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Brand Equity – Examples and Sources of Brand Equity

Brand equity’s objective is to estimate the value of a brand. Higher brand equity leads to a higher value, Increased goodwill and instant brand recall which in turn leads to increased sales and larger profit margins in comparison with other brands.

Brand recognition can facilitate more revenue generation. This is because consumers believe that a product with a well-known name is more desirable than a product with a lesser-known name.

Brand Equity Examples

Google, Apple, Microsoft are the topmost valuable brands on the Forbes’ list.

‘Apple’ topped the Forbes’ annual list of the World’s Most Valuable Brands with brand equity of $241.2 billion and a 17 p% increment per year that looked at top 100 companies of the year 2019.

Brand Equity and New Launches

A brand affirms to provide apt quality and performance to influence the customer’s choice among other brands. After an exceptional brand performance, the company may take advantage and enter into new markets or launch more unique products.

Long things short, a brand improving its value in the eyes of the customers is known as brand equity.


Apple products, due to its consistently outstanding performance, always has high expectations, rumours and mass excitement surrounding the launch of any new product or opening of Apple stores.

People waiting for the opening of the new Apple flagship store in Sanlitun in Beijing, on July 17, 2020.

Sources of Brand Equity

  1. Brand Awareness
  2. Brand Loyalty
  3. Perceived Quality
  4. Brand Associations

Brand Awareness

The probability of customers remembering the brand in different situations is called brand awareness.

It serves as an anchor to which everything else about the brand is linked

1. Brand Recognition

When consumers visit a store, they are likely to identify the brand to which they have already been exposed.

2. Brand Recall

Consumer’s capacity to be able to retrieve the brand from memory when subjected to any situation as a clue is called brand recall.

Examples: Coca Cola

Based on a report, 94% of the world’s population identifies the red and white Coke logo. Coca-Cola claimed that its name comes second to the word “okay” as the most recognized term globally.

Brand Loyalty

The degree of commitment shown by consumers towards a particular brand is called brand loyalty. In spite of marketing pressure generated by competing brands, brand loyalty is displayed when consumers stick to a brand and continue repeating purchases.

Increased loyalty levels give the benefit of decreasing marketing expense as such consumers function as positive advocates for the brand. Additionally, the company can include more products in its portfolio that serve the same customers at less expenditure.

Brand Loyalty Examples: Apple

Apple has aced in evangelism, whereas different brands tended to focus on more conventional marketing. Building product awareness through existing users and word of mouth was the aim of the company which it did so through evangelism. (guerilla marketing).

Perceived Quality

Perceived quality is the customer’s understanding of the overall supremacy and quality of a commodity or service.

To evaluate quality, the customers consider the performance of the brand based on the parameters important to them and makes a comparative judgment by assessing competitor’s offerings in terms of quality.

Perceived Quality Examples: Apple Packaging

Apple does not necessarily market its technology features, but instead, they reinvent standards. For instance, Apple’s product packaging is beyond excellence. Whereas, opening other brand’s entails plain cardboard boxes which are not as aesthetic.

Brand Associations

Brand association is a link associated in the minds of the customer about the brand. A positive brand association works a long way for the company.

The traits of a brand that pop in the minds of the consumers when the brand is talked about are called brand associations.

Brand association form on the following occurrences:

  1. Customers interaction with the organization and its staff.
  2. Marketing and advertising activities carried out by the brand.
  3. Celebrity endorsements.
  4. Quality of the product etc.

Brand Associations Examples: Under Armour Project Rock 2

Dwayne Johnson’s popularly known as “The Rock” came in association with Under Armour. Dwayne Johnson signed a partnership deal with Under Armour named ‘Project Rock’ in January 2016. Under this project, Under Armour delivered numerous footwear and apparel selections focusing on training.

Previously signed Project Rock 1 sneakers were released in May 2018 and according to a post on Johnson’s Instagram account sold out in less than 24 hours. The latest Under Armour Project Rock 2 is a gym-ready Hovr cushioning technology sports shoes that help in eliminating impact and making more breathable soft knit uppers to dry quickly offering a sleek fit.

Managing Brand Equity involves two parts

  1. Brand Reinforcement
  2. Brand Revitalization

Reinforcing Brands

1. Brand Value

Brand value is any company’s major enduring asset and needs careful attention so that its value does not depreciate.

2. Brand Concentrates

Brand Reinforcement essentially concentrates on maintaining Brand Equity by keeping the Brand alive among the existing and fresh customers.

3. Brand Awareness

It makes sure that the consumers are well informed about the Brand, which creates more considerable brand awareness.

Examples coca-cola

Ways to Reinforce the Brand

1. Fortifying vs Leveraging

Fortifying pertains to improving brand equity with regards to awareness and perception while Leveraging points at making money from the Brand

2. Sustaining Brand Consistency

Consistency in the quantity and quality of marketing is the most important consideration in reinforcing a brand.

3. Fine-tuning Supporting Marketing Program

It is improving product performance associations and alliances that strengthen the image

4. Protect sources of brand equity

A brand should not only preserve the existing causes of brand value and positioning but also look for new stronger sources for increased equity.

