The brand resonance model also views brand building as an ascending, sequential series of steps, from bottom to top. The steps are as below:
- Ensuring identification of the brand with customers and an association of the brand in customers’ minds with a specific product class or customer need
- Establishing the totality of brand meaning in the minds of customers by strategically linking a host of tangible and intangible brand associations
- Eliciting the proper customer responses in terms of brand-related judgment and feelings
- Converting brand response to create an intense, active loyalty relationship between customers and the brand.
According to this model, enacting the four steps involves establishing six “brand building blocks” with customers. These brand building blocks can be assembled in terms of a brand pyramid. The model emphasizes the duality of brands—the rational route to brand building is the left-hand side of the pyramid, whereas the emotional route is the right-hand side.
MasterCard is an example of a brand with duality, as it emphasizes both the rational advantage to the credit card, through its acceptance at establishments worldwide, and the emotional advantage through its award-winning “priceless” advertising campaign, which shows people buying items to reach a certain goal. The goal itself—a feeling, an accomplishment, or other intangible—is “priceless” (“There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else, there’s MasterCard.”).
The creation of significant brand equity involves reaching the top or pinnacle of the brand pyramid, and will occur only if the right building blocks are put into place.
- Brand salience relates to how often and easily the brand is evoked under various purchase or consumption situations.
- Brand performance relates to how the product or service meets customers’ functional needs.
- Brand imagery deals with the extrinsic properties of the product or service, including the ways in which the brand attempts to meet customers’ psychological or social needs.
- Brand judgments focus on customers’ own personal opinions and evaluations.
- Brand feelings are customers’ emotional responses and reactions with respect to the brand.
- Brand resonance refers to the nature of the relationship that customers have with the brand and the extent to which customers feel that they are “in sync” with the brand.
Resonance is characterized in terms of the intensity or depth of the psychological bond customers have with the brand, as well as the level of activity engendered by this loyalty. Examples of brands with high resonance include Harley-Davidson, Apple, and eBay.