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Improving Brand Equity

through Public Relations


Gheorghe-Ilie Farte Ph.D.
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi

Main theses
1. Brand problem is relevant solely in
products world;
2. Brand is a relational reality created to
identify, differentiate and overvalue a
(class of) product;
3. (Customer-based) brand equity is the
differential effect of brand knowledge on
consumer response to the marketing of the
brand;
4. PR practitioners can improve brand equity
by timeliness, adaptability, credibility, cost
efficiency, mobility, versatility, penetrating

What is a product?
anything offered to a market for
attention
buying
use
consumption etc.

and that can satisfy


a need
a want
a whim etc.

products = economic things


scarcity of external ressources
factors of production
land
labor
capital goods
entrepreneurship
human capital

free market/ exchange


correlation between cost of production
factors and price of products

Products vs. Non products


Products
I give a lecture on managing brand equity;
I buy a small vacation
house;
Company Tarom
answers to my
complaint letter;
I visited the State
Hermitage Museum.

Non products
I make a romantic
dinner for my wife;
I care for my ailing
grandmother-in-law;
My friend, Alex, help
me to repair my car;
Two lovers kissed
good-bye at the
station.

Classes of products
physical goods: bread, car, clothes, etc.
services: haircut, higher education, erotic
massage, etc.
persons: Barack Obama, Lionel Messi, Jef
Geeraerts, etc.
organizations: EU, Opus Dei, UAIC, etc.
places: Skive, Bukovina, Vlaanderen, etc.
ideas or ideologies: immortality of the
soul, right to discriminate, libertarianism,
etc.
etc.

No one can live only on


food

Every product a jumble of material and ideal


things
All actions relating to products motivated by
the urge to remove a felt uneasiness;
The demand for products widely influenced
by
metaphysical, religious or ethical considerations
aesthetic value judgments
customs
habits
prejudices
tradition

Kotlers 5 levels to a
product

Core benefit

Generic product

Fundamental want that customers satisfy by consuming the product

Basic version of the product containing only those elements


absolutely necessary to function

Expected product

Attributes that buyers normally expect and agree to when they


purchase a product

Augmented
product

Additional product attributes that distinguish the product from


competitors

Potential product

All the augmentations and transformations that a product might


ultimately undergo in the future

Brand doesnt matter if


People exchange their products within a
small isolated community;
In the same category, all products are
similar;
Customers only look for core benefits and
want generic products;
All people know the provenance of
products;
Providers, products and consumers dont
form a highly sophisticated system.

Brand problem is serious if


People exchange their products in a open
and global collectivity;
In the same category, there is a wide
variety of products;
Customers are sophisticated and look for
intangible added value;
Origin of products is obvious to most
people;
People want to belong to a special
community of consumers.

What is a brand? (1)

a marketing tool
a toy in the play room of PR practitioners
a fresh way to tell an organization's story
a retail approach to package business
issues
an unmistakable symbol for products and
services
a consistent holistic pledge made by a
company
the face a company presents to the world

What is a brand? (2)


a thing that enables customers to better
visualize
and
understand
intangible
products
a promise of future satisfaction
a name that becomes a purchase criterion
a name that influence consumer behavior
through the mental associations they create

area: expertise, goods, services, location, etc.


quality: low, medium, premium, luxury
product attributes
predominant quality of product
evoked personality factors
etc.

What is a brand? (3)


a teacher to buying
a set of added perceptions
a unique combination of physical or
intangible attributes that a product name or
logo evokes in the audience mind
a means (name, symbol, design, or a
combination of them), intended to identify
the products of one provider and to
differentiate them from those of competition

Ultimately, brand
is not solely a physical symbol (name, logo,
colors, design, etc.) or a physical product;
is not solely a noetic object (added
perceptions, intangible attributes, mental
associations, etc.);
but
is a mixture of tangible and intangible
things created to identify, differentiate and
overvalue a (class of) product
As a relational reality, a brand can be
created, protected, changed, improved, but
not sold as a whole.

The brand system (1)


(Jean Noel Kapferer)
brand concept

brand semiotic
invariants

branded
products

The brand system (2)


Brand
semiotic
invariants

trigger brand concept;

Branded
products

embody brand concept;

indicate branded products;

gives content to brand semiotic


Brand concept invariants;
adds meanings to branded product;
support brand semiotic invariants.

Brand Ingredients
Brand Name & heritage
Packaging (structure & graphics) &
signage
Brand symbols, properties and logos
Perceived quality, reliability & convenience
Defined level of satisfaction
Meaningful (premium) price/value
relationship
Purchase & usage experiences
Consumer perceptions, attitude &
behaviors
Emotional associations with the product

BRAND POWER
Brand
weight

The influence or dominance that a brand has


over its category or market more than just
market share

Brand
length

The stretch that the brand has achieved in the


past or is likely to achieve in the future

Brand
depth

The degree of commitment (proximity, intimacy,


loyalty) that the brand has achieved among its
customer

Brand
breadth

The combination of age spread, consumers types


and international appeal

Brand vision
It is not a goal, an intention, a plan or
a strategy to be the best,
but
It is an understanding of what you
can be the best at.
Avision statementoutlines what
the organization wants to be, or how
it wants the world in which it
operates to be.

