe characteristicsof associationsof the focal brand(i. favorability. usage. 1990. and channels of distributionchanges. or respond to a proposed price or distribution change. Detailed concept statementscan be employed in some situations when it may be otherwise difficult for consumersto examine or experience the marketingmix element withoutbeing awareof the brand. in which productionvalues are a criticalingredientin achievingcommunicationgoals (Rossiter and Percy 1987).e. Additionally. preferences.e. Additionally. Blind tests could be used to examine consumer response to other elements of the marketingmix such as proposed pricing. promotion.Additionally. product or service features.caremustbe taken that consumers do not evaluate unrealistic product profiles or scenarios that violate their basic expectations for the productor brand(Park 1991.sociations are common or distinctive.Comparingthe responsesof the two groups thus provides an estimate of the effects due to the specific knowledge about the brand that goes beyond basic productor service knowledge. Srinivasan 1979). and distributionstrategies. and promotionor channel choices (i.. storyboardsand animaticor photomaticversions of an ad could be used ratherthan a finished ad to allow for the necessarydisguiseof the brand. and Haddock 1971). company. Assessing customer-basedbrand equity with marketingcommunicationspresentsa bigger challenge with the direct approach(e. event. Table 1 summarizesthe differentmeasurementalternativesfor customer-basedbrandequity. Olson. Identification can be assessed by examining how consumersrespondto brandrecall tasks with productcategory or some othertype of cues. Green and Wind 1975). anotherpotentiallyuseful approachfor directly assessing customer-basedbrandequity is conjoint or tradeoffanalysis (Greenand Srinivasan1978. Multivariatetechniques such as multidimensionalscaling also can be employed (Aaker and Day 1986). consumerscould be asked directly what inferences are made about the brand on the basis of knowledge of the particular person. Competitive overlap of brand associations is the extent to which brand associations are linked to the product category (i. Leverage is the extent to which other brand associations linked to a brand association become secondary associations for the brand. or productcategory with those characteristicsfor the focal brandaccording to their type. and strength) with the characteristics of associationsfor competing brands.. consumers should interpretit with respectto theirgeneralknowledgeabout the productor service.requiresexperiments in which one group of consumersrespondsto an element of the marketingprogramwhen it is attributed to the brandand anothergroupof consumersresponds to that same element when it is attributedto a fictitiously named or unnamedversion of the productor service. or attitudeassociations (i.g. Direct approach. Note thatif conjointanalysisis employed. and Oliva (1990) use conjoint analysis to explore how brandnames interact with physical product features to affect the extendability of brandnames to new productcategories. differences in perceptions for the brand). or some other type of imagery. Conjoint analysis can be used to explore the main effects of the brandname (i.e. Customer-BasedBrandEquity/ 13 . concept statementsmay be useful in assessing customer-basedbrandequity when consumers make a product choice or evaluate a change in the productor servicecomposition. and choices for a product (e. directly measuring the effects of brandknowledge on consumer response to marketingfor the brand. favorability. Thus. promotion..g.judge a proposedbrand extension. The second approach to measuring customer-basedbrandequity. event. Burke. or productcategory. uniqueness).examination.

