Measuring Sources of Brand Equity: Capturing Consumer Mindset
To measure sources of brand equity, brand managers must understand two key areas:
how consumers shop for and use products and services, and what consumers know, think,
and feel about various brands. One of the potential complications of pursuing this
knowledge is that many times consumers are unable or unwilling to access and report to
researchers their true beliefs and feelings about a brand. Qualitative methods allow
marketers to probe consumers either through direct questions or through tasks that
indirectly reveal perceptions and attitudes. Such methods, which permit a relatively
unlimited range of verbal consumer responses, include free association tasks, projective
techniques, and descriptions of a brand’s personality and values, among others. Data
gathered through qualitative research generally must be coded and aggregated before it is
Quantitative methods, which typically use numerical rating scales or rankings, include
measures of recognition, aided and unaided recall, beliefs, attitudes, intentions and
behaviors toward the brand. Image measures, brand response measures such as purchase
intentions, brand relationship measures such as behavioral loyalty and brand
sustainability can also be employed to measure consumer attitudes. Data gathered
through quantitative research can be entered directly into files and analyzed using a
variety of statistical techniques.
Ultimately, the two types of research techniques enable marketers to construct “mental
maps” that model consumers’ feelings, beliefs, and attitudes regarding a brand. Marketers
can then employ the mental maps to make decisions about their brands and develop
strategies for building brand equity.
Qualitative measures are best used to provide in-depth insight into what specific brands,
products, and services mean to consumers. Quantitative measures, on the other hand, are
particularly useful to obtain general information about consumers.
Finally, this chapter concludes by presenting other customer-based brand equity models
designed by researchers and consultants, such as Brand Dynamics and Equity Engine.