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Measuring brand association strength: a consumer based brand equity approach

Alan French (Loughborough University Business School, Loughborough, UK)
Gareth Smith (Department of Marketing and Operations, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 26 July 2013




To date, the brand equity literature has been limited by a gap in the measurement of a key driver of consumer based brand equity (CBBE). The authors ' aim is to address this gap by developing a new, consumer-based measure of brand association strength, a critical element of CBBE.


This paper, based on cognitive psychology, takes a recently developed brand mapping approach and uses its features, along with network analysis measures designed specifically by the authors for this particular analysis, to produce a novel measure of brand association strength.


Traditional network analysis measures (e.g. number of associations, density) neglect to take into account the underlying structure of consumers ' brand associations as reflected in concept maps. The authors use primary research on a well-known brand (McDonald ' s) to show that both number of associations and a modified density measure taking account of the special structure of concept maps can be used to generate an intuitive and readily understood measure of brand association strength.


The paper develops a new measure to analyse brand association strength for any given brand. As such it contributes to the methodological and practical development of the CBBE construct.



French, A. and Smith, G. (2013), "Measuring brand association strength: a consumer based brand equity approach", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 47 No. 8, pp. 1356-1367.



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Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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