The value of contacts in promoting brand equity
Brand equity is basically related to the capacity of a brand to win and maintain loyal customers. It represents a new dimension in contemporary marketing that focuses on winning share of loyal customers to improve and preserve market share. Common experience shows that it is not enough for a brand to communicate adequately a superior performance or a more attractive image to win share from the competition. These are key elements in building up brand equity. Yet, there is one more single key element that should be taken into consideration: the kind of channels or contacts that a brand uses to communicate with its customers and prospects. Channels or contacts are not neutral conveyors of content. Rather, they add value - in a positive or negative sense - to what they are communicating. Drawing on theories and experiments in the behavioral sciences, and most importantly on psycho- physics, a tool was developed to measure the value of the contacts. A case study from Yves St. Laurent illustrates how this tool was applied in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
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