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Making the Most of Your Brand: Leveraging Brand Equity Through Branding Strategies

In this article (our finale!), we complete our four-part series on brand equity, suggesting how a firm that has established equity in a brand can leverage that equity through branding strategies such as brand and line extensions, co-branding, and licensing.

Just in case you missed it, or in case you'd like a review of where this article fits into our series, here's a quick summary: Our first article defined a number of branding terms—so if you are confused about what any of the terms in this article mean, please check out that article. Our second article developed a measure of brand equity. If you are confused about what we mean by brand equity and how we think brand equity can be measured, check out that article. In our third article, we focused on customers' emotional attachment to a brand and suggested that it is the key to developing brand equity. We suggested that emotional attachment is something that exists in consumers, but is created by your marketing efforts—that is, efforts that help consumers understand what the brand stands for, how responsive it can be to their needs, and that it can be trusted.

When consumers believe that a brand is responsive and trusted, they become emotionally attached to it; and when they become emotionally attached to it, they become committed to it—emotionally and behaviorally—and they invest something of themselves, their reputation and their time in the brand.

Commitment and investment are crucial because they affect brand equity—that is, the worth of the brand as revealed by its efficiencies in attracting and retaining customers.

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