It’s how we distinguish quality from inferiority.

Branding has an enormous influence on consumer buying behaviour in developed countries. It helps distinguish quality products from cheap products, gives demographic groups a sense of cultural belonging, and can help spread awareness about important global issues such as deforestation and poverty alleviation.

A brand is composed of products, packaging, promotion, advertising, as well as its overall presentation. Branding thus is a means to distinguish one product from another and these differences may be functional, rational, or tangible – related to product performance of the brand.

Perceived quality

One of the most notable characteristics of a strong brand image is having perceived quality that is superior to your competitors. Take the clothing company Supreme for example.

The company was founded in 1994 in New York and has since amassed a huge following and admiration for their simplistic box logo design.

People purchase Supreme clothing not necessarily because their products are of better quality (they do have great products) but because they want to be associated with a brand and the image that brand portrays to the world.

That is why they will pay hundreds of dollars for essentially a brand logo, while the same quality product can be sold for a fraction of the price because there is no brand image or association.

Thus, perceived quality is not just another brand association but an association that is elevated to the status of a separate dimension of brand equity. It is found that perceived quality is of utmost importance in determining brand loyalty as well as repeat purchase. With a brand like Supreme, customers get the “perception” of quality clothing because of the elevated status achieved by wearing a notable logo or by representing a well-known and respected brand image.

Brand Equity

Building strong brands is one of the most important goals of product and brand management. Strong brands result in higher revenue streams, both short term and long term. Therefore, the stated goal of strategic brand management is to build brands that last for decades and can be leveraged in different product categories and markets.

To understand how branding effects the purchasing decision of consumers, many theories emerged with the goal of identifying the importance of branding on consumer decisions.

Brand equity as a set of assets and liabilities associated with a brand, including its name and symbol, which could impose beneficial or detrimental effects on the values arising from the products or services . Brand equity is a significant subtle asset that has psychosomatic and economic value to a firm. Brand equity is therefore reoffered to as consumer-based brand equity and defined as “the value consumers associate with a brand, as reflected in the dimensions of brand awareness, brand associations, perceived quality and brand loyalty.”

Think of ten tree apparel for example, the company has built enormous brand equity by promising to plant ten trees for every item sold. Thus far, they have planted close to 12 million trees, and consumers clearly don’t mind paying a little bit extra as they know their money is going to a great cause, and they can identify with a product that benefits humanity as a whole.

Brand Awareness

Developing brand awareness is imperative to the success of any company. Brand awareness is the extent to which consumers are familiar with the distinctive qualities or image of a particular brand of goods or services. A great example of strong brand awareness is Apple; Steve Jobs created a company that sells quality products at a competitive price, and people want to be associated with the product and thus, keep going back for more, which leads us into…

Brand loyalty

Brand loyalty is one of the core components of brand equity and also positively and directly affected by brand equity. Being loyal to a brand may not be due just to the product itself, but potentially the individuals operating the company, and the company’s corporate responsibility to the world. Thus, producing helpful products is only one part of the recipe to enticing brand loyalty; you must represent something unique, and you must inspire people to…

Associate With Your Brand

The last dimension for brand equity is brand association. According Aaker (1991), it is defined as the specific linkage between the memory and the brand. The importance of brand associations is highlighted in several studies as associations can positively influence consumer choice, preferences, purchase intention, and also brand extensions’ acceptance (Park and Srinivasan, 1994; Yoo et al., 2000). According to Keller (1998) and Yasin et al. (2007), brand equity is mainly supported by consumers’ associations towards the brand, which contribute to a particular brand image.

Consumers derive beliefs not only from direct associations to the brand but also from secondary associations (such as the country of origin of the brand, the company reputation, spokespersons personality or events), to the extent that these associations can leverage the brand. However the tangible products, the tangible qualities, for instances innovativeness and distinctiveness are also taken into account as brand association.

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