Managing Brand Equity

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The most important assets of any business are intangible: its company name, brands, symbols, and slogans, and their underlying associations, perceived quality, name awareness, customer base, and proprietary resources such as patents, trademarks, and channel relationships. These assets, which comprise brand equity, are a primary source of competitive advantage and future earnings, contends David Aaker, a national authority on branding. Yet, research shows that managers cannot identify with confidence their brand associations, levels of consumer awareness, or degree of customer loyalty. Moreover in the last decade, managers desperate for short-term financial results have often unwittingly damaged their brands through price promotions and unwise brand extensions, causing irreversible deterioration of the value of the brand name. Although several companies, such as Canada Dry and Colgate-Palmolive, have recently created an equity management position to be guardian of the value of brand names, far too few managers, Aaker concludes, really understand the concept of brand equity and how it must be implemented.

In a fascinating and insightful examination of the phenomenon of brand equity, Aaker provides a clear and well-defined structure of the relationship between a brand and its symbol and slogan, as well as each of the five underlying assets, which will clarify for managers exactly how brand equity does contribute value. The author opens each chapter with a historical analysis of either the success or failure of a particular company's attempt at building brand equity: the fascinating Ivory soap story; the transformation of Datsun to Nissan; the decline of Schlitz beer; the making of the Ford Taurus; and others. Finally, citing examples from many other companies, Aaker shows how to avoid the temptation to place short-term performance before the health of the brand and, instead, to manage brands strategically by creating, developing, and exploiting each of the five assets in turn
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About the author

David A. Aaker is the Vice-Chairman of Prophet, Professor Emeritus of Marketing Strategy at the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, Advisor to Dentsu, Inc., and a recognized authority on brands and brand management. The winner of the Paul D. Converse Award for outstanding contributions to the development of the science of marketing and the Vijay Mahajan Award for Career Contributions to Marketing Strategy, he has published more than ninety articles and eleven books, including Strategic Market Management, Managing Brand Equity, Building Strong Brands, and Brand Leadership (co-authored with Eric Joachimsthaler).

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Additional Information

Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Dec 1, 2009
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Business & Economics / Consumer Behavior
Business & Economics / General
Business & Economics / Management
Business & Economics / Marketing / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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As industries turn increasingly hostile, it is clear that strong brand-building skills are needed to survive and prosper. In David Aaker's pathbreaking book, Managing Brand Equity, managers discovered the value of a brand as a strategic asset and a company's primary source of competitive advantage. Now, in this compelling new work, Aaker uses real brand-building cases from Saturn, General Electric, Kodak, Healthy Choice, McDonald's, and others to demonstrate how strong brands have been created and managed.

A common pitfall of brand strategists is to focus on brand attributes. Aaker shows how to break out of the box by considering emotional and self-expressive benefits and by introducing the brand-as-person, brand-as-organization, and brand-as-symbol perspectives. The twin concepts of brand identity (the brand image that brand strategists aspire to create or maintain) and brand position (that part of the brand identity that is to be actively communicated) play a key role in managing the "out-of-the-box" brand.

A second pitfall is to ignore the fact that individual brands are part of a larger system consisting of many intertwined and overlapping brands and subbrands. Aaker shows how to manage the "brand system" to achieve clarity and synergy, to adapt to a changing environment, and to leverage brand assets into new markets and products.

Aaker also addresses practical management issues, introducing a set of brand equity measures, termed the brand equity ten, to help those who measure and track brand equity across products and markets. He presents and analyzes brand-nurturing organizational forms that are responsive to the challenges of coordinated brands across markets, products, roles, and contexts. Potentially destructive organizational pressures to change a brand's identity and position are also discussed.

As executives in a wide range of industries seek to prevent their products and services from becoming commodities, they are recommitting themselves to brands as a foundation of business strategy. This new work will be essential reading for the battle-ready.
The 21st century business environment demands more analysis and rigor in marketing decision making. Increasingly, marketing decision making resembles design engineering-putting together concepts, data, analyses, and simulations to learn about the marketplace and to design effective marketing plans. While many view traditional marketing as art and some view it as science, the new marketing increasingly looks like engineering (that is, combining art and science to solve specific problems).

