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Brand equity is a term used to describe the benefits a company receives from marketing products under a name that consumers know and trust versus marketing those same products under a generic or unknown name. In order to determine if a brand name has any real equity in the marketplace, it is important to measure brand equity and properly assess the impact that brand has on the buying public. There are several ways to go about measuring brand equity, taking into account such factors as the market share associated with the brand, how memorable the brand is to the public, and what type of images consumers associate with a particular brand name.
One of the key elements used to measure brand equity is how easily the brand is recognized by the general public. For example, a brand name and logo that is well established and enjoys a reputation for both quality and affordability in the eyes of consumers will usually command a significant amount of market share. When research indicates that a significant percentage of consumers would be likely to try a new product marketed under the trusted brand versus creating a new brand for that product, the brand equity is said to be quite high, and the manufacturer is very likely to market that new product under that recognized brand.
Overall market share is a strong indicator of a brand being held in high esteem by consumers. Typically, that level of trust is earned over time due to a combination of high quality and affordability. In some cases, the brand will set the standard for certain goods or services, with the brand name becoming synonymous with the product, such as the brand name of a particular type of facial tissue becoming a common designation for all facial tissues whether they are marketed under the brand or not. When this is the case, a large majority of consumers are likely to reach for that name brand over all others. To measure brand equity here, sales volume will quickly indicate just how effective the brand name when it comes to moving product.
It is also possible to measure brand equity in terms of the images that the brand name and logo conjure up for consumers. Depending on the products marketed under the brand, the sight of the name and logo may trigger happy or poignant memories that in turn endear consumers to those products. Here, attempting to measure brand equity will focus on the relationships that consumers form with the products, and how those relationships prompt those consumers to continue buying those products over all others. For example, a consumer who associates a particular brand of soft drink with first summer loves, sun and fun, and carefree times is much more likely to keep buying that brand rather than switching to a different soda that is less expensive, simply because of the warm feelings the product triggers.