What Is The Brand Asset Valuator Model? Brand Asset Valuator Model In A Nutshell

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.

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.

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

The four pillars are arranged under two broad categories: brand vitality and brand stature.

Brand vitality

Brand vitality describes the growth potential of a brand and includes:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Brand stature

Brand stature describes the consumer response to a brand. As such, it reflects current brand performance and is a strong determinant of brand strategy. Brand stature includes:

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.

Key takeaways:

  • 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.

Connected Business Concepts

Brand Essence

Brand essence is defined as the core characteristic of a brand that elicits an emotional response in consumers. Brand essence is unique to every business, and the most successful businesses use it to create a reliable feeling in their target audience that builds loyalty over time.

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is a measure of how familiar a customer is with a brand. The greater the brand awareness a business enjoys, the more its products and services are recognizable to its target audience, thus, in theory, augmenting its long-term strength on the marketplace. Brand awareness is a key element of an effective marketing strategy.

Brand Building

Brand building is the set of activities that help companies to build an identity that can be recognized by its audience. Thus, it works as a mechanism of identification through core values that signal trust and that help build long-term relationships between the brand and its key stakeholders.

Brand Equity

The brand equity is the premium that a customer is willing to pay for a product that has all the objective characteristics of existing alternatives, thus, making it different in terms of perception. The premium on seemingly equal products and quality is attributable to its brand equity.  

Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is about creating a mental real estate in the mind of the target market. If successful, brand positioning allows a business to gain a competitive advantage. And it also works as a switching cost in favor of the brand. Consumers recognizing a brand might be less prone to switch to another brand.

Brand Promise

A brand promise is usually one or two sentences that accurately communicates what a consumer should expect when interacting with a brand. When a business creates a brand promise, it is making a declaration of assurance. Brand promises are often seen as extensions of brand positioning statements that explain why a business exists. A brand promise then tells the consumer how a product is service is better than those of a competitor.

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Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro is the creator of FourWeekMBA which reached over a million business students, executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs in 2020 alone | He is also Head of Business Development for a high-tech startup, which he helped grow at double-digit rate | Gennaro earned an International MBA with emphasis on Corporate Finance and Business Strategy | Visit The FourWeekMBA BizSchool | Or Get The FourWeekMBA Flagship Book "100+ Business Models"