Marketing Engineering is the systematic approach to harness data and knowledge to drive effective marketing decision making and implementation through a technology-enabled and model-supported decision process. (For more information on Excel-based models that support these concepts, visit

We have designed this book primarily for the business school student or marketing manager, who, with minimal background and technical training, must understand and employ the basic tools and models associated with Marketing Engineering.

We offer an accessible overview of the most widely used marketing engineering concepts and tools and show how they drive the collection of the right data and information to perform the right analyses to make better marketing plans, better product designs, and better marketing decisions.

What's New In the 2nd Edition

While much has changed in the nearly five years since the first edition of Principles of Marketing Engineering was published, much has remained the same. Hence, we have not changed the basic structure or contents of the book. We have, however

Updated the examples and references. Added new content on customer lifetime value and customer valuation methods. Added several new pricing models. Added new material on "reverse perceptual mapping" to describe some exciting enhancements to our Marketing Engineering for Excel software. Provided some new perspectives on the future of Marketing Engineering. Provided better alignment between the content of the text and both the software and cases available with Marketing Engineering for Excel 2.0.
Quality work that fosters job satisfaction and health enjoys top priority in industry all over the world. This was not always so. Until recently analysis of job attitudes focused primarily on human relations problems within organizations. While American industry was trying to solve the unsolvable problem of avoiding interpersonal dissatisfaction, problems with the potential for solution, such as training and quality production, were ignored. When first published, The Motivation to Work challenged the received wisdom by showing that worker fulfillment came from achievement and growth within the job itself. In his new introduction, Herzberg examines thirty years of motivational research in job-related areas. Based on workers' accounts of real events that have made them feel good or bad on the job, the findings of Herzberg and his colleagues have stimulated research and controversy that continue to the present day. The authors surprisingly found that while a poor work environment generated discontent, improved conditions seldom brought about improved attitudes. Instead, satisfaction came most often from factors intrinsic to work: achievements, job recognition, and work that was challenging, interesting, and responsible. The evidence marshaled by this volume called into question many previous assumptions about job satisfaction and worker motivation. Feelings about intrinsic and extrinsic factors could not be validly averaged on a single scale of measurement. Motivation and performance are not merely dependent upon environmental needs and external rewards. Frederick Herzberg and his staff based their motivation—hygiene theory on a variety of human needs and applied it to a strategy of job enrichment that has widely influenced motivation and job design strategies. Motivation to Work is a landmark volume that is of enduring interest to sociologists, psychologists, labor studies specialists, and organization analysts.
In this long-awaited book from the world's premier brand expert and author of the seminal work Building Strong Brands, David Aaker shows managers how to construct a brand portfolio strategy that will support a company's business strategy and create relevance, differentiation, energy, leverage, and clarity. Building on case studies of world-class brands such as Dell, Disney, Microsoft, Sony, Dove, Intel, CitiGroup, and PowerBar, Aaker demonstrates how powerful, cohesive brand strategies have enabled managers to revitalize brands, support business growth, and create discipline in confused, bloated portfolios of master brands, subbrands, endorser brands, co-brands, and brand extensions.

Aaker offers readers step-by-step advice on what to do when confronting scenarios such as the following:

• Brands are underleveraged

• The business strategy is at risk because of inadequate brand platforms

• The business faces a relevance threat caused by emerging subcategories

• The firm's brands are tired and bland

• Strategy is paralyzed by a lack of priority among the brands

• Brands are cluttered and confusing to both customers and employees

• The firm needs to move into the super-premium or value arenas to create margin or sales volume

• Margin pressures require points of differentiation

Renowned brand guru Aaker demonstrates that assuring that each brand in the portfolio has a clear role and actively reinforces and supports the other portfolio brands will profoundly affect the firm's profitability. Brand Portfolio Strategy is required reading not only for brand managers but for all managers with bottom-line responsibility to their shareholders.
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