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

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Dec 1, 2009
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Pages
299
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ISBN
9781439188385
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Language
English
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Genres
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.
In their efforts to become more customer-focused, companies everywhere find themselves entangled in outmoded systems, metrics, and strategies rooted in their product-centered view of the world. Now, to ease this shift to a customer focus, marketing strategy experts Roland T. Rust, Valarie A. Zeithaml, and Katherine N. Lemon have created a dynamic new model they call "Customer Equity," a strategic framework designed to maximize every firm's most important asset, the total lifetime value of its customer base.
The authors' Customer Equity Framework yields powerful insights that will help any business increase the value of its customer base. Rust, Zeithaml, and Lemon introduce the three drivers of customer equity -- Value Equity, Brand Equity, and Retention Equity -- and explain in clear, nontechnical language how managers can base their strategies on one or a combination of these drivers. The authors demonstrate in this breakthrough book how managers can build and employ competitive metrics that reveal their company's Customer Equity relative to their competitors. Based on these metrics, they show how managers can determine which drivers are most important in their industry, how they can make efficient strategic trade-offs between expenditures on these drivers, and how to project a financial return from these expenditures. The final section devotes two chapters to the Customer Pyramid, an approach that segments customers based on their long-term profitability, and an especially important chapter examines the Internet as the ultimate Customer Equity tool. Here the authors show how companies such as Intuit.com, Schwab.com, and Priceline.com have used more than one or all three drivers to increase Customer Equity.
In this age of one-to-one marketing, understanding how to drive Customer Equity is central to the success of any firm. In particular, Driving Customer Equity will be essential reading for any marketing manager and, for that matter, any manager concerned with growing the value of the firm's customer base.
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