The brand asset valuator (BAV) model measures the brand value of an organization. Developed by advertising agency Young & Rubicam, the key finding of the program was that brand value emerges only once sufficient time has passed. Put differently, brand perception develops progressively in the mind of the consumer.
Understanding the brand asset valuator model
The brand asset valuator model is the result of a research program conducted by advertising agency Young & Rubicam. The agency interviewed over 100,000 consumers in 32 countries to gauge their perception of more than 13,000 brands.
This progression is explained via four pillars: differentiation, relevance, esteem, and knowledge. In the next section, we’ll take a look at each pillar in more detail.
The four pillars of the BAV model
- Differentiation – or the ability of a brand to stand out from competitors. Differentiation is a powerful driver of curiosity, pricing power, and brand advocacy. While differentiation is a good starting point, it tends to decline as the brand reaches maturity.
- Relevance – how appropriate or meaningful is the brand to consumers? Does it meet expectations around price or convenience? The brand asset valuator model notes that there is a direct correlation between relevance, differentiation, and market penetration.
- Esteem – or the consumer perceptions of a brand. To what extent do consumers hold the brand in high regard? Esteem is driven by two factors. The first is the public perception of brand quality and popularity. The second factor considers how the proportions of quality and popularity differ from country to country.
- Knowledge – the final pillar is where all brands want to be. Here, consumers are aware of the brand and understanding its identity. High levels of awareness cause consumers to become intimate with a brand.
The brand asset valuator power grid
The BAV power grid can be used to capture the relationship between each of the four pillars. Power grids show the relative strengths and weaknesses of a brand, which clarifies strategic direction. They also help clarify the role of each element in a marketing mix.
On the vertical axis of the grid, the current strength of a brand in terms of relevance and differentiation is plotted. On the horizontal axis, esteem and knowledge are plotted. Both axes are measured from low to high, with a new brand starting its journey from the bottom left-hand corner and progressing through each pillar.
The grid is then divided into four quadrants, called pillar patterns:
- New/unfocused – describing a new brand that has recently entered the market, but occasionally an old, stagnant, unfocused, or unknown brand. Both must seek to build awareness and traction by establishing uniqueness, meaning, and personality.
- Niche/unrealized – this pillar pattern includes successfully emerging or momentum brands leading with differentiation. They experience healthy and consistent growth which eventually builds relevance, esteem, and knowledge.
- Leadership – at this point, brand leadership has been achieved with the organization enjoying increased revenue. Brand leaders display high levels of all four pillars. However, the BAV model acknowledges that most leading brands will decline if they fail to innovate and maintain a competitive advantage.
- Eroded – these brands have high knowledge but low esteem, relevance, and differentiation. That is, consumers are aware of the brand but choose to shop elsewhere. In theory, the brand then becomes old and stagnant which returns it to the first pillar pattern.
- The brand asset valuator model measures brand value as a logical progression based on consumer perceptions. The model is underpinned by extensive consumer research data.
- The brand asset valuator model is based on four pillars: differentiation, relevance, esteem, and knowledge. New brands start in the differentiation phase and progress to the knowledge phase.
- The brand asset valuator model power grid plots the relative strength or weakness of a brand. This allows the business to determine its overall brand equity and strategize accordingly.
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