How to identify brand association and create brand equity?

To start with identifying possible brand associations and sources of brand equity we can use qualitative research techniques. These tools will give us initial insight to start understanding if our brand is being positively associated and to measure brand equity.

Let’s explore a little bit more about these techniques:

  1. Free Associations when people are asked to say the first thing that comes to their mind when they think of a specific brand, without providing any element or hint about the brand or product.

Some examples of questions that are asked in this research:

  • Tell me what comes to mind when you think of Nike?
  • What do you like best about Nike?
  • Who consumes Nike?
  • When and where do they consume Nike?

The associations that result from this technique are used to create mental maps, something similar to this.

i. Mental Maps reflects in detail all brand associations and responses for a specific target market.

ii. Core brand associations are abstract associations, like attributes and benefits, that reflect the most important dimensions of a brand. And is the basis of the brand positioning.

2. Projective Techniques, these tools help to uncover the real and true opinions and feelings of consumers at the moment they are not able (or don’t want to) express their true feelings on a specific matter. Examples of this are:

Completion and interpretation tasks, like ‘fill in the blank’ that uses incomplete or ambiguous stimuli that represent consumers’ feelings and thoughts.

Comparison tasks, that make consumers compare the brand with other objects, animals, activities, people, countries, etc.

3. Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation is a technique based on the subconscious motives for consumers’ purchase behaviors. This technique stimulates interconnected constructs that influence thoughts and behaviors. For example, consumers are asked to collect images associated with a brand, and after this, they are interviewed. Exploring the ideas in a guided conversation can reveal deep ideas, emotions, and thoughts.

4. Neuromarketing studies the brain with the objective of understanding how it responds to marketing stimuli. Understand if purchasing decisions are influenced by the brain or not, and at which level of it. If you want to know more about neuromarketing in-depth, visit this article.

5. Adjective checklists or ratings, open-ended responses, and collages help to test brand personality and values.

6. Ethnographies and experiential methods are done by researchers immersing themselves in consumers’ lifes and observing their lifestyle, attitudes, behaviors, culture etc.

These techniques cover almost all aspects of research to understand the sources of brand equity and brand positioning. There are more expensive and exhaustive qualitative researches such as ethnographies and experiential, or more quick and cheap like checklist or ratings. The use of these techniques is important when defining where your brand is in your consumer mind and where do you want your brand to be. Keep this in mind, and choose the best one that fits your budget and needs.

I hope you liked today’s “Let’s talk about…” topic; I look forward to reading your comments and positions about it!

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