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What Are the Different Sources of Brand Equity?

Osmand Vitez
Osmand Vitez

The sources of brand equity typically are either financial, brand extensions or consumer-based perceptions. Identifying and measuring brand equity allows for better income and cash flows or converting the brand equity into goodwill. Goodwill is an asset that a company reports on its balance sheet, often when purchasing another business.

Financial sources of brand equity attempt to determine a product's price premium over other products. For example, a consumer might prefer to purchase a name-brand electronic item. Even though this item costs more money than an acceptable generic product, brand equity indicates that a consumer will pay the higher price for the name-brand product. This equity comes from the business’ ability to promote its products over others in the market. Measuring brand equity often comes from looking at the money spent to achieve these consumer purchases.

A consumer might elect to purchase a name brand electronic device despite a higher price point.
A consumer might elect to purchase a name brand electronic device despite a higher price point.

Brand extensions are other sources of brand equity. To achieve this type of brand equity, a company usually must establish a financial brand equity source. After a company establishes financial brand equity, it can use brand extensions when placing new products into the market. For example, a company that sells hair dryers and experiences financial brand equity might also want to begin selling curling irons. Brand extension equity indicates that the curling irons should sell as well as the hair dryers because of the company’s brand equity.

Consumer-based sources of brand equity are the final category. This brand equity type is often the hardest one to measure appropriately. Consumers might have feelings, beliefs or other intangible attitudes toward a product. No matter what products are available, consumers will often tend to purchase a specific brand. Strong brand equity often leads to brand loyalty, which means that a company will purchase just about any good from a certain company.

Different types of brand equity are often present in the market. These include single-product brand equity, multiple products from a single company, multiple product brands or products under different names from the same company. Companies must often identify which brand equity types affect their products. Steps must also exist for a company to protect its brand equity. These measures prevent other companies from stealing brand equity or attempting to woo away a company’s customers.

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Discussion Comments


@Terrificli -- Plenty of companies have come back from scandals, horrible products and all sorts of calamity. Granted it is not easy to build positive brand equity once customers abandon a company but it is possible and we have seen that happen.

We've seen companies recover from building horrible computer operating systems by making good ones and promoting them heavily. We've seen computer hardware manufacturers bounce back in spite of churning out bad or unpopular computers.

Ah, but there is still one industry where damaged brand equity will almost always result in the demise of the company. That would be the video game industry. Once a company makes a stinker console, then it's pretty much over for that company. Want proof? You don't see Atari, Sega or Magnavox making home consoles anymore, do you? All three of those companies had very positive brand equity, released a clinker console and then got pushed out of the industry by competitors.


This all boils down to one thing -- regardless of what kind of brand equity you're talking about, a company with positive brand equity had better not take actions to ruin that. Solid brand equity is one of the most important intangible assets a company can own -- without that, a company will have a hard time competing.

And companies can decrease the value of their brand equity by doing a number of things such as making rotten products, having terrible customer service that angers people or even having irritating commercials.

Making bad products is probably the worst thing a company can do when it comes to brand equity, however. Companies that lose loyal customers due to shoddy products usually can't get them back.

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    • A consumer might elect to purchase a name brand electronic device despite a higher price point.
      By: Art Allianz
      A consumer might elect to purchase a name brand electronic device despite a higher price point.