projective Type techniques.Different firms may be more or less able to maximize the potentialvalue of brandaccordingto the type and nature of marketingactivities that they are able to undertake. assess key dimension producing differential consumer response Provide insight into the extent to which brand associations are shared. and uniqueness of product. In particular. event. etc. no single numberor measure captures brand equity. marketers should decide on the core needs and wants of consumers to be satisfied by the brand. experiential. and symbolic benefits. Rather. are linked to other associations. place. marketers should define the knowledge structures that they would like to create in the minds of consumers-that is.and non-product-related attributes. company. marketersshould adopta broadview of marketing decisions. product class. and overall attitudes. The direct approach to measuring customer-based brand equity involves measuring the effects of brand knowledge on consumer response to marketing-for example. strength. Second. and another group of consumers respond to the same marketing mix element when it is attributed to a fictitiously named or unnamed version of the product or service. or uniqueness Provide insight into the extent to which brand associations to a particular person. or uniqueness of various types of brand associations. maintaining. affecting their favorability. Marketers should also decide the extent to which it is necessary to leverage secondary associations for the brand-that is. by specifying desired levels of awareness and favorability.Nevertheless. strength.Measurement Construct Brand Awareness Recall Recognition TABLE 1 of Brand Knowledge Constructs Related to Customer-Based Purpose of Measure(s) Measure(s) Correct identification of brand given product category or some other type of probe as cue Correct discrimination of brand as having been previously seen or heard Brand Image Characteristics of brand associations Free association tasks. marketing activity can potentially affect sales. First. link the brand to the . or changing the favorability. Marketingactivity for a brand po- 14 / Journalof Marketing. functional. brandequity should be thought of as a multidimensionalconcept that depends on (1) what knowledge structuresare presentin the minds of consumers and (2) what actions a firm can take to capitalize on the potential offered by these knowledge structures. By influencing brand knowledge in one or more of these different ways. six generalguidelines based on the preceding conceptual framework are presented here to help marketersbetter manage customer-basedbrandequity. producing secondary associations for the brand 'This table describes the indirect approach of assessing potential sources of customer-based brand equity by measuring brand knowledge.January1993 tentially can create value for the brand by improving consumers' ability to recall or recognize the brand and/ or by creating. depth interviews Ratings of evaluations of associations Favorability Strength Brand Equitya Ratings of beliefs of association Relationships among brand associations Compare characteristics of associations Uniqueness with those of competitors (indirect measure) Ask consumers what they consider to be the unique aspects of the brand (direct measure) Compare patterns of associations across Congruence consumers (indirect measure) Ask consumers conditional expectations about associations (direct measure) Compare characteristics of secondary Leverage associations with those for a primary brand association (indirect measure) Ask consumers directly what inferences they would make about the brand based on the primary brand association (direct measure) Capture "top-of-mind" accessibility of brand in memory Capture potential retrievability or availability of brand in memory Provide insight into nature of brand associations Assess key dimension producing differential consumer response Assess key dimension producing differential consumer response Provide insight into the extent to which brand associations are not shared with other brands. strength. by conducting experiments in which one group of consumers respond to an element of the marketing mix when it is attributed to the brand. Managing Customer-Based Brand Equity According to the definition of customer-basedbrand equity.

In other words. in part.marketersshould take a long-termview of marketing decisions. Experiments with consumer response to marketingactivity for competitive brands can also provide a useful benchmark-for example. and other marketingactivity (e. helping to produce a consistent and cohesive brandimage.especially in terms of various marketingcommunicationalternatives. marketersshould evaluate the increasingly largenumberof tacticaloptionsavailableto createthese knowledge structures.These inferences can lower the cost of the introductorycampaignfor the extension-for example. Fifth. Third. especially to the extent that they complementmore traditionalmarketing tactics. inferred associations for the attributes. promotions. Second. Some associations may be salient when consumers evaluate some extensions but not others. on theirperceivedsimilarityto