Esbjerg, Lars6; Grunert, Klaus G.6; Poulsen, Carsten Stig4; Juhl, Hans Jørn7; Brunsø, Karen6; Bech-Larsen, Tino6
1 Department of Marketing and Statistics, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 MAPP - Centre for Research on Customer Relations in the Food Sector, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University4 unknown5 Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University6 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University7 Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
Branding is important to both retailers and manufacturers in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, as both parties attempt to develop strong brands in order to improve their position vis-à-vis each other and direct competitors. But what is required to develop a strong brand? This is the question we want to answer. More specifically, we want to identify potential success factors in building strong brands, understood as brands with high consumer-based brand equity. Keller (1993, p. 2) defined customer-based brand equity as "the differential effect of brand knowledge on consumer response to the marketing of the brand." The branding literature mentions many important aspects, factors, issues, brand requirements, steps, building blocks or guidelines for building strong brands. However, these are all quite general and abstract. Given the substantial body of literature on branding, surprisingly few practical guidelines for how to build brand equity can be found. Maybe this is to be expected. After all, brand equity to an extent is based on the uniqueness of the brand. However, this means that there is little guidance for practicing managers on how to build strong brands or brand equity. The purpose of this paper is to identify potential success factors in developing strong brands and to test whether these factors can be used to discriminate between strong and weak brands. It does so through a review of the literature for potential success factors. Furthermore, to ensure that important factors have not been overlooked by the literature a brainstorming session with practitioners and researchers was carried out. Based on the literature and the brainstorming session, we present a list of potential success factors in brand development in the FMCG sector. To test the validity of these factors, they were used by a number of branding experts to evaluate 17 brands in 3 product categories.