Measuring Sources of Brand Equity and Consumer Mindset21/08/2020
Most evaluations of Brand Equity involve utility estimation. Specifically, we attempt to measure the value (utility) of a product’s features and price level and also measure the overall utility of a product when including brand name. The difference between total utility and utility of the product features is the value of the brand.
According to a customer-based brand equity perspective, the indirect approach to measuring brand equity attempts to assess potential sources for brand equity by measuring consumer mindset or brand knowledge.
The indirect approach is useful in identifying what aspects of the brand what aspect of the brand knowledge may potentially cause the differential response that creates brand equity in the marketplace. Because any one measure typically only captures one particular aspect of brand knowledge, multiple measures need not to be employed to account for the multi-dimensional nature of brand knowledge:
Brand awareness can be accessed through a variety of aided and unaided memory measures that can be applied to test brand recall and recognition; brand image can be assessed through a variety of qualitative and quantitative techniques. We next review several these various approaches.
Qualitative Research Techniques
There are many different ways to uncover and characterize the types of associations linked to the brand. Qualitative research techniques are often employed to identify possible brand associations and sources of brand equity. Qualitative research techniques are relatively unstructured measurement approaches whereby range possible consumer responses are permitted.
Consider the following three qualitative research techniques that can be employed to identify source of brand equity.
(i) Free Association
The simplest and often most powerful way to profile brand association
involves free association tasks whereby subjects are asked what comes to mind when they think of the brand without any more specific probe or cue than perhaps the associated product category (e.g. “what does the Relox name mean to you?” or “Tell me what comes to mind when you think of Rolex watches.”)
(ii) Projective Technique
Uncovering the sources of brand equity requires that consumers’ brand knowledge structures be profiled as accurately and completely as possible. Unfortunately, under certain situations, consumers may feel that it would be socially unacceptable or undesirable to express their true feelings.
Projective techniques are diagnostic tools to uncover the true opinions and feelings of consumers when they are unwilling or otherwise unable to express themselves on these matters.
(iii) Ethnographic and Observational Approaches
Fresh data can be gathered by directly observing relative actors and settings. Consumers can be unobtrusively observed as they shop or as they consume products to capture every shade of their behavior. Marketers such as Procter & Gamble seek consumers’ permission to spend time with them in their homes to see how they actually use and experience products.
Quantitative Research technique
Although quantitative measures are useful to identify and characterize the range of possible associations to a brand, more quantitative portrait of the brand often is also desirable to permit more confident and defensible strategic and tactical recommendations.
Quantitative research typically rings out some type of verbal responses from consumers, quantitative research typically employees various types of scale questions so that numerical representations and summaries can be made.
Quantitative measures are often the primary ingredient tracking studies that monitor brand knowledge structures of consumers overtime.
Brand awareness is related to the strength of a brand in memory, as reflected by consumers’ ability to identify various brand elements (i.e., the brand name, logo, symbol, character, packaging, and slogan) under different conditions.
In short recognition processes require that consumers be able to discriminate a stimulus a word, object, image, etc. as something they have previously seen. Brand recognition relates to consumers’ ability to identify the brand under a variety of circumstances and can involve identification of any of the brand elements.
Brand recall relates to consumers’ ability to identify the brand under a variety of circumstances. With brand recall, consumers must retrieve the actual brand element from memory when given some related probe or cue. Thus brand recall is a more demanding memory task than brand recognition because consumers are not just given a brand element and asked to identify or discriminate it as one they had or had not already seen.
Brand Awareness is an important first step in building brand equity, but usually not sufficient. For most customers in most situations, other considerations, such as the meaning or image of the brand, also come into play. One vitally important aspect of the brand is its image, as reflected by the associations that consumers hold toward the brand. Brand associations come in many different forms and can be classified along many different dimensions.