Aaker Model – Defining Brand Identity (Philip Kotler Summary)

As given by former UC-Berkeley marketing professor David Aaker

Aaker Model of Brand Equity


Aaker Model of Brand Equity views brand equity as a set of five categories of brand assets and liabilities linked to a brand that add to or subtract from the value provided by a product or service to a firm and/or to that firm’s customers. Building a lasting brand equity gradually helps the organisation to demand premium and therefore higher profits in the long run.

5 Categories as per Aaker Model

As per Aaker Model; below are the categories of brand assets:

  1. Brand loyalty
    • Brand loyalty is brand’s currency as defined in Aaker Model of Brand Equity.
    • Higher loyalty helps firms to reduce marketing costs.
    • Also, loyalty is something which cannot be copied overnight by competition and therefore gives time to the firm to respond to any move by competitors.
  2. Brand Awareness
    • This is the starting point of build brand equity. All other parameters come in next.
    • Awareness help the brand to get into the consideration set while the consumer plans his/her purchase.
  3. Perceived Quality
    • Perception with respect to the product gives an extra edge over the actual product features. However, perception till proved is of no use in the long run.
    • e.g. Nokia phones were perceived sturdy and therefore the company could survive for long even without upgrading to Dual SIM phones initially and to Android phones later. However in the long run product feature play over perception.
  4. Brand Associations
    • The extent to which a brand name is able to ‘retrieve’ associations from the consumer’s brain (such information from TV advertising).
    • The extent to which association contribute to brand differentiation.
    • The extent to which brand associations play a role in the buying process.
    • The extent to which brand associations create positive attitude/ feelings.
    • The number of brand extensions in the market (the greater this number, the greater the opportunity to add brand associations).
  5. Other proprietary assets
    • Patents
    • Trademarks
    • Channel Relationships

According to Aaker Model, a particularly important concept for building brand equity is brand identity—the unique set of brand associations that represent what the brand stands for and promises to customers.

The 12 dimensions in Aaker Model

As per Aaker Model, brand identity as consisting of 12 dimensions organized around 4 perspectives:

  1. Brand-as-product (product scope, product attributes, quality/value, uses, users, country of origin)
  2. Brand-as-organization (organizational attributes, local versus global)
  3. Brand-as-person (brand personality, brand-customer relationships)
  4. Brand-as-symbol (visual imagery/metaphors and brand heritage).

Aaker also conceptualizes brand identity as including a core and an extended identity.

The core identity—the central, timeless essence of the brand—is most likely to remain constant as the brand travels to new markets and products.

The extended identity includes various brand identity elements, organized into cohesive and meaningful groups.

Read more – Core Concepts of Marketing as per Philip Kotler

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