MEASURING BRAND EQUITY
Kevin Lane Keller, Dartmouth College
What Is Brand Equity?
Brands represent enormously valuable pieces of legal property, capable of influencing consumer behavior, being bought and sold, and providing the security of sustained future revenues to their owner. The value directly or indirectly accrued by these various benefits is often called brand equity (Kapferer, 2005; Keller, 2003).
A basic premise of brand equity is that the power of a brand lies in the minds of consumers and what they have experienced and learned about the brand over time. Brand equity can be thought of as the "added value" endowed to a product in the thoughts, words, and actions of consumers. There are many different ways that this added value can be created for a brand. Similarly, there are also many different ways the value of a brand can be manifested or exploited to benefit the firm (i.e., in terms of greater revenue and/or lower costs). For brand equity to provide a useful strategic function and guide marketing decisions, it is important for marketers to fully understand the sources of brand equity, how they affect outcomes of interest (e.g., sales), and how these sources and outcomes change, if at all, over time. Understanding the sources and outcomes of brand equity provides a common denominator for interpreting marketing strategies and assessing the value of a brand: The sources of brand equity help managers understand and focus on what drives their brand equity; the outcomes of brand equity help managers understand exactly how and where brands add value.
Towards that goal, we review measures of both sources and outcomes of brand equity in detail. We then present a model of value creation, the brand value chain, as a holistic, integrated approach to understanding how to capture the value created by brands. We also outline some issues in developing a brand equity measurement system. We conclude by providing some summary observations....