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It is useful to answer а few questions to
provide the reader and instructor with some background as to what this book
is about, how it is different from other books about branding, who should
read it, how а reader can get the most out of using the book, and how the
rest of the book is organized.
What Is the Book About?
This book deals with brands — why they are important, what they represent
to consumers, and what should be done by firms to manage them properly. As
many business executives now recognize, perhaps one of the most valuable of
а firm's assets are the brands that they have invested in and developed over
time. Although manufacturing processes and factory designs often can be
duplicated, strongly held beliefs and attitudes established in the minds of
consumers often cannot be so easily reproduced.
The difficulty and expense of introducing new products, however, puts more
pressure than ever оn firms to skillfully launch their new products as well
as manage their existing brands.
Although brands may represent invaluable tangible assets, creating and
nurturing а strong brand' poses considerable challenges. Fortunately, the
concept of brand equity which is the main focus of this book — can provide
marketers valuable perspective and а "common denominator" to interpret the
potential effects and tradeoffs of various brand strategies and tactics.
Fundamentally, the brand equity concept stresses the important role of the
brand in marketing strategies. Brand equity relates to the fact that
different outcomes result in the marketing of а product or service because
of its brand name or some other brand element, as compared to what happens
if that same product or service did not have that brand identification. In
other words, brand equity can be thought of as the marketing effects
uniquely attributable to the brand. In а practical sense, brand equity
represents the added value endowed to а product as а result of past
investments in the marketing activity for а brand. Brand equity serves as
the bridge between what happened to the brand in the past and what should
happen to the brand in the future.
The chief purpose of this book is to provide а comprehensive and
up-to-date treatment of the subjects of brands, brand equity, and strategic
brand management. Strategic brand management involves the design and
implementation of marketing programs and activities to build, measure, and
manage brand equity. An important goal of the book is to provide managers
with concepts and techniques to improve the lоng-term profitability of their
brand strategies. The book incorporates current thinking and developments on
these topics from both academics and industry participants. The book
combines а comprehensive theoretical foundation with numerous practical
insights to assist managerial decision-making in day to day and 1оng term
brand decisions. Illustrative examples and сазе studies are based on brands
marketed in the United States and all over the world.
Specifically, the book provides insights into how profitable brand
strategies can be created by building, measuring, and managing brand equity.
It addresses three important questions:
1. How can brand equity be created?
2. How can brand equity be measured?
3. How can brand equity be used to expand business opportunities?
In addressing these questions, the book is written to deliver а number of
Readers will learn:
1. The role of brands, the concept of brand equity, and the advantages of
creating strong brands.
2. The three main ways to build brand equity by properly choosing brand
elements, designing supporting marketing programs, and leveraging яесопйагу
3. Different approaches to measure brand equity and how to implement а brand
equity measurement system.
4. Alternative branding strategies and how to devise brand hierarchies and
5. The role of corporate brands, family brands, individual brands,
modifiers, and how they can be combined into sub-brands.
6. How to adjust branding strategies over time and geographic boundaries to
maximize brand equity.
What Is Different About This Book?
In writing this book, the objective was to satisfy three key criteria by
which any marketing text can be judged:
Depth: The material in the book had to be presented in the context of а
conceptual framework that was comprehensive, internally consistent and
cohesive, and well-grounded in the academic and practitioner literature.
Breadth: The book had to cover all those topics that practicing managers and
students of brand management find interesting and/or important.
Relevance: The book had to be well-grounded in practice and easily related
to past and present marketing activities, events, and case studies.
Although а number of excellent books have been written about brands, nо book
has really maximized those three dimensions to the extent possible.
Accordingly, this book set out to fill that gap by accomplishing three
things. First, the book develops а comprehensive framework that provides а
definition of brand equity, identifies sources and outcomes of brand equity,
and provides tactical guidelines as to how to build, measure, and manage
brand equity. Recognizing the general importance of consumers and customers
to marketing — understanding and satisfying their needs and wants — this
framework approaches branding from the perspective of the consumer and is
referred to as customer-based brand equity. Second, besides these broad,
fundamentally important branding topics, for completeness, а number of
specific, related branding topics are covered all through the book, such as
legal issues, brand crises, and corporate name changes. Finally, to maximize
relevance, numerous examples are included to illuminate the discussion on
virtually every topic, and over 75 Branding Briefs are included to provide
more in-depth examination of certain topics or brands.
In short, this book can help readers understand the important issues in
planning and evaluating brand strategies, as well as provide appropriate
concepts, theories, and оther tools to make better branding decisions. The
book identifies successful and unsuccessful brand marketers — and why they
have been so. Readers will have а greater appreciation of the range of
issues covered in branding as well as а means to organize their thoughts
about those issues.
Who Should Read the Book?
А wide range of people can benefit from reading this book:
• Students interested in increasing both their understanding of basic
branding principles and their exposure to classic and contemporary branding
applications and саве studies.
• Managers and analysts concerned with the effects of their day-to-day
marketing decisions on brand performance.
• Senior executives concerned with the longer-term prosperity of their brand
franchises and product or service portfolios.
• All marketers interested in new ideas with implications for marketing
strategies and tactics.
The perspective adopted in the book is relevant to any type of
organization (public or private, large or small), and the examples provided
cover а wide range of industries and geographies. To facilitate
understanding of branding concepts across different settings, specific
applications to industrial, high-tech, service, retailer, and smallbusiness
are reviewed in both chapters 1 and 15.
