Brand Equity

Brand equity is the conscious and subconscious perception of the value of a brand, product or service, to the individual.

  • Brand Equity and Customer Satisfaction predict Brand Loyalty
  • Brand Equity is the value that the customer associates with the brand
  • Brand Equity is tied to perception of the brand at conscious and subconscious levels
  • Behavioural intention (e.g., making a purchase, tuning in to a TV channel) is one consequence of strong brand equity


Brand Equity

When a consumer chooses between two brands of the same product, they are guided by their perception of the value of the brand to them as an individual and as a social being.

Brand equity is made up from numerous components. Some of these are industry-specific and some are general. Most academics and professionals who have researched brand equity tend to agree that it has the following components:

  • Quality
    1. This is a high quality brand
    2. This is a premium brand
  • Functionality / Performance
    1. It is fault-free
    2. It is long-lasting
    3. It is flawless
    4. It is value for money
  • Trust
    1. This brand is trustworthy
    2. I trust its new range even before I try it
    3. The brand cares about its customers
    4. The brand offering is fair
    5. The brand listens to its customers
  • Self-Relevance
    1. This brand is for me
    2. This brand fits my lifestyle
    3. This brand fits my personality
    4. I see myself with this brand
  • Brand Attachment
    1. Love it
    2. Like it
    3. Need it
    4. Crave it
    5. It is engaging
    6. The brand is part of who I am
  • Social Relevance
    1. This brand has a cool image
    2. This brand is friendly and welcoming
    3. This brand is authentic and doesn’t try too hard to be cool
    4. People talk favourably about this brand
    5. This brand helps me to show off
    6. This brand makes me belong and feel accepted
  • Commitment
    1. Advocacy – I recommend the brand to others
    2. Will buy – this is the brand I buy
    3. This is my favourite brand
    4. This is the best brand in the category

Emotion is not necessarily a separate theme but one that permeates all brand equity components. A brand must service or satisfy some basic human drive or instinctual need. These can be either at the individual level (serving some biological need) or at the social level (serving the need to fit it and to be accepted socially). Emotions can become active in a positive way when one of the above components is satisfied. However, they become negatively active when a component is not satisfied.

Emotional Themes

  • I feel satisfied
  • The brand is appealing
  • This product is amazing
  • I’m a proud owner
  • I’m passionate about it
  • I’m addicted to it
  • It’s very entertaining
  • It comforts me
  • It is surprisingly good
  • It inspires me
  • I get excited about the brand

Many of these components are not easy to measure by asking consumers directly. They require more objective techniques, such as implicit reaction time tests. Implicit measures help tap consumer perceptions of a brand by indirect means.

Brands could also be said to have brand personality traits, and these can be described through the Jungian archetypes of the innocent, the regular guy/girl, the hero, the caregiver, the explorer, the rebel, the lover, the creator, the jester, the sage, the magician, and the ruler. Each can be described through a set of attributes, and brands can be tested using implicit reaction time testing to determine which archetype they are nearest to.


Aaker, D. A. (1996). Measuring brand equity across products and markets. California Management Review, 38(3), 102–120.

Brady, M. K., & Cronin, J. J. (2001). Some new thoughts on conceptualizing perceived service quality: A hierarchical approach. Journal of Marketing, 65(3), 34–49.

Brakus, J. J., Schmitt, B. H., & Zarantonello, L. (2009). Brand experience: What is it? How is it measured? Does it affect loyalty?. Journal of Marketing, 73, 52–68.

Malmelin, N., & Moisander, J. (2014). Brands and branding in media management—Toward a research agenda. International Journal on Media Management16(1), 9-25.

Nam, J., Ekinci, Y., & Whyatt, G. (2011). Brand equity, brand loyalty and consumer satisfaction. Annals of Tourism Research, 38(3), 1009-1030.

© 2016-2021: SPLIT SECOND RESEARCH, All Rights Reserved | Developed by: Split Second Software Services Corporation