Brand & Butter Blog

You are what you consume

CBBE Model: How To Build A Strong Brand

Posted by Brand and Butter on January 26, 2010

Strong brands are important.

The challenge  is to build a brand that is strong, unique and favourable – a brand that evokes positive, emotional feelings. A brand where customers react and experience positively to the brand’s product/services/ideas/people.

We need to create a brand that evokes the desired positive knowledge structures: thoughts, feelings, images, perceptions, attitudes.

But how do we build one?

Building a brand isn’t as easy as it sounds, but there is a marketing model providing guidance for brand building, called the customer-based brand equity model (CBBE model).

The basic premise of the CBBE model is that the power of a brand resides in the minds of its customers. The CBBE model acts as a branding ladder, or building blocks to guide a firm’s marketing programs.

Below is a diagram of the Customer-Based Brand Equity Model (CBBE model):

CBBE: Customer-Based Brand Equity Model


Start from the base of the pyramid and work your way up, building the blocks of a strong brand.

Step 1: Salience talks about Brand Awareness (depth and breadth)

Identity – Ensure customers can identify the brand and can associate the brand with a specific product class or need.

Depth of brand awareness: how likely the brand will spring to mind (recognition and recall) much the customer knows your brand when they see/hear about it

Breadth of brand awareness: when the customer thinks about your brand, and the range of purchase/usage situations in which the brand comes to mind.

Step 2a. Performance (2, 3, 3, 2, 1)

Meaning – Establish meaning to the brand so that when customers think of the brand, they strategically link both tangible and intangible brand associations with the brand.

Performance dimensions:

1a primary characteristics

1b secondary features

2a product reliability

2b durability

2c serviceability

3a service effectiveness

3b service efficiency

3c empathy

4a style

4b design

5 price

Step 2b. Imagery

User profiles, purchase and usage situations, personality and values, history, heritage and experiences.

– usually intangible aspects of the brand

– can be formed directly; via own experiences

– can be formed indirectly; via external marketing communications, advertising, word-of-mouth

4 Main Intangibles:

1. User profiles: person (demographic such as age, gender, race, income; psychographic such as careers, attitudes towards life, social issues) or organisations (size and type e.g. “caring”)

2. Purchase and usage situations: channel type (department store, online, boutique); location (inside or outside home), activity during usage (formal or informal, dine-in or takeaway)

3. Personality and values: brand acts like a person e.g. modern, sophisticated, angry like Hungry Jack’s angry Angus Burger. Consumers often choose brands that they perceive and aspire themselves to be like so the brand personality is consistent with their own self-concept; otherwise, consumers who are “self-monitors” will be sensitive to how others see them, so will more likely choose brands whose personalities fit the consumptiong situation.

4. History, heritage and experiences: brands may use associations to relate to consumers’ recollections of personal or shared experiences. Brands can become iconic by using these experiences to tap into consumers’ hopes and dreams. e.g. L’Oreal use spokespeople from all ages (20s, 30s, 40, 50s, 60s) for each of their products to tap into each market segment. By doing this, L’Oreal is combining the experience from women of all ages who can share together their knowledge and personal experience with the brand. Also, the history behind the company, and the endorsements that these spokepeople make create a sense of hope and dream that one day a consumer who uses L’Oreal can aim to be like these spokemodels and feel like they are “worth it”.

Step 3a. Judgment

Responses – Gauge customer responses to the brand identification and brand meaning.

Brand judgments are personal opinions and evaluations about the brand.

Judgment dimensions: quality, credibility, consideration, superiority

Step 3b. Feelings (strong and favourable)

Feelings dimensions: warmth, fun, excitement, security, social approval, self-respect

Step 4. Resonance (intense and active)

Relationships – Convert the brand response to create intense, active loyalty relationship between the customer and the brand.

Loyalty, Attachment, Community, Engagement


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