Powerful brands create meaningful images in the minds of customers (Keller, 1993). A strong brand image and reputation enhances differentiation and has a positive influence on buying behaviour (Gordon et al., 1993; McEnally and de Chernatony, 1999). A brand is a bundle of functional, economic and psychological benefits for the end-user (Ambler, 1995). Brand equity, as defined by Keller (1993), occurs when a brand is known and has some strong, favourable and unique associations in a consumer’s memory. This reflects in buyers’ willingness to pay a premium for a favoured brand in preference to others (Hutton, 1997).
The Customer-Based Brand Equity pyramid (CBBE) of Keller identifies four steps for building a strong brand. In this paper the CBBE pyramid will be applied to the brand Nike. In this branding ladder, each step is dependent on successfully achieving the previous – from brand identity to brand meaning, brand responses and finally brand relationships. The ultimate aim is to reach the pinnacle of the CBBE pyramid – resonance – where a completely harmonious relationship exists between customers and the brand (Kuhn, 2008).
Firstly, it is important that the brand identity is compatible to the kind of brand that the firm wants to build. Nike ensures that it’s swoosh is well-matched to different kinds of sports and sports attributes, for example shoes and soccer balls. Therefore the Nike brand salience is that it represents sporty people and this can be seen in the degree of sponsorships of professional athletes by means of for example clothing.
The second step establishes the brand meaning by linking tangible and intangible brand associations. Brand meaning is therefore characterised in either functional (brand performance) or abstract (image-related) associations. The product branch in which it operates is high segment, this is characterised by high prices, product reliability, durability and serviceability. The style is mainly focused...