Brand Equity

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Brand Awareness and Brand Association Mapping for IKEA

Brand Equity and Pricing
Assignment 1 – Fall 2012
Brand Awareness and Brand Association Mapping for IKEA

Brand Equity and Pricing
Assignment 1 – Fall 2012

CONTENTS

Objective3
Introduction to the problem3
Methodology and stepwise outcomes4
Preliminary Survey4
Final survey and interviews5

OBJECTIVE
The summarized objective of this exercise is twofold:
* To gauge the brand awareness (breadth and depth) of an established brand * To use elicitation techniques to map and analyze brand associations and build an associative network for the brand using 10 interviews of fellow students Introduction to the problem

For the purpose of this assignment, the brand chosen was IKEA, the international home products company that was founded in Sweden in 1943.

Brand equity can be defined as the marketing effects uniquely attributable to a brand, which can be understood through a study of the consumer’s knowledge about the brand. Brand knowledge, or its memory structure, can be conceptualized as an associative network of nodes and links, where an association consists of a memory node linked directly or indirectly to a brand-name in long-term memory – brand association.

The first dimension distinguishing brand knowledge is brand awareness, consisting of brand recognition (acknowledgement of prior exposure to the brand) and brand recall (reference to or recall of the brand-name in a situation where the brand’s utility is felt), both of which can be grouped under depth, and separately of breadth, or different use and buying situations where the brand’s utility is felt.

To test for brand associations and brand awareness, a representative sample of customers was required to be interviewed, but since the study was not statistical in nature, and as per the objective, students were chosen as the sample, and ten of them interviewed personally. For brand recognition, the brand was to be given as a cue, and associations determined, while for recall, situations were to be given as a cue, and respondents’ recall of the brand gauged (for a brand to be selected in memory-based choice, the consumer must recall that brand and fail to recall other brands that might otherwise be preferred). The brand recognition test would reveal associations, which could then be mapped into a network of nodes and links.

To elicit associations (which could be verbal or non-verbal), several techniques could be employed – Mood-boards, Object-Projective techniques, Subject-Projective techniques or direct questions about sensory associations (taste, scent, sound, images), Pre-defined lists of emotions & brand personality, Context-Specific Association techniques, and Brand Concept Maps (a combination of the above). The significant objective was to address low consciousness, verbalization, context-specificity and social desirability among other factors.

In order to cater to maximum requirements, a technique similar to Brand Concept Maps (hereafter BCM), or a modified version of the same was employed. A challenge faced was that while the chosen brand was global, it had no presence in the homeland of the authors. Also, their exposure to the brand was minimal. Conducting surveys or interviews with pre-defined lists of emotions generated by the authors could prove misleading or could bias the study. Hence, a preliminary survey was conducted on the same sample set to determine salient associations that could be used later in the study. Methodology and stepwise outcomes

The idea of Mood-boards was abandoned right at the start because this exercise requires expertise both in conducting such a session, as well as scholarly knowledge of cognitive neuroscience, psychology, etc. in order to interpret the mood-boards. In addition, it would be very complicated, tedious and time and resource-consuming to conduct such a session. Therefore, first, a preliminary survey was conducted to...
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