A very important marketing concept is going to be considered in this essay. In particular, sources of brand association, as well as a brand’s mental gap, will be analyzed. It is expected to report on the strength, favorability, and uniqueness of the resulting brand associations as well as present the brand’s mental map. The following brand has been chosen for analysis – Coca-Cola. Taking into account the purpose of the research and significance of the brand, the essay is going to have the following structure: introduction, the reasoning of selection of the brand, importance of brand association, brand association research task, and conclusions.
First of all, the choice of the brand should be explained. Coca Cola has been chosen because of a range of reasons:
- It is one of the most well-known brands in the world. That is why it is interesting to analyze it;
- Coca-Cola Company has been always successful. Probably, effective development and promotion of the brand are some of the keys to success. Such experience should be studied and deeply analyzed;
- It is quite easy to get information about the company and its marketing campaigns. It is possible to compare the different opinions and approaches to the company’s marketing campaigns.
Definitions of the terms, used in the paper should be provided. One of the most appropriate definitions of the term brand association is the following.
“Brand association is anything which is deep-seated in customer’s mind about the brand. Brand should be associated with something positive so that the customers relate your brand to being positive. Brand associations are the attributes of the brand which come into consumers mind when the brand is talked about” (Brand Association).
Simply speaking, brand associations are the factors that are associated with some particular brand. On the one hand, these are the factors that differentiate this brand and this company from the other ones. On the other hand, these are some positive or negative thoughts that occur, when the brand is mentioned. Of course, these thoughts and associations may significantly affect demand on the company’s products and, respectively, its financial results. That is why it is not surprising that every company is trying to create positive associations. Importance of positive brand associations may be proved by the following words.
“Strong and unique associations are critical to a brand’s success. Yet, unless the brand faces no competition, it will most likely share some associations with other brands. Shared associations can help to establish category membership and define the scope of competition with other products and services” (Keller, Kl. 2008, 58).
Therefore, the role of positive and strong brand associations just cannot be overestimated. In the end, they contribute to the so-called brand’s equity. Definition of this particular term can be the following.
“A brand equity is the value premium that a company realizes from a product with a recognizable name as compared to its generic equivalent. Companies can create brand equity for their products by making them memorable, easily recognizable and superior in quality and reliability” (Brand Equity).
There are a lot of primary and secondary sources of brand associations. They are going to be mentioned below. Also, a definition of the term “a brand’s mental map” should be provided. A formal definition of this term is the following.
A brand’s mental map is combination of emotions, thoughts and even phenomena that are associated with some particular brand. In fact, this research has two purposes. First of all, the sources of the brand’s associations should be defined. Second of all, the brand’s mental map should be built.
Therefore, after analysis of the company’s history, corporate image, marketing campaigns and the process of development of the brands, the following sources of the brand’s associations can be pointed out:
- The brand’s style;
- The brand’s logo;
- Unique selling proposition;
- Pricing strategies;
- Distribution channels;
- Corporate image and corporate policies;
- The products’ taste, etc.
The mentioned factors or sources contribute significantly not only to the brand’s equity, but to the company’s equity in general. They create very strong and positive associations that make this product and this company unique and even a leader in this segment in this business segment. That is why it is not surprising that this brand is one of the most expensive in the world. “The ‘Best Global Brands 2012′ report shows that Coca Cola has a global value of $US77.84 billion; that’s 8 percent more than last year” (Coca Cola Still Most Expensive Brand In The World).
Therefore, after conducted analysis, the brand’s mental map can be created. It means that the main associations should be pointed out. These associations are the following: stability, success, nice taste, global character, single world, young spirit, drive, freshness, multinational company, summer etc.
As it can be seen, these associations are positive and strong. They appeal to deep emotions of people. As a result, this brand is perceived at the subconscious level. Probably, it is one of the main key to success of the company under consideration.
To conclude the following thesis should be mentioned. Brand associations are emotions, thoughts that are associated with some particular brand or company. Positive and strong associations are among the keys to success in business. That is why every company tries to develop it via marketing strategies and campaigns.
The Coca Cola Company and its brands have been considered in this paper. It has been noted that associations with the company are strong and positive. They significantly contribute to the brand’s equity. Respectively, the company’s brand is among the most expensive in the world.
Brand Association, 2012. Web.
Brand Equity, 2012. Web.
Coca Cola Still Most Expensive Brand In The World, 2012, Web.
Keller, KL 2008, Strategic Brand Management – Building, Measuring and Managing Brand Equity, International edition, 3rd end, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.