Brand vision must be

inspirational and stirring


exciting
aspirational
readable
distinctive
specific
connoting superiority
bold
revolutionary

What is brand equity? (1)


a cluster of values and characteristics that
stake-holders take away from using
branded products
a set of brand assets and liabilities linked
to a brand, its name and symbol, that add
or subtract from the value provided by a
product or a service to a firm and/or to
that firms customers
a bridge between the past and future
possibilities
marketing effects uniquely attributed to

What is brand equity? (2)


common denominator to interpret the
potential effects and trade offs of various
strategies and tactics
common denominator for assessing the
value of a brand
marketing effects uniquely attributed to the
brand
the added value endowed as a result of
past marketing investments
intangible value-added aspect of particular
products (otherwise not considered unique)

Brand
Loyalty

Name
Awareness

Perceived
Quality

Brand
Association
s

Other
Proprietary
Brand Assets

Brand Equity

Provides values to customers by

interpretation or processing of
information
confidence in purchase decision

Provides values to firm by


signal and pledge of quality
level
brand loyalty

use satisfaction
assignment of responsibility to
maker
search cost reducer

prices or margins
trade leverage

risk reducer

competitive advantage
simplicity of handling or tracing
legal protection of unique
features

(Customer-based) brand
equity
is the differential effect of brand
knowledge on consumer response to the
marketing of the brand;
occurs when the consumer is familiar with
the brand and holds some favorable,
strong and unique associations in memory.
Brand knowledge
an associative
network memory model

Dimensions of brand knowledge


(K.L. Keller)
Brand awareness

Brand
knowledge

Brand recall
Brand recognition
Types of brand
associations

Brand image

Attributes
Benefits
Attitudes

Favorability of brand associations


Strength of brand associations
Uniqueness of brand associations

Definitions (1)
Brand awareness = salience of a brand;
consumers abilities to identify the brand
with a specific product category
Brand recall = consumers ability to
retrieve the brand from memory when
given the product category as a cue
Brand recognition = consumers ability to
recall previous exposure or experience
with the brand

Definitions (2)
Brand image = perceptions about a brand
as reflected by the brand associations held
in consumer memory
Attributes = descriptive features that
characterize a product
Benefits = what consumer think the
product can do for them
Brand attitudes = consumers overall
evaluation of a brand

Clarifications
It is difficult to create a favorable
association for an unimportant attribute;
The strength of associations depends on
how the information enters consumer
memory (encoding) and how it is
maintained as part of the brand image
(storage);
Unique selling proposition gives consumers
a compelling reason for buying a particular
branded product.

Managing brand equity


understanding and anticipating the needs,
desires, wants, whims etc. of the
consumer
understanding the key attributes of the
product(s)
discovering (rather than inventing) the
brands core values and abide by them
creating and cultivating an associative
network memory model

PR main goals
presenting the [favorable] public face of
an organization or individual (Jacquie L
Etang)
building a convenient framework on
organization/ organization-stakeholders
relationship/ brand etc. meaning
negotiation
creating semiotic added value

PR functions
creating trust, comprehension and sympathy
arousing attention, interest and needs
creating, cultivating or preserving
communication and relationships
creating mutual understanding and agreement
articulating, representing and adjusting
interests
influencing public opinion
resolving conflicts
creating consensus

PR tools
(favorable) news
publicity/ positive
media coverage
special events
written materials
audiovisual materials
corporate-identity materials
sponsorship
direct (engaging, robust, compelling, and
memorable) experience
valuable endorsement

PR activities
establishing and maintaining contacts with
stakeholders
investigating aspects regarding the
relationship organization-stakeholders
message writing and editing
initiating and cultivating press relations
client counseling
organizing special events
preparing public lectures
creating some communication products with
the aid of typographic, photographic or
multimedia means
professional training

PR practitioners
stimulate providers and consumers of
branded products to transact cultural
meanings
so
Brands become meaningful to consumers;
and
They are associated with a certain level of
quality, credibility, trust and satisfaction in
the stakeholders mind.

Why PR? (1) (David Drobis)


Timeliness
PR can be tied to real-time news coverage;
Adaptability
PR activities can be easily and naturally
combined with advertising, direct
marketing, sales promotion, etc. activities;
Credibility
Customers find messages delivered by a
trusted journalist more believable than
purchased messages;

Why PR? (2) (David Drobis)


Cost efficiency
PR have a good return on investment;
Mobility
PR activities can be planned and carry out
anywhere.
Versatility
By means of PR, we can build brand equity
for any kind of product, whether its a big
brand, a private label or a commodity;

Why PR? (3) (David Drobis)


Penetrating voice
PR programs (must) have a creative, intersting
twist in order to attract the attention of
customers in a cluttered media universe;
Endurance
Building brand equity is a continual process,
and it needs to be an exciting and creative
one;
Sensitivity to societal changes
Consumers are more sophisticated and more
jaded. We must speak directly to their needs,
desires, wants and dreams.

Bibliography
Aaker, David (1991). Managing brand equity. Capitalizing on the value of a
brand name, The Free Press, New York
Drobis, David (1993). Building brand equity with public relations,
Management Review 82 (5): 52-55
Erdem , Tlin et alii (1999). Brand Equity, Consumer Learning and Choice,
Marketing Letters 10(3): 301-318
Kapferer, Jean-Nol (2008). The new strategic brand management. Creating
and sustaining brand equity long term, 4th edition, Kogan Page, London
and Philadelphia
Keller, Kevin Lane (1993). Conceptualizing, measuring, and managing
customer-based brand equity, Journal of Marketing 57: 1-22
Oll, Ramn (2009). All in the timing. A framework to manage the
communication of brands, Communication World January-February: 33-35
Simpson, Soni (2003). Strategic brand management, document URL:
www.scribd.com/doc/7380064/Strategic-Brand-Management-by-SoniSimpson-2003, accessed on 02.04.2010

Thank you!