Building a Strong Brand

Building a Strong Brand

Branding a brand is not something you can do overnight or in a matter of weeks. But, it is possible to build long-lasting relationships with customers by putting continuous effort into marketing programs. This will result in a steady increase of leads and sales, word of mouth referrals, advocacy, and increased sales.

The Keller model, a pyramid-shaped shape, shows how to build brand equity from a solid foundation to the holy grail of brand loyalty resonance. This is where customers have a positive relationship with a brand and become advocates for it.

These four steps are a collection of fundamental questions customers will ask about brands, at least implicitly. These are the four fundamental questions:

1. Who are you? (Brand identity)

2. What are you? (Brand meaning)

3. How about you? What do I think or feel about you? (Brand responses)

4. What about you and me? What kind of association and how much of a connection would I like to have with you? (Brand relationships)

Brand Salience

Brand salience is the ability to create a brand identity that customers love. Brand salience is an assessment of how often and how easily the brand is invoked in different situations and circumstances. How prominent is the brand? Is it easily remembered or recognized? What kind of reminders or cues are needed? How widespread is brand awareness?

Brand awareness is the ability of customers to remember and recognize the brand in different circumstances. It also allows them to associate the brand name, logo, and symbol with certain associations in their memory.

Building brand awareness helps customers to understand the product or service category where the brand competes, and which products or services are sold under that brand name. This helps customers understand their “needs”, and the products that are sold under this brand name.

High-sealing brands have both depth and breadth in brand awareness. Customers will always remember the brand, even if they are not using it. Brand salience is an important step in building strong brand equity however, it is not enough. Other considerations such as the meaning and image of the brand are important for many customers in different situations.

Brand Performance

Brand equity is all about the product. It is what customers associate with a brand. Marketing success is dependent on whether the product is tangible, intangible, a service, an organization, or a person.

Marketers must ensure that the consumer’s experience with the product at least meets their expectations if it can not delight them with its attributes and benefits to build a strong brand. Numerous studies have demonstrated that brands with high quality tend to be more profitable financially and generate higher returns.

Brand performance is the ability of a product or service to meet customers’ needs more practically. It is the rating of the brand on the basis of quality. How does the brand meet the needs of the customer in terms of aesthetics, utility, and economics?

Brand performance is more than the product’s features and ingredients. It includes dimensions that distinguish the brand. The strongest brand positioning is often based on performance advantages. It is rare for a brand to overcome serious performance deficiencies.

Brand Imagery

Brand imagery is another important type of brand meaning that assists to make a strong brand. The extrinsic qualities of the product or service are what determine brand imagery. This includes the way the brand tries to satisfy customers’ psychological and social needs.

This is how people perceive a brand, and not what it actually does. Imagery refers to the more intangible aspects a brand offers. Consumers can make imagery associations from their own experiences or indirectly from advertising or other sources, such as word-of-mouth. There are many intangibles that can be connected to a brand. Here are four of them:

  • User profiles
  • Purchase and usage situations
  • Personality and values
  • History, heritage, and experiences

Brand Judgments

Brand judgments are customer opinions and evaluations about a brand. They can be formed by adding all the relevant brand performance and imagery associations. Although customers can make many types of judgments about a brand, four types are especially important: quality, credibility, and consideration for building a strong brand.

  • Quality: A product’s perceived and actual quality is what customers judge.
  • Credibility: Customers evaluate credibility by three dimensions: expertise (which can include innovation), trustworthiness and likability.
  • Consideration: Your customers will judge the relevance of your product according to their needs.
  • Superiority: Your brand’s superiority is measured by customers compared to your competitors.

Brand Feelings

Brand feelings refer to customers’ emotional reactions and reactions to the brand. Brand feelings can also be related to the brand’s social currency. How does the brand’s marketing program evoke these feelings?

What effect does the brand have on customers’ attitudes about themselves and their relationships with others? These feelings can be intense or mild and can be either positive or negative.

Brands can evoke strong emotions that are easily accessible when products are consumed or used. With their brands, more companies are trying to tap into consumer emotions. Brand-building emotions include warmth, fun, excitement, security, social approval, self-respect, and warmth.

Consumers should also be able to access and think about the brand’s responses. Only positive brand perceptions and feelings can influence consumer behavior to build a strong brand.

Brand Resonance

The last step in the model is about the final relationship and level of identification the customer has with the brand. Brand resonance is the relationship between customers and the brand. Harley-Davidson, Apple, and eBay are just a few examples of brands that have had a long history of high resonance.

The intensity of brand resonance is measured in terms of how deep customers feel a connection with the brand. Brand resonance can be broken down into four categories.

  • Behavioral loyalty
  • Attitudinal attachment
  • Sense of community
  • Active engagement

Brand resonance and the relationships that consumers have with brands are based on two dimensions: intensity or activity. Intensity is a measure of the strength of the emotional attachment and sense of community. Activity measures how often the consumer uses and buys the brand. It also indicates whether they engage in other activities that are not directly related to consumption and purchase.

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