Discover ing Brand Equity Through
National Chung Hsing University
What a brands means to consumers is perhapsthe most important component ofbrand equity. A meaningless brand addsnovalue to the product to which it is attached. This chapter tells how to apply a psycholinguistic methodology to discover what Public affective meanings brands have for consumers. Public affective meaning istheexpressive value of the brand;this value may bearbitrarily derived, having no inherent connection with a product, service, or company. Affective brand meanings may beespecially important to marketersofparityproducts, who arecompetitors with the same essential concrete attributes and functional consequences.
As competition among consumerproducts diminishes inherent differences, consumers' capacity to differentiate products as objects also diminishes. Brands, however, with a range of arbitrary meanings, augment consumers' capacity to differentiate. Although Brandstend to by attachment to products, brands are not identical to those products. Brandsoften do not depend on the physical presence of products for the ir meanings, which are beyond the meanings of the products the mselves. Brands, as abstract entities, can acquire their own meanings to be associated with either abstract objects (products) or social objects (people). Brands, like words, are based on arbitrary, rather than inherent, associations to their referents (Osgood, 1963). Associations with brandsare increasingly abstract; they are not by the structure of verballanguage.
This application can discover consumers'perceiveddistinctions among Public ly consumedbrandsaccording to brandpersonality. The method allows consumers to define brandpersonality through the ir own words, rather than through a previously developedlist. It the n allowsthe research er to analyze data forpatterns in consumers'responses inorderdiscover those meanings specific to eachbrand