How To Build a Powerful Brand (Part 2)

In our last article, we explained the four pivotal steps to building a powerful brand.

Also known as the Brand Equity Model, the underlying premise behind these steps is simple; in order to build a strong brand, you must shape how customers think and feel about you. Here’s a recap of the four steps in case you missed them;

Step 1: Identity – Who are you?

Step 2: Meaning – What are you?

Step 3: Response – What about you?

Step 4: Relationships – What about you and me?

As seen in the above image, to actually apply these four steps there are six fundamental building blocks, represented by a pyramid, with the ultimate goal of achieving brand resonance. The model only works when viewed as a sequence of steps that start from the bottom and worked upwards. The model needs explanation, so let’s have a look at what the building blocks mean.


Salience concerns prominence and top of mind awareness. What is the probability that your brand will be recalled early in a consumers’ purchase considerations? The key dimensions of salience are:

Depth of brand awareness – how easy can your brand be recognised or recalled?

Breadth of brand awareness – in how many different situations is your brand considered by consumers?

It’s important to note that achieving top of mind awareness is one thing, but are you doing so at the right times and places, when your customer is considering a purchase?


Performance is concerned with how well your product or service meets your customer’s needs. Performance is critical. After all, it directly impacts a customer’s experience and often determines whether they’ll engage with your brand again. When judging your own product or service’s performance, consider the following dimensions and where your offering sits:

  • Primary characteristics and supplementary features
  • Product reliability, durability and serviceability
  • Service effectiveness and efficiency
  • Style and design
  • Price


As explained in Part 1, imagery concerns how well your brand meets your customer’s needs on a psychological level and it relates to more of the intangible aspects of your brand. This is when your brand personality comes into the fold. If your brand was a person, who would they be? Does your answer to the previous question appeal to your target market?

Judgements and Feelings

Judgements and feelings deal with how customers respond to your brand. Judgements represent the cognitive response, and as touched on in Part 1, it is made up of four types that form an overall evaluation of a brand:

Quality — relates to the perception of the content and materials that the brand offers.

Credibility — is made up of three characteristics; the first is expertise. Is your brand competent? The second characteristic is trustworthiness, is your brand dependable? The third characteristic concerns likeability. Is your brand likeable?

Consideration — based on the previous two dimensions, are consumers willing to consider your brand for purchase?

Superiority — is your brand ‘better’ than competitor brands?

In contrast, feelings represent the emotional response from consumers. There six types of feelings that brand usually evoke and they aren’t necessarily positive or negative. Again, they all stem from how well you understand your customer and your own brand:

Warmth — a sense of calm and comfort.

Fun — evoking joy and happiness, think Disney.

Excitement — Red Bull fits this one nicely.

Security — Volvo is a great example that evokes the feeling of security.

Social approval — This isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Self-respect – making consumers feel good about themselves, a sense of pride and a sense of accomplishment. For example, KeepCup may make consumers feel like they’re doing the right thing and shopping ethically.


Achieving brand resonance is the desired output. The ultimate goal for any brand should be developing meaningful, long-lasting relationships with customers and ensuring that they are able to personally identify with the brand. There’s four key ways to do this:

Behavioural loyalty — think about your favourite brands, how often do you purchase the brand and how much do you purchase? Why?

Attitudinal attachment — do your customers have a personal attachment to your brand?

Sense of community — do your customers feel like they’re part of a community amongst those involved with the brand, including other customers?

Active engagement — very few brands reach this level. Are your customers actively engaging with your brand, even when they’re not purchasing?

If you consider the brand equity model when making decisions about your brand, then you’re well on your way to creating a successful, relatable brand.

Still not sure where to start with your brand?

Written by Nick Katsonis