the pro- Customer-Based BrandEquity/15 . it is importantto consider how resulting changes in brandawarenessand image may help or hurt subsequentmarketingdecisions. Finally. and productplacementin movies and television shows) is appropriatefrom the perspective of customer-basedbrandequity. As noted previously. and Maclnnis 1986). place. marketersshould employ trackingstudies to measure consumer knowledge structuresover time to (1) detect any changes in the different dimensions of brandknowledge and (2) suggest how these changes might be relatedto the effectiveness of differentmarketing mix actions.. Brandextensions can facilitate acceptanceof the new product or service by providing two benefits. and overall perceived quality may be created. the recent growth of "nontraditional"media.can createmultiplelinks to core benefits or other key associations. if effectivelyintegrated. The salience or accessibility of the core brandassociations depends on their strength in memory.and how favorable inferred associations are in the extension context. To the extent that a more precise assessment of customer-basedbrandequity is useful. how relevantconsumersperceive this informationto be to theirextensionevaluations. in-store advertising. Fourth. brandextension decisions are considered in detail in the rest of this section from the perspectiveof customer-based brandequity and other relevantresearch. and in other locations. to determine the uniqueness of brandassociations. the manner in which a brand association is created does not matter-only the resulting favorability. The relevance of the salient core brand associations depends. "minibillboards"in transitvehicles. They maintainthatextension evaluationswill dependon the salience of the core brand associations in the extension context. or event in such a way that associations with those entities become indirect or "secondary"associations for the brand.For example. Thus. many of these new alternatives can offer a cost-effective means of affecting brandknowledge and thus sales. consumersshould need only to establish a connection in memory between the existing brandnode and the new product or service extension. by increasing advertisingefficiency (Smith and Park 1992). Regardless of which options are chosen. whether this informationis seen as suggestive of the type of productor service that the brandextension would be. from the perspective of customer-basedbrand equity in making marketingdecisions. Thus. the entire marketingprogramshould be coordinatedto createcongruentand strongbrandassociations. sports and event sponsorship. For example. marketersshould evaluate potential extension candidates for their viability and possible feedbackeffects on core brandimage. Park. In other words. Jaworski. or particularperson. extension evaluations will depend on what kind of informationcomes to mind aboutthe core brandin the extension context. Different marketing tactics with the same strategic goals. strength. Brandextensionscapitalizeon the brandimage for the core productor service to efficiently inform consumersand retailersaboutthe new productor service. Marketers should judge the consistency and cohesiveness of the brandimage with the businessdefinitionin mind (Levitt 1960) and how well the specific attributesand benefits that the productor service is intendedto provide to consumers satisfy their core needs and wants (Kotler 1991. and whetherthis informationis viewed as good or bad in the extension context in comparisonwith competitors. with implications for customer loyalty and responses to future price changes or non-price-orientedmarketing communication efforts. Thus. and uniqueness. product class. marketers should also conduct controlled experiments. as well as the retrieval cues provided by the extension context.g. the use of sales promotionsinvolving temporary price decreases may create or strengthena "discount" association with the brand. The changes in consumer knowledge about the brand from current marketing activity also will have an indirecteffect on the success of future marketing activities. Keller and Aaker (1992) review relevantliterature to provide a conceptualmodel of how consumersuse their knowledge to evaluate a brandextension. benefits. awareness for the extension may be higher because the brand node is already present in memory. Consumer knowledge of competitive brands should be similarlytrackedto provide informationon their sources of customer-basedbrandequity. on parkingmeters. Given theirpotentialimportanceto long-termbrandvalue. consumers may form expectations for the extension on the basis of what they alreadyknow aboutthe core brand.

