Thursday, March 4, 2010

Brand Equity

According to Armstrong and Kotler, brand equity is the positive differential effect that knowing the brand name has on customer response to the product or service. (Armstrong & Kotler, 211) Brands with high equity rate win in the marketplace not simply because they deliver unique benefits or reliable service. Rather, they succeed because they forge deep connections with customers. There are four consumer perception dimension to score the brand equity: differentiation (what makes the brand stand out), relevance (how consumers feel it meets their needs), knowledge (how much consumers know about the brand), and esteem (how highly consumers regard and respect the brand). Thus, these brands must be distinct.

An example of a brand with a high equity is Christian Louboutin. Christian Louboutin is a footwear designer who launched his line of high-end women's shoes in France in 1991. Since 1992, his designs have incorporated the shiny, red-lacquered soles that have become his signature. Referring to the four consumer perception of brand equity, Louboutin fulfills all four factors. With shiny, red-lacquered soles and high stillettos that differentiate Louboutin from other posh and luxurious shoe brands, Louboutin has lured women all over the world who deemed themselves to be brand conscious consumers, wearing only and only high-end fashion brand shoes.

In terms of the relevance power, Louboutin carries a high level of satisfaction that meets women's needs when living their expensive lifestyle standard and simultaneously, showing power as they go out and about socializing. Additionally, Louboutin has done a great job in endorsing their brands by attracting celebrities to get to throw their Loubs on when attending special occasions, such as in movie premiere events, gala dinner, etc. This concept sinks into customers' mind that by putting on their Loubs, they are as classy and fancy as they could be. Alas, the better off the name of the French red clogs will be.

As of the knowledge factor of the brand equity, Christian Louboutin has a strong background and qualifications of shoes, who then finally in 1992 opened his flagship store in Paris. The fact that his first store showed up based off of Paris, a city known best with its glamour fashion brands (Hermes, Chanel, Dior, and Vuitton, to name a few), has furthermore added valuable points in the eyes of target consumers. The joy of owning and walking in their Loubs makes women feel more respectable, that this feeling puts a personal integrity value atop of $800 - $1000 Louboutins' price range. Consumers clearly regard and respect the brand that they are willing to spend that much money out of their pocket to be able to feel the mental power Louboutins offer. It is not over-exaggerating to say that Christian Louboutin has built a deep connection with both its current and prospective consumers.

Clairine B. Runtung
Section G


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