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Customer Based Brand Equity

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In today’s digital world your customers are the one driving your business to success. In order to build a strong brand, a business needs to understand and know how a customer thinks. You should be able to view your brand from a customer’s perspective; how they feel about your product/service? 

Customer-Based Brand Equity is based on the idea of building a customer’s journey full of positive experiences around your brand. That is to say, CBBE or customer-based brand equity shows how customer’s attitudes towards a brand can impact the success of a brand.

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What is the Customer-Based Brand Equity Model?

The Keller Model of CBBE, created by Professor of Marketing Kevin Lane Keller, is one of the best-known and most-used concepts of customer-based brand equity. The Keller Model is a pyramid with Brand Identity at its base and moving upward to Resonance. It moves from showing how to establish the foundation and to the last stage where customers have a positive relationship with your brand and advocate for it.

90% of customers claim that ‘word-of-mouth’ has a high influence on their purchase making decision. Customer-based Brand Equity is highly valuable when utilized effectively to make a big impression on the success of the brand.

CBBE is built around five elements that influence a customer’s perspective about a brand: performance, value, social image, trust, and commitment. Brands should build their foundation to help customers positively associate their brand with these 5 elements. When your customers have a strong relationship with your brand, you can expect positive brand equity. 

  • Establish a relationship with the needs of your customers. Offer products that customers feel are the best deal for their needs. 
  • After the customer gets comfortable with your product, you should provide quality and reliable service. This will help you imprint your brand in the mind of your customers. 
  • The last stage of the pyramid is to create an emotional connection with your customers, thus establishing a strong relationship between the brand and customers.
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The Keller Model of Customer-based Brand Equity

The Keller Model of Customer-Based Brand Equity is divided into four stages. 

  • Brand Identity: Who are you? Establish brand awareness
  • Brand Meaning: What are you? Create suitable brand meaning with strong and unique associations
  • Brand Response: What do I feel about your response? Encourage positive response from your customer by making yourself accessible
  • Brand Relationship: What about You and Me? Establish a relationship with customers based on loyalty

Brand Identity: 

Your brand identity makes you different from the rest. This is how your customers recognize you and tell you apart from other brands. By creating an Identity, you are also creating Brand Awareness. 

This is the first step and the foundation of Customer-based Brand Equity. You have to start building it by targeting customers when they are still unaware of your products and services. 

Brand awareness has two dimensions, depth, and breadth. 

  • Depth of brand awareness refers to the customer’s ability to recognize the brand. 
  • The breadth of brand awareness refers to the customer’s consumption habits. 

Brand Meaning: 

After completing the first step, that is, capturing the attention of customers, your next step should be to provide customers with information about products and services. Feed your customers with knowledge about the brand, such as problems you can solve, usage of products, etc. 

Creating your Brand Meaning refers to the characteristics of the brand that customers should associate the brand with. Brand Performance and Imagery are two characteristics that customers associate the brand with, in their mind. 

Brand Performance: This refers to how well your products can meet your customer’s needs. Sub-categories, the brand performance consists of, product reliability, durability, serviceability, service effectiveness, efficiency, empathy, price, etc.

Brand Imagery: This characteristic refers to how your brand successfully meets customer’s needs on a psychological and social level. 

The brand meaning gives your customers an idea to understand what they will get from your brand if they approach your brand. 

Brand Response: 

The brand response involves the way your customers react to your brand after their interaction or purchase. It refers to what your customer base thinks and feels about your brand. 

There are two categories that customers’ response fall under:

Brand judgment– refers to customers’ opinions and evaluation about the brand. It involves the customer’s judgment about the credibility, consideration, superiority, and quality of the products/services.

  • Credibility shows of the brand deliver what it claims. 
  • Consideration helps customers judge how relevant the product or service is to their needs.
  • Superiority allows the customers to assess how unique your brand is compared to others.
  • Quality allows customers to judge products or services based on their actual quality.

Brand Feeling– This is associated with customers’ emotional response towards your brand. There are six brand feelings, warmth, fun, excitement, self-respect, social approval, and security.

Customers are happy with a brand when the brand meets their expectations. Happy customers lead to recommendations and positive reviews across the market. 

Brand Resonance: 

It reflects the nature of the relationship that customers and brands develop. This is the most difficult step to complete. Customers have created a strong emotional and psychological bond with the brand. Customers who become loyal to the brand will advocate for the brand and not look for any other brand.

Categories of brand resonance and Keller breaks it are, behavioral loyalty, attitudinal attachment, sense of community and active engagement. 

  • Behavioral loyalty refers to the customer’s purchase habit 
  • Attitudinal attachment refers to the love your customers feel toward your brand
  • Sense of community refers to the connection customers feel towards other customers who use your brand
  • Active engagement refers to how engaged customers are with your brand despite not buying from it

Your customers love your brand and look forward to purchasing from you. They engage with the brand and participate in any events organized by the brands. Customers at this stage cherish the relationship with your brand. They recommend and advocate for your brand to their acquaintances to share their positive experiences with the brand.

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Brand Equity: This showcases the worth of a brand, that is, the value a product gains after branding. 

Customer Equity: This refers to the values that are important to the customers. It shows how a customer’s attitude towards a brand can influence the brand’s success.

To build a Customer-based Brand Equity you can refer to the four categories of the Keller Model:

  • Brand Identity: Build awareness of your brand
  • Brand Meaning: Highlight what your brand stands for to your customer
  • Brand Response: Help guide how customers think about your brand

Brand Resonance: Build a strong bond/connection with your customers

CBBE is the acronym for Customer-Based Brand Equity. The Keller Model of CBBE is also called the CBBE pyramid. Kevin Lane Keller built the model and divided the process of creating a successful brand into four steps: Identity, Meaning, Response and Resonance. Keller published this concept on Strategic Brand Management.

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