marketersshould evaluate potential extension candidatesfor their viability and their feedback effects on core brand image by (1) identifying possibleextensioncandidateson the basis of core brand associations (especially with respect to brand positioning and core benefits) and overall similarityof the extension to the brand. If relevant. For example. For example. and Lawson 1991). For example. Dilution effects. the successful introductionof the Miller Lite beer in the U. even if the core brandassociationsthemselves are positive (Aakerand Keller 1990). Such effects are most likely when there is little differencebetween the originalbrandand the extension. An unsuccessfulbrandextension. consumersare more likely to base theirextensionevaluationson their attitudetowardthe core brand(Boush and Loken 1991. Similarly. though researchers typically assume that they are a function of salient shared associations between the core brand and the extension product category. in contrast. In other words. If a brand becomes associated with a disparate set of products or services. Though these evaluationswill generallycorrespondto the favorability of the core brand associations. when overall similarity is very low. Sullivan (1990) conducted an econometric analysis that showed how the perceived "suddenacceleration"problemof Audi's 5000 model "spilled over" and reduced demand for its 4000 and Quattromodels. Finally.e. even if positive attributeand benefit associations for the core brand lead to inferences of positive brand extension associations. Overall similarityjudgmentscould be made in different ways (Loken and Ward 1990).S. It has also been argued that successful brandextensions may potentially harm the core brand image if they weaken existing associations in some way. These similarity judgments could be based on product-relatedattributes. Whenoverallsimilarityis not very high. and Scott Paper have been accused of "overextending"by introducing too disparate products. RoedderJohnand Loken(1990) found thatperceptionsof qualityfor a core brandin the health and beauty aids area decreased with the hypothetical introductionof a lower quality extension in a similar productcategory (i.KellerandAaker (1992) foundthatthe successfulintroductionof a brand extension improved evaluations of a core brand that originallywas perceivedto be of only averagequality. and (3) considering the exten- . the favorability of inferredattributeand benefit beliefs will depend on how they are valued in the extension context. For example. Keller and Aaker (1992) found that unsuccessfulinterveningextensions in dissimilar productcategories did not affect evaluations of the core brand(also see Romeo 1990). Boush et al.e. although the brand may not have the same specific product or service meaning because of multiple extensions. they can differ. successful extensions for brands with an exclusivity and prestige image that effectively broadenthe target marketmay produce negative feedback effects on the brandfrom members of the original consumer franchise who resent the market expansion. Herr. can harmthe core brandimage by creatingundesirableassociations. multiple productor service extensions may not be as harmfulto certain abstractassociations such as brandattitudesand perceived quality. and favorabilityof core brandassociationsin the proposed extension context and the favorability of any inferred associations. with potentially adverse profit 16 / Journalof Marketing. When multiple product or service extensions are associatedwith the brand. As another example of a potential dilution effect. Cadbury. consumers may still see the brand as representing a range of productsor services of a certain quality.the congruenceamong their associations becomes an importantdeterminantof the consistency and cohesiveness of the brand image. Qualityperceptions of the core brandwere unaffected. Pepperidge Farm. Aaker (1991) claims that brandextensions helped to fortify the brandimages of WeightWatchersand Sunkist. although in their research setting consumers did not have stronglyheld attitudestowardthe core brandand the company adopted a family brandingstrategy that raised the salience of its name (and thus perceptions of its credibility). facial tissue). It is often argued that an extension can help the core brandimage by improvingthe favorabilityand strength of associations and clarifying the business definition and core benefits for the brand. relevance. When overall similarityis high. may be especially likely when the existing associationsfor the core brandare alreadyfairly weak.and Fazio 1990). Thoughthese differenttypes of dilutioneffects may occur.. and in fact be negative. the introduction of the lower priced Cadillac Cimaronmodel is thought to have led to declines in image and sales for the entire Cadillac division (Yovovich 1988). January1993 implications. Farquhar. Milberg. consumer evaluations also will be very low. when the proposed extension was in a dissimilarproductcategory (i. shampoo).posed extensionproductor service(Feldmanand Lynch 1988).. Moreover. product category identification and the correspondingproduct associations may become less strong. may have accentuated perceptionsof the flagship Miller High Life beer as a "less hearty"beer because thatperceptionhad already been created in consumers' minds by its clear bottle (in contrast to Budweiser's dark bottle). inferrednegative associationsmay still emerge (Bridges 1990). In summary. consumers are more likely to consider specific attributes and benefits well as non-product-related attributessuch as user type or usage situation(Bridges 1990. 1987. (2) evaluatingextension candidate potentialby measuringthe salience. Park.