Example: Red Bull’s Unconventional Marketing Strategy for Brand Reinforcement

Sponsorships and Events

  1. Red Bull Air Force crew is dedicated to pushing boundaries for performing heart-pounding aerial acrobatics that is just hard to miss.
  2. Apart from that, events like Red Bull Crashed Ice or Red Bull Queen of the Bay focus on specific sports like ice cross or surfing respectfully.

These events and stunts are particularly to target supporters of the sport and raise recognition of the Red Bull brand

Example: Red Bull’s Unconventional Marketing Strategy for Brand Reinforcement

One prominent observation of the Brand’s approach to social content is its dependence on videos. Every post on its various social accounts is more or else a video. Having a followership of a solid 9 million subscribers, Red Bull’s main YouTube channel is very popular among the younger crowd.

It also has a further 3.9 million followers across other smaller platforms.

Example: Red Bull’s Unconventional Marketing Strategy for Brand Reinforcement

Another marketing strategy Red-Bull uses is Sampling to improve and expand its brand equity. Red Bull targets students to make use of the effect of peer recommendations properly.

Inspired by word of mouth, the ambassador program helps to ensure they reach for Red Bull first. Ambassadors distribute Red Bull products among younger individuals along with handing out T-shirts and hats to keep the Red Bull brand visible.

Example: Red Bull’s Unconventional Marketing Strategy for Brand Reinforcement

This project involved staged “airdrops” of Red Bull that took place concurrently throughout the country. The Wings Team planned and placed mysterious wooden containers loaded with free Red Bull supplies on college campuses, and then followed the next morning as people were thrilled by this unique giveaway.

The project took a very different approach to traditional product samplings which people were used to seeing. As a result, this drew attention to the Brand, and a hashtag used promoted the sharing of the event on social media.

Example: Red Bull’s Unconventional Marketing Strategy for Brand Reinforcement

Point of Purchase Displays – Red-Bull categorically strengthens its brand equity by using an effective marketing tactic called ‘point of purchase’. It requires setting-up up signage and freezers at various bars and nightclubs.

The Red Bull fridge is a viral push tactic used by the energy drink company to raise recognition and sales at the point-of-purchase site. The in-store refrigerators placed in supermarkets and nightclubs directly advertise and sell to consumers.

Revitalizing Brands

Revitalization of a brand is nothing but a marketing strategy chosen when any product enters the maturity stage of the product life cycle and when its earnings have fallen drastically.

Brand revitalizing is an attempt done by the company to bring the product back in the market.

A product has to be revitalized despite a good reinforcement strategy due to some rigid factors such as

  1. Competition
  2. The invention of new technology
  3. Change in preferences and tastes of customers
  4. Legal obligations, etc

Ways to Revitalize a Brand

1. By defining new or additional usage opportunities, for example entering the untapped market.

Companies need to identify additional or new possibilities for customers to opt for the Brand more. Communications regarding the benefits of using the Brand more frequently in existing situations or new situations must be carried out.

2. By identifying new and entirely different ways to use the Brand. (e.g. entering a New Segment)

Another approach for increasing the frequency of usage is to identify entirely new and different applications. This method may require more than just new ad campaigns or promoting strategies. It could, at times, arise from new packaging designs.

3. Repositioning a Brand seldom requires the company to establish more gripping points of difference irrespective of the target market segment.

At other times, the need to reposition a brand to establish a point-of-relevance on some key image dimension.

By changing Brand Elements

Brands often need to change one or more elements to either convey a new message or to indicate that the Brand has taken on new meaning

A brand name being the most important element is often extremely rigid to change. However, they can be combined into initials to display shifts in marketing strategy or increase recall.

Ways to Revitalize a Brand – Examples

  1. Federal Express – Federal Express officially shrank its name to FedEx and launched a new logo to build the brand stronger.
  2. KFC In order to convey a message of the brand being healthier, Kentucky Fried Chicken abbreviated its name to the initials KFC.

1. By telling a story about your product

Customers might not identify the product but they do recognize the human struggles and challenges that are similar to their own. That’s where the story of the brand comes in handy to establish a connection.

Case Study of Old Spice Revitalization

Old Spice, a deodorant and body wash brand for men of all ages was established in 1938. However, after reaching stagnation, Old Spice and Wieden + Kennedy collaborated for a new campaign, Old Spice Swagger in 2008. It also was a hugely successful online campaign at

It completely transformed the image of the Old Spice brand in order to be able to compete with new brands precisely like Axe.

Old Spice went for a name with some cultural currency and attitude. It marketed the new product, Swagger, as “The Scent That Makes a Difference,” and scored an outstanding web run which after seeing success on traditional marketing channels also made its way onto YouTube.

Case Study of Cadbury revitalizing its global Brand Identity

Cadbury’s new look involves energetic touches like a new wordmark and redesigned milk glasses digging deep into Cadbury’s archives to generate something that still manages to make the brand exciting and timeless.


Qualitative research techniques usually identify potential brand alliances and sources of increased brand equity.

They usually do not have a structured approach that permits a range of both questions and answers and so often can serve as a useful primary step in exploring consumer brand and product perceptions.

