Brand value is the sum of how much more people will pay for a brand, how often they will choose it over other alternatives, the expectations, memories, stories, and relationships a consumer has with the brand over another. It’s not just about a recognisable logo or a jingle, it’s about the resonance, feelings, emotions and consequential behaviour related to these stimuli.
Therefore consumer based brand equity (CBBE) is an integral methodology to the sustainability and performance of a strong brand as we will explore in this week’s destination 1:
NO BRAND, NO VALUE
Without creating brand value, brands are placed at a risk for being forgotten or being substituted for other products in the market at more attractive prices. Is a product without a distinct brand, really a product worth having?
It’s 2017, a new year, a new you. You’re a domestic ANU student who studies Law/IR and your new years resolution is to exercise more (haven’t we all heard this before), and to do so you need a new pair of running shoes.
Lets look at the core product attributes you desire this new running shoe to have:
- fit your feet
- be comfortable
- support you whilst exercising
Surely every brand of running shoe can deliver this basic utilitarian value for you, some perhaps better than others. But what other attributes lie in this desired running shoe of yours?
- it needs to be stylish
- recognisable and respected
These are the augmented product attributes that you desire and that deliver augmented value to you through
1 ◊ its possession and form utility you’ll gain by creating your own brand image and
2 ◊ the hedonic experiences of societal approval you will gain from your peers and reference groups.
You know which brand can do all of this for you? Nike Free Runs.
By positioning their running shoe ‘Nike Free Runs’ as a product offering superior quality to traditional sports gear, Nike facilitates an emotional response to the brand through feelings of empowerment, strength, and self-respect (point 1 ◊). And furthermore, by offering augmented value through the hedonic experiences of societal approval, feelings of confidence and satisfaction of Maslow’s need of belonging (point 2 ◊).
Nike works through Keller’s CBBE model to deliver value that augments from salience right through to resonance, by honing in on consumers’ desired states and the value associated, then delivering it though its brand value proposition.
SUSTAINING BRAND RELEVANCE
Brands are imperative in cultivating value behind a product, and while brands they are readily built, their legacies can be easily lost. The ability to be relevant within the market is integral to the value of a brand. Consequently, to stay relevant in the modern world, some brands need to be able to adapt and be flexible.
Maytag’s brand for instance in its earlier days was about being dependent and reliable, however over time with these qualities becoming more consistent through competitor’s products, their strategy needed to change. Their inability to adapt, transferable and manageable in the market meant that their brand was no longer relevant and lead to the folding of the company.
Qantas over the years has stayed consistent with its brand of being premium and being the national carrier. Though the new re-branding through their most recent logo has resulted in a possible restructure of the brand. The new typography, change of roo design and newly placed logo on the belly of the plane have had split views by on lookers. The new design plays on the need to create more resonance between consumers and the brand. Some people offer the lens that it creates a new livery behind the brand and captivates further interest (escape). Whereas others perceive it to be a superficial make over that ultimately is a mistake and can trigger backlash and reduce brand value (mumbrella). The CEO Alan Joyce stated that the design was to ensure the company sustained its brand position, whilst adapting to stay relevant in the dynamic market (adnews). It is important to note that the updated logo didn’t change the brand narrative, but rather aims to broaden their brand value and audience.
UNIQLO’s double edged sword
Let’s take a look at UNIQLO, a Japanese casual wear retail giant, who have experienced both success and failure of re-branding.
UNIQLO launched a completely new underwear brand called ‘Airism’ which uniquely incorporated several augmented functions such as breath-ability, antibacterial, odour control and contact sensation. In addition, they contracted Novak Djokovic as a brand ambassador and succeeded to promote its comfortability and functionality. Ultimately the company augmented their brand by increasing their value proposition. Success was depicted in positive reception by consumers and the Airsm brand in now a staple to their brand portfolio.
On the contrary, their attempt to become transferable through markets and expand the brand into the perishables market failed. But this was neither well received nor accepted by customers. The focus on continuing to deliver high-quality products at stable prices with the stigma of “getting what you pay for” and “low cost = low quality” surrounded the audience response. It is this price-quality inference that proved such a critical mismatch between UNIQLO and the perishables business. Consequently, the company incurred a huge deficit (AUD 2.6 billion) and they were required to suspend the perishables business.