The brand resonance model or brand resonance pyramid developed by Kevin Keller discusses the four stages of brand building.

The four stages are Brand salience, performance & imagery, judgment & feelings, and resonance. In short, each stage has different objectives in terms of the customer conversion funnel. Therefore with a strategic approach under this model, a brand can design an IMC strategy to build brand equity.

Lets discuss the stages, objectives, and examples in each step.

The brand resonance pyramid
The brand resonance pyramid

Building brand salience

Firstly the base of the pyramid comes from salience. So think about it like your presentation card, it explains who your brand is, its category, and what need does it solve for its customers.

The goal at this level is to generate awareness as the first stage its important to develop a clear and specific message about your brand so that customers can recognize and recall it easily.

For example, It’s important that you clearly define your category and the need that you solve, it’s not the same to be competing with rum or wine; both are in the same industry but have different category hierarchy, needs, and consumption behaviors.

Best practices:

  • Create a communication program that your team can follow.
  • Message repetition. Social media ads could be a powerful tool to execute, but you could get creative and even use your product packaging to communicate.
  • Build a consistent brand image.

Developing your brand´s performance and imagery

Secondly, the next stage comes from your two factors, brand performance, and the image that it projects. Above all, here you communicate in more depth with your customers and answer the question, what are you?

During this stage the goal at this level is to differentiate the brand from competitors in a category. As a result, it’s important to provide value in your brand and pay attention to its performance as a product or service, and investment may be needed to increase customer satisfaction.

On the other hand, for the imagery it’s important to continue to build your IMC documents, have a clear brand personality, and align all brand elements and communications. For instance, for all touchpoints that customers have, they must have a similar or equal experience and look & feel.

Best practices:

  • Invest in product development and excellent customer service.
  • Continually evaluate different pricing strategies depending on your product category.
  • Define a clear brand personality around personality, tone, values, and profiles.
  • Understand the use of your brand in your customer as an experience, type of usage, or purchase situation.
  • Clearly communicate your points of parity and differentiation.

Generating judgment and feelings with customers

Thirdly on the next level, we again see two factors: judgment and feelings that your brand generates in your customers. Here the question turns to customers, what do they feel about you?

The goal at this stage is all about generating positive engagement with your customers. For judgment customers will take into consideration first the quality of your brand, secondly the credibility of its communications, thirdly if they consider your brand as an option for purchase, and finally whether they perceive superior or inferior value compare to your competitors.

In regards to feelings,  we can call this the social currency that the brand has. This comes from emotions and comes from feelings like warmth, fun, excitement, security, social approval, and self-respect. We can think of brands like Apple and Coca-Cola as success stories.

Best practices

  • Develop strong PR campaigns by holding events with the media and the community.
  • Have an active social media presence and open spaces to engage with your customer.
  • Measure your brand perception using marketing research.
  • Have an open mind and consider having a transformation advertising campaign to change or improve consumer perception.

Achieving brand resonance

Finally, the fourth stage we find resonance, we can consider it the enlightenment of the soul on branding. Here the question involves both brand and customer, How do you feel about me?

Examples of building brand loyalty
Examples of a brand that has built loyalty. Comments from the Coca-Cola Facebook Page.

The goal at this stage is to achieve customer loyalty that goes above the price and has complete consideration of your brand above competitors. Therefore, at this level, customers will become protectors of your brand do to an emotional attachment with their customers and community.

The best example for me are sports team. True fans will follow their team even in the worst of seasons, or even when it seems impossible to win.

Best practices

  • Develop loyalty programs.
  • Generate personalized experiences with customers or fans.
  • Have your brand have an active role in the community by building social programs or donations.
  • Generate engagement opportunities like brand tours. For example, visit a Coca-Cola factory, your favorite team’s stadium or, any memorable experience related to your brand.

Final ideas on brand development

To summarize, brand building takes hard work, communication, and cooperation from every department of your brand. Even when it’s a marketing department’s responsibility, success can only be achieved as a team effort. Therefore, having aligned communications oriented to create value will generate brand equity and growth for your brand.

If you want to read more about brand identity and image, please visit my last week’s post. So what are some of the brands that have built an emotional connection with you? Leave a comment below with your experience.

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash