Brand associations are vital for both consumers and marketers. They are the product liabilities and assets linked to memory. This paper analyses brand associations of Mothers’ drink. Analysis of this product is based on research carried out among three customers. Finally, the paper gives the nature and map of Mothers’ brand association.
Concept Maps have been highly recommended as an effective and efficient tool for the measurement of brand association. Through the concept map, both the consumers and marketers are able to evaluate the brands based on their importunateness. Marketers are able to determine the brands that require more effort to market their products effectively. Consequently, concept maps allow markers to see the links between the brands. Both direct and indirect links can be developed. This is vital as it helps in determining links that need to be strengthened. The brand concept also shows the strength of the association of the brands. As a result, marketers are able to determine the brands that have the most impact on their customers. Finally, both marketers and consumers are able to depict changes in the brand associations and their impacts. In organizations, concept maps are very useful for marketing success (Keller 2008, p.112).
As stated above, Brand associations can be an organization’s liabilities or assets. When a product stocks in customers’ minds with positive distinctiveness in the market, it becomes an asset. On the other hand, when a presented brand is associated with poor qualities, it becomes a liability. Positive brand associations are competitive advantages in the market. Every company fights to ebb competition pressures, and as such, wild brand promotions are carried out by marketers. Brand association is not only a tool for retaining customers but also attracting more customers.
An organization’s growth hugely depends on its outcome success, such as product quality, effectiveness, and efficiency among the users. Brand association reinforces customer’s perception of the product attributes. Through researches, scholars have demonstrated that the stronger an organization’s brand is, the more an organization is able to survive in the market. Hence, the strong brand association is a basic survival system for many organizations (Low & Lamb 2008, p.89).
High running costs are cut with strong brand association. Once customers have developed a positive attitude towards a product, little is required in terms of product promotions to retain them. As a result, organization leaders and managers need to understand how to develop and maintain their brand association because developing brand association does not only rely on internal organization processes and structures but also external factors such as the cultural setup of the consumers.
To map Mother’s brand, interviews and concept cards were applied as a mode of data collection. Data were collected randomly among three consumers. They were taken as a manageable number for the research work. Interviews were applied for additional information that could be generated from the customers, which were not included in the concept cards. Further product association information was collected from different blogs, news bulletins, and articles. Visual presentation of Mothers was made to reignite customers’ memory of the drink. This was vital to blow their full memory and enable them to provide accurate brand perception based on strengths and weaknesses. All the brand associations’ information was recorded.
Brand associations that were taken for the study were common and frequent Mothers’ brand references. The cards included “the top drink,” “quality drink,” “best produced,” “coolest drink,” and “top energy.” Strength and weakness cards were used to test the brands.
Interview cards were used to develop Mothers aggregation. The information was then recorded.
The interview was also used to reduce the chances of bias in brand associations. It allowed further in-depth discussion that was useful clarification of the respondent answers and drawing charts. Without the interviews, respondents would have simply made their choices based on the features of the cards.
The interview cards gave further information on mother’s product such as: “the top energy drinks in Australia,” “unbeaten energy drinks,” “good taste,” and “fresh taste.” The conceptualization of the consensus map was then carried out. During concept map construction, in the inner field, the strongest brand association of Mothers’ card was “top energy.” The respondents regarded Mothers as the top energy drink in the market. “Best produced drink” and “quality drink” cards followed top quality drink cards in the inner field. In the second field, the “unbeaten energy drinks” card showed the strongest aggregated, followed by “good taste” in strength. Also, respondents believed that it was a “friendly drink.” The interview cards also showed several characteristics, which were included in the third field, such as “a well market-oriented product” and “a real Australian culture.”
The following concept map was built from the cards.
From the respondents, it was clear that Mothers exhibited multiple brand associations. This shows that Mothers consumers have a lot of familiarity with the brand. This is a vital factor in influencing market demand for Mothers. Mothers’ prestige and functionality are perceived differently. From the research, Mothers’ prestige brand was found to be too tight to the customers’ concept as compared to the functionality of the brand. However, brand associations measurement differs distinctively as per customer’s familiarity with the brand. The respondents, during the interview, showed a lot of interest in discussing familiar brands than those that they are not sure of (Aaker & Day 2004, p.101).
During the research, the conclusion was made that lengthy scales were unnecessary while collecting information over new or unfamiliar brand associations. Customers were only interested in discussion of familiar brand associations. As a result, several brand associations could not be discussed by all the respondents evenly since they showed variation in brand knowledge (Low & Lamb 2008, p. 58).
While the research has been useful in drawing a conceptual concept map, it still has several downturns. The respondents’ number was small compared to the market coverage of Mothers in Australia and New Zealand. As a result, a clear picture cannot be drawn out of the research. Since our respondent was taken from the same geographical area, cultural bias might influence their choices. Further product associations information collected from different blogs, news bulletins, and articles might be mere speculations. Visual presentation of Mothers was made to reignite customers’ memory of the drink that might distract their true perception too. Finally, some of the respondents might have no experience with the other energy drinks; hence the information given might be based on assumptions rather than the reality of product comparisons.
A brand concept map is a tool that allows one to picture a full product association line. It is useful both for consumers and marketers. Through brand associations’ map, it is possible to draw Mothers drink consensus. Marketers can use the information to strengthen their product, while new customers can make their own decision based on the concept map. From the map, Mothers drink has both brand association strengths and weaknesses.
Aaker, D & Day, G 2004, Marketing Research, Wiley, New York.
Low, S & Lamb, W 2008, The Measurement and Dimensionality of Brand Associations, Fort Worth,Texas.
Keller, KL 2008, Strategic brand management: building, measuring and managing brand equity, international edition, 3rd edn, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.