How Is the Вооk Organized?
The book is divided into five major parts, adhering to the
"three-exposure opportunity" approach to learning. Part I introduces
branding concepts, Parts II, Ш, and IV provide all the specific details of
those concepts, and Part V summarizes and applies the concepts in various
contexts. The specific chapters for each part and their contents are as
Part 1 sets the stage for the book by providing the "big picture" in
terms of what strategic brand management is all about. The goal of these
chapters is to provide а sense for the content and context of strategic
brand management by identifying key branding decisions and suggesting some
of the important considerations for those decisions. Specifically, chapter 1
introduces some basic notions about brands and the role that they have
played and are playing in marketing strategies. Chapter 1 defines what а
brand is, why brands matter, how anything can be branded, and provides а
historical review of branding. Chapter 2 introduces the concept of
customer-based brand equity, outlines the customer-based brand equity
framework, and summarizes guidelines for building, measuring, and managing
customer-based brand equity. The two chapters provide а useful overview of
the scope of and topics covered in the book. As such they provide an
excellent "top-line summary" for readers who want а flavor for the book or
when it is not possible to read all of the chapters.
Part II examines the three major ways to build customer-based brand
equity, taking more of а "single product — single brand"' perspective. As
background, chapter 3 develops а conceptual model of brand knowledge and
considers how it mау impact consumer response to marketing actions. Chapter
4 addresses the first way to build customer-based brand equity and how to
choose brand elements (е.g., brand names, logos, symbols, slogans) and the
role they play in contributing to brand equity. Chapters 5 and 6 are
concerned with the second way to build brand equity and how to optimize the
marketing mix to create customer-based brand equity. Chapter 5 is concerned
with product, pricing, or distribution strategies; chapter 6 is devoted to
the topic of creating integrated marketing communication programs to build
brand equity. Although most readers are probably familiar with these "4 Ps"
of marketing, it can be illuminating to consider them from the standpoint of
brand equity and the effects of brand knowledge on consumer response to
marketing mix activity and vice versa. Finally, chapter 7 examines the third
major way to build brand equity — leveraging secondary associations from
other entities (е.g., company, geographical region, person, other brands).
Part III looks at how to measure customer-based brand equity. These
chapters take а detailed look at what consumers know about brands, what
marketers want them to know, and how marketers can develop measurement
procedures to assess how well they are doing. Chapter 8 examines approaches
to measure customers' brand knowledge structures in order to be able to
identify and quantify potential sources of brand equity. Chapter 9 examines
how to measure potential outcomes of brand equity in terms of the major
benefits а firm accrues from these sources of brand equity. Chapter 10 puts
all of these ideas together to consider how to develop and implement а brand
equity measurement system.
Part IV addresses how to manage brand equity, taking а broader, "multiple
product — multiple brand"' perspective as well as а longer-term, multiple
market perspective to brands. Chapter 11 considers issues related to
branding strategies which brand elements а firm chooses to apply across the
various products it sells — and how brand equity can be maximized across all
the different brands and products that might be sold by а firm. Chapter 11
describes two important tools to help formulate branding strategies — the
brand-product matrix and the brand hierarchy. Chapter 12 outlines the pros
and cons of brand extensions and develops guidelines to facilitate the
introduction and naming of new products and brand extensions. Chapter 13
considers how to reinforce, revitalize, and retire brands, examining а
number of specific topics in managing brands over time such as the
advantages of maintaining brand consistency, the importance of protecting
sources of brand equity, and trade-offs in fortifying versus leveraging
brands. Chapter 14 examines the implications of differences in consumer
behavior and the existence of different types of market segments on managing
brand equity. Particular attention is paid to international issues and
global branding strategies.
Finally, Part V considers some implications and applications of the
customerbased brand equity framework. Chapter 15 highlights managerial
guidelines and key themes that emerged in earlier chapters of the book. The
chapter also summarizes success factors for branding, applies the
customer-based brand equity framework to address specific strategic brand
management issues for different types of products (i.е., industrial goods,
high-tech products, services, retailers, and small businesses) and relates
the framework to several other popular views of brand equity. The appendices
that follow provide five detailed саве studies on specific brand management
How Can а Reader Get the Most Out of the Book?
Branding is а fascinating topic that has received much attention in the
The ideas presented in the book will help readers interpret current branding
developments. One obvious way to better understand branding and the
customer-based brand equity framework is to apply the concepts and ideas
presented in the book. These applications could involve current events or
any of the more detailed branding issues or case studies presented in the
Branding Briefs. The Discussion Questions from the first fifteen chapters
often ask readers to pick а brand and apply one or more concepts from that
chapter. Focusing on one brand across all of the questions perhaps as part
of а class or work project — реrmits some cumulative and integrated learning
and is an excellent way to become more comfortable and facile with the book
Finally, although trite to say, this book truly belongs to the reader. As
with most marketing, branding does not involve "right or wrong" answers, and
readers should question things they do understand or do not believe. This
book is designed to facilitate your understanding of what is involved with
strategic brand manage ment and present some "best practice guidelines." At
the end of the day, however, what you get out of the book will be what you
put into it, and how you blend the ideas contained in these pages with what
you already know or believe.
Kevin Lane Keller