Measurement of brand equity is one way to ensure that a brand is strong enough to continue to fulfil its essence. Brand health measurement can happen by way of testing consumer recall and attributed meaning which can be done using perception audit.
Another approach is through evaluation of financial strengths and ROI over time, as a measure of financial growth or decline, and ability to earn and distribute both tangible and intangible values of the brand.
David Aaker, described as the father of modern branding, defined brand equity in 1991 as: “a set of assets and liabilities linked to a brand, its name, and symbol that adds to or subtracts from the value provided by a product or service to a firm and/or to that firm’s customers.”
In his Brand Equity Model, David Aaker identifies five brand equity components that are critical to every brand’s health, and these are 1) brand loyalty 2) brand awareness 3) perceived quality 4) brand associations and 5) other proprietary assets such as brand loyalty, name awareness, perceived quality and associations.
Using the model developed by David Aaker, it is practical to measure the brand equity impact of the recent sensational donation by David Adeleke aka Davido, Nigeria’s foremost celebrity music maker, the young but highly cerebral artist who was able to raise N200 million within 72 hours just by playfully asking his teeming fans for donation.
Using David Aaker’s model, on the scale of brand loyalty, Davido can be said to enjoy strong brand loyalty, which is mainly defined by trust and assurance (no pun intended) evident in the overwhelming willingness to donate to a cause without asking for evidence or proof of what the fund or donations would be used for. This also rubs off on the brand image and benefits associated with the Davido Brand.
On the scale of brand awareness, there was a lot of talk-ability and share-ability around this stunt which leveraged the existing knowledge of the personality of Davido. It rode on the back of overwhelming social media followership with a youth-centric culture of tell-one-to-tell-all. This escalated and became the most talked-about issue within the week across all social media and mainstream media platforms. That level of awareness comes from an already well-established positive brand name recognition which Davido enjoys, supported by the quality and consistency of his artistry.
On the scale of perceived quality, Davido’s personality and performances are judged as some of the best in Africa and indeed around the world. The sense of perceived and real quality assures the consumers or his fans, in this case, that there exists no slim chance of experiencing any disappointment or failure with the brand, given the young man’s track record in his highly accomplished musical career. Reputation wise, this meant that trust and confidence in the quality of Davido’s brand were enough to significantly influence the response and decision to donate and contribute to his cause.
On Brand Association, which is the scale four of brand equity valuation, it was clear that some other socially and ‘economically’ strong brands were eager to associate with the Davido Brand, such as Don Jazzy, Femi Otedola, Obi Cubana (arguably the most talked-about social media personality at the moment) and other well-known brand names demonstrated well-founded enthusiasm to stake their brand equity on the Davido Brand. It proves the point that the Davido Brand shares the right association.
What lessons can companies learn from this?
Businesses can nurture their brand profile and health to attract consistent and positive goodwill. This can be driven by awareness level, perceived and real quality service or products, customer trust and loyalty, and leveraging the right associations. Secondly, businesses can leverage the right social influencers with strong brand equity to raise funds and support a cause and social projects with the right social impact. CSR objectives can be aligned to the existing brand equity of celebrities and influencers who have earned the trust and confidence of their followers and fans.
Victor Ikem is managing director, Conversation Media Limited (a leading brand strategy & communications company based in Lagos).