What is Leveraging Secondary Brand Association to Build Brand Equity

There are many direct ways to create strong brand equity. Marketing strategies can be designed to aim and cater to different brand elements such as the logo, style, symbols, etc. Additionally, a lot of marketing efforts go toward the product, price, and the distribution network.

These direct marketing approaches are focused on the features of product categories and the product itself. Furthermore, a lot of time goes on structuring the price range, choosing the best distribution channels, and of course, reaching the right customers with your marketing efforts.

How you reach your customers is entirely up to you. However, some channels have more advantages than others. For example, television ads are a great way to reach a broad audience. You can also throw some promotional efforts into your marketing mix. These marketing approaches are well known and often used. But how do you accomplish successful brand building for brand extensions?


Brand Building for Brand Extensions

Brand building for brand extensions is easier than starting from scratch. You can use existing knowledge. Furthermore, you can also use the positive brand awareness that the parent brand already has. That gives you a running start. In other words, you can leverage secondary brand association in your favour and establish strong brand equity.

You have more than one option when it comes to taking advantage of the benefits that the parent brand brings. You can associate your brand extension with existing distribution channels and companies and target the same areas as the parent company. Furthermore, you can use brand ambassadors or sponsorship events to draw on the positive brand image.


Secondary Brand Associations

Secondary brand associations sometimes play a crucial role. For example — if the consumers aren’t aware of your brand extension. In that case, the consumers will be indifferent. However, existing knowledge of the parent brand can make them more aware and more open to your extension. This is called knowledge transfer, and every brand extension can benefit from it.

Prior Knowledge

Therefore, associating your brand extension with your corporate brand should be your first step. Take Nokia for example. As a well-known phone manufacturer, they didn’t want to miss out on transferring that knowledge when they introduced a new product category — Nokia 3G Booklets.

Country of Origin

It’s important to associate your new brand extension with memorable, impactful elements like the country of origins. Here’s one example. The BMW associates their brand heavily with Germany. In the automotive world, Germany stands for reliability, effectiveness, and durability. Therefore, it’s only natural that the BMW wants to be associated with those terms.

Distribution Channels

Brand extensions can benefit from already penetrated markets. The parent companies that have a stronghold and have already breached one market segment can use that to their advantage for their brand extensions. However, this doesn’t work in every case. If your brand extension doesn’t cater to the same segment, it won’t benefit from the efforts of the parent company.


Co-Branding and Secondary Brand Associations

You can also align your brand extension with a different company. This is co-branding, and it involves joining forces with other companies within the same product category. The perfect example is the Star Alliance. This alliance consists of sixteen different airline companies.

Co-branding is beneficial because it decreases the overall cost. Introducing your new brand is much cheaper with co-branding. Furthermore, it’s much easier to position such an alliance on the market.

However, co-branding is far from perfect. The number one problem is that you lose control over the development process, at least to a certain degree. Moreover, you might also get lost in the crowd, so to say.


Brand Visuals and Partners as Secondary Brand Associations

Popular Brands

You can also use visuals like logos and symbols to your advantage. What’s more, they don’t have to be your own — you can partner up with another brand. Take Sony’s console with Star Wars characters as an example. Sony’s looking to raise the awareness of their new product by using brand awareness from Star Wars.

However, like anything else, this strategy isn’t perfect. Some brands can stand the test of time — others can’t. So choose the brands you partner up with carefully, as their popularity might be fleeting (take the Twilight franchise as an example). If you choose poorly, you’ll have to do another round of brand partnering.


Another strategy you can implement is celebrity endorsements. With the popularity of social media celebrities on the constant rise, this method is proving itself quite successful. However, just like brands, chose the stars you partner up with very carefully. You don’t want someone who endorses everyone. That will cause the consumers to have less faith in their opinion. It will, consequently, lead to a decrease in the perceived value of your brand. Not to mention fame is fleeting.

Third-Party Endorsements

You can also partner up with a third-party brand that’s relevant to your product category.

There is no single perfect strategy. What’s more, it’s often best to use a mix of approaches and marketing strategies to achieve the desired level of brand knowledge. That’s the only way to create strong brand equity.