Customer-based brandequityoccurswhen the consumer is aware of the brand and holds some favorable. competitive overlap (identification and uniqueness). Brand associations are conceptualized in terms of their characteristics by type (level of abstractionand qualitativenature).e. In closing. Buildingbrandequityrequirescreatinga familiarbrand name and a positive brandimage-that is. and managing customer-basedbrandequity are identified. and unique brand associations in memory. A brandis said to have positive (negative) customer-basedbrandequity if consumersreact more (less) favorably to an element of the marketingmix for the brandthan -heydo to the same marketingmix element when it is attributedto a fictitiously named or unnamedversion of the productor service. andleverage. Future Research Directions In the presentation of a conceptual framework of customer-basedbrand equity. additionalinsights may be gained by considering it from the potentiallybroader perspective of customer-basedbrandequity. additional research is necessary both to refine this framework and to suggest other implicationsfor marketingstrategies and tactics. and uniqueness of brandassociations. Consequently.sion's potentialfeedbackeffects on the core brandimage and the favorability. specifying the desired consumer knowledge structuresand core benefits for a brand. This line of researchcould consider visual and verbalpropertiesof these brandidentitiesand how they might affect brand awareness and the favorability. better choice criteriashould be establishedfor the brand identities (brand name. if they anticipateneeding to repositionthe brandlater. Examples of both types of approachesare provided. and unique brand associations. symbols. promotion. The indirect approachmeasures brand knowledge (brand awarenessand elements of brandimage) to assess the potentialsources of brandequity. strength. Brand knowledge is conceptualizedaccording to an associative network memory model in terms of two components. favorable. In termsof understandinghow the supportingmar- Customer-Based BrandEquity / 17 . promotion. definedas the differentialeffect of brand knowledge on consumerresponse to the marketingof the brand. The directapproach measures the effects of the brandknowledge on consumerresponseto elements of the marketingmix. Strategies to build customer-basedbrand equity are discussed in terms of both the initial choice of the brandidentities (brandname. Finally. In developing contingency-basedchoice criteria. a set of brand associations).it also will be necessaryto clarify the roles of variousbrandidentities by consideringmore explicitlyhow brandnames. Such research should recognize the numeroustradeoffs in choice criteria by suggesting when certain characteristicsof the brand identities should be emphasized. Two basic approaches to measuring customer-basedbrandequity are outlined. Because this research was most likely conducted with a different purposein mind. strong. favorability. and managed. brandawarenessand brandimage (i. For example. logo. First.and evaluating potential extension candidates. For example. Brand awareness consists of brand recognition and brand recall. much previous research may be useful in this effort. strength. and other marketingoptions.and in terms of their relationship with other associations by congruence. several constructs and relationshipsare discussed. price. but a nonsuggestive or neutralbrandname may more effectively accommodatelater repositioning. and distributionstrategies.. and symbol). and uniqueness of core brandassociations. The differenttypes of customer-basedbrand equity are discussedby consideringthe effects of these dimensions of brandknowledge on brandloyalty and consumerresponse to product. The article also explores some specific aspects of this conceptualizationby considering how customerbased brandequity is built. considering a wide range of traditional and nontraditionaladvertising. strong. logos. Undoubtedly. memory retrieval considerations that arise from associative strengthand part-list cueing theories in psychology imply that a meaningful. six guidelines for the managementof customerbased brand equity are discussed. Discussion Summary This article introducesthe concept of customer-based brandequity. These guidelines emphasize the importanceof taking a broadand long- term view of marketinga brand. measured. and other trademarkscan contribute differentially to building customer-based brandequity. using more neutral brand names. measuring. some researchprioritiesfor building. logo. remarkablylittle empirical research has systematically examined brand name considerationsas they pertainto enhancingbrandawarenessand building favorable. and unique brandassociations. coordinatingthe marketing options that are chosen. strong. and symbol) and how the brand identities are supported by and integrated into the marketing program. "suggestive"brandname may facilitateinitialpositioning.and strength. slogans. conducting tracking studies and controlled experiments. Thereare severalimportantresearchquestionsabout how to build customer-basedbrandequity. however. Supportof this hypothesiswould imply thatfirms may be better off adopting more flexible branding strategies.