  • Free Association
  • Projective Techniques
  • Neural Research Methods.
  • Brand Personality & Values [also known as The Big Five].
  • Ethnographic and Experiential Methods

Technique #1 – Free Association

Technique #1 – Free Association

The easiest and usually impactful way to profile brand associations is by free association tasks. The customers are asked what comes to their mind when they think of a brand, without giving them any specific clue.


  • What does the brand Tesla mean to you? Or tell me what comes to mind when you think of Tesla.
  • Marketers then can use the resulting brand partnerships to form a rough mental map for the brand.
  • Marketers utilize free association activities to identify the range of possible brand associations in consumer’s minds.
  • Suppose many buyers mention “electric vehicle” as one of their first associations when asked about the brand ‘Tesla’.
  • In that case, the association is plausibly a strong one and likely able to influence consumer decisions.

Follow-up questions can also be asked to consumers in order to understand the favourability of associations better, such as;

  • What do you like best about the brand? What are its advantages?
  • What do you dislike about the brand? What are its disadvantages?
  • What do you find unique about the brand? How is it different from other brands?
  • Such simple, straight means can be precious for ascertaining core aspects of a brand image.

Technique #2 – Projective Techniques

Marketers with a vision to succeed in revealing the sources of brand equity must profile consumer’s brand knowledge structures extremely, completely, and accurately. Seldom, consumers may be resistant or incapable of revealing their true feelings.

Projective techniques are the distinctive tools made to reveal the real opinions and feelings of the consumers during such circumstances. Consumers are presented with an incomplete situation and asked to complete it – in this process; consumers reveal some of their true beliefs and feelings.

Types of Projective Techniques

  1. Completion and Interpretation Tasks
  2. Comparison Tasks.

Completion and Interpretation Tasks

“Bubble exercises” is one approach that shows different consumers buying or using certain products or services. Empty animated bubbles are placed in the pictures to represent the opinions, words, or actions of one or more of the participants.

Marketers later ask customers to fill in the bubble. This indirectly shows what people believe is happening or being said in the scene. Those stories and conversations described in this technique can actually help in assessing users and the usage of imagery for a brand.

Comparison Tasks

  • Another useful technique is comparison tasks, wherein we ask the consumers to communicate their opinions about the brand by comparing these brands to personalities, countries, animals, activities, materials, occupations, nationalities, other brands, etc.
  • In every case, the marketers would ask a follow-up question regarding why the customers made the comparison they did.
  • This potentially provides a glimpse into the psyche of the customers concerning a brand.

Technique #3 – Neural Research Methods

Neuromarketing is an elaborate study of how the mind responds to various marketing stimuli, including brands.

It is like x people’s brains to determine their reaction to various products.


Techniques such as EEG (electroencephalograph) is being used by some firms nowadays. It is a technology to observe intellectual activity and better comprehend consumer’s responses to marketing.

Neurological research reveals that consumers stimulate different regions of the brain in evaluating the personality traits of people and brands.

Technique #3 – Neural Research Methods (Frito Lay)

Frito-Lay made use of electroencephalography (EEG), to obtain the reaction of adult customers towards “Cheetos”, their top-selling cheese puffs brand. Before the examination, it was generally believed that buyers mostly disliked the residual cheese dust from Cheetos, but the test results, however, unveiled something completely unexpected.

It was concluded that the buyers show a clear positive response when their fingers turn orange due to the residue cheese dust and consumers, in fact, enjoy the messiness of the product. The ad later won the 2009 Grand Ogilvy Award due to a 30% increase in sales of Frito-Lay.

Technique #4 – Brand Personality and Values

Brands tend to take on personality traits or human values through customer experience or any marketing activity. They then like a person who either appears to be “contemporary,” “old-fashioned,” “energetic,” or “exotic.”

Brand Personality and Values

Brand Personality and Values - 1

Brand Personality and Values - 2

Technique #5 – Ethnographic and Experiential Methods

According to Harvard Business Review ethnography as a branch of anthropology that involves trying to understand how people live their lives. Researchers might be able to obtain more meaningful responses by tapping more directly into the customer’s actual home, workspace, or shopping behaviors.

The explanation is that no matter how smart the research design is, consumers may not really be able to fully express their authentic selves as part of a formalized research study. Ethnography has two approaches that are traditional and digital.

The toolkit a researcher uses is the chief difference between traditional and digital ethnographic studies. In the traditional version, a researcher uses cameras, notepads, etc. whereas, in digital ethnography, researchers use social media, smartphones, online blogs, etc.

P&G acquired Gillette in 2011. As Roger Martin describes the story in Playing to Win, the focus of one executive, Chip Bergh, was “to stimulate consumption by expanding into emerging markets in general and to India in particular”.

A team of ethnographic researchers was sent to India by Gillette to observe customers, and do shop-along and home visits. They wanted to understand how different the Indian male shaver was from their American counterpart. They noted that the people were extremely price-sensitive and also shaved in a completely different way.

P&G then leveraged these insights and its world-class design capabilities. As a result, the Gillette Guard was designed and launched, which was the most notable deviation from its traditional product development in Gillette’s history.

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