BRAND ESSENCE ANALYSIS

The Method - Part I

When evaluating brand awareness, quantitative techniques are often utilized in order to measure recall and recognition. In contrast, brand image and brand essence evaluations are normally carried out using primarily qualitative instruments such as projective techniques and Laddering.

To a certain extent it is barely possible to separate quantitative and qualitative techniques; here we define quantitative procedures as those yielding "measurable" results on the depth, strength and uniqueness of brand attributes and associations. We define qualitative methods as those which describe in the first instance brand associations and the roots of brand equity such as brand personality, user profile, or functional and symbolic brand benefits.

Quantitative Techniques

In addition to traditional display techniques, tools for direct and indirect recognition measurement in other variations suited to "less than ideal" conditions are possible. For example, letters of the brand name can be omitted, as can elements of packaging or slogan.

Tools for measuring aided and unaided recall: in accordance with research objectives, recall of the brand or brand attributes can be measured with or without prompts and/or "guides."

Qualitative Techniques

There is a wealth of qualitative instruments which deliver varying contributions to the depiction of brand space and brand core.

Examples include: free association; projective techniques and personification; creative techniques; non-verbal procedures; and laddering. A description of all these techniques goes beyond the scope of this publication. However, as an especially important yet relatively unknown tool for depth interviews, laddering deserves a brief introduction.

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