publicity.. These criteria could be adaptedto address when and how a brandshould become identified with an event.e.g. This more extended analysis should consider aspects of the company (e. stronger. January1993 consistent and cohesive brandimage? This line of research should clearly examine how traditionaland nontraditionalmarketing options interact. promotion. market share. product. broader implications of customer-based brand equity should be explored by considering aggregation issues associated with brandknowledge effects on marketsegments or the customerfranchiseas a whole.g.. Similarly. and Houston 1992). plausible descriptions of the relevant activity (advertising. the costs and benefits of leveraging secondaryassociations should be explored. from the proliferationof brandextensions and the growth of new. Keller.and uniquenessof brandassociations. Forexample. One importantresearchpriorityis to develop valid benchmarks for the direct approach to measuring customer-basedbrand equity-that is. how and underwhat conditions should a firm increase the salience of source factorsrelatedto the brand(i. promotion. (2) credibility(expertise and objectivity). Also. as opposed to effects on an individualconsumer.keting program builds customer-basedbrand equity. (3) attraction(likability and similarity). Second. or unique in memory?Which types of associationsare more easily created by a particularmarketingor communication mix element?Whichtypes of associationsare more likely to influence consumerresponse with respect to a particularmarketingmix element? can advertisingbe coordinatedacross broadcastand printmedia to enhancebrandawareness and strengthen brand associations? These research studies might consider memory principles and theories of encoding and retrieval. should continue to be explored. In particular. such as user type or usage situation. Forexample. factorsinfluencingthe favorability. how should the consistency and cohesiveness of a brandimage be managedover consumersegments(includinggeographicboundaries)andover time? A diffuse brandimage with weakerand less favorable brand associations may be particularlyevident when a brand attempts to reposition itself (e. direct marketing..) with no or fictitious brandidentification. etc.a focus of much past research. Are there ways in which a brandimage can be "flexible" and appeal to different consumer segments? To manage the brandimage betterover time.the articlebuilds a theoreticalfoundationbased on past researchin consumer behavior that should be helpful in addressing some of the new challenges in developing brandstrategies that have arisen because of changes in the marketing environment (e. and unique brand associations? For example. and (4) power. it was suggested previously that benefits can be more memorable than attributeinformation.but undersome circumstancesthey may not be favorably received or strongly linked to the brandin memory. Finally. switching to a new targetmarket)(Heckler. the company. An aggregateanalysis also could consider the implicationof customer-basedbrandequity for sales. Effective strategies for integratingmarketing communications in terms of advertising. alternative promotionaland media alternatives).strength. Are certain types of associations inherently more favorable. to develop a financially based conceptualizationof brand equity. it may also be useful to incorporatesome of the conceptsthatrelateto customerbased brand equity to address other management questionspertainingto branding-for example. more precise guidelines as to the "indirect"effects of current marketing activity on the success of future marketing activity are needed-for example. Conclusions The goal of this article is to present a conceptual framework that would provide useful structure for managersdeveloping brandstrategiesand researchers studyingbrandequity. This would entail considering the pros and cons of different qualitative and quantitative approaches to measuring brand knowledge of consumers.Anotheruseful contributionwould be to design efficient and effective approachesto conducting trackingstudies.g. how do these source and brand images interact?Another importantissue is when and how a brandshould attemptto become associated with a particularpersonor event. Several research questions are relevant for managing customer-basedbrand equity. by achieving a betterunderstandingof how brandknowledge influences consumer response. What strategies areeffective in creatingstrongbrandassociations?How can differentmarketingmix elements be integratedto create strong and congruentbrandassociations and a 18 / Journalof Marketing. but along several different lines. How do consumers merge or combine these associations with other brand associations? In other words. pricing. but attributesmay have to be communicatedto persuadeconsumersand create favorablebenefit associations. countryof origin. its strengthsand weaknesses) and the competitive nature of its markets. and profits.and packagedesign are especially needed. may create uniqueassociations. two particularresearch directions could be pursued. First. It was also suggested above that non-product-relatedor image attributes. and distributionchannel)? All of these source factors have their own set of associations. Though many of the ideas expressed in this con- .. strong. what are the tradeoffs involved in creating favorable. For example.RossiterandPercy (1987) offer the following criteriafor choosing a presenter in advertising:(1) visibility.

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