Customer-based brand equity (CBBE) is used to show how a brand’s success can be directly attributed to customers’ attitudes towards that brand.
Attaining brand equity is the holy grail for an organisation’s branding team. This can be tackled in various ways, including using two models developed by brand management gurus, Kevin Lane Keller and David Aaker.We take a look at these two brand equity models.
Keller’s Customer-Based Brand Equity (CBBE) modelThe best-known CBBE model is the Keller Model, devised by Professor of Marketing Kevin Lane Keller and published in his mighty Strategic Brand Management. With the evolution of marketing, the focus of companies switched to the customer. Happy customers mean profit. Companies realised that to become even more profitable they had to go beyond simply keeping customers happy and build a strong relationship and resonance with them too. Relationships are, of course, built on strong foundations and develop over a period of time. Keller’s model is a pyramid. The stages of brand equity move upwards towards the apex and the simple brilliance of this model is that it’s easy to tell what stage the brand is at and what it needs to do to move higher. Level 1: Brand identity (who are you?) This is how customers look at your brand and distinguish it from others. It’s the most important stage and must be strong to support the rest of the pyramid above it. Brand identity builds when customers start off unaware of your products and values, then you can attract them with ad campaigns and targeted marketing that increase awareness. Level 2: Brand meaning (what are you?) When customers become aware of your brand, they’ll want to know more about it. Do its features work well? Is it reliable? Does it look good? Is the customer service good? Is it value for money? This is brand meaning and is divided into two:
- Brand performance: when a brand ‘does what it says’ and performs well over time, it will be loved and trusted (e.g. Miele, Apple, Microsoft, Virgin)
- Brand imagery: what does the brand appear to be to customers? Land Rover must appear rugged, but Kleenex must appear soft, and this messaging must come out in targeted marketing