Trademarks have been defined as the set of elements that identify a manufacturer or supplier of a product or service (Kotler & Armstrong, 2006). Traditionally, the main function of brands has been to simplify consumer decision-making (Lane, 2012) by acting as heuristics or facilitators in purchasing decisions. Recognized brands create perceptions and emotions in the minds of consumers (Kotler & Armstrong, 2006) and generate a differential perceived value on their part.
Hoyer and Brown’s (1990) experiment perfectly exemplifies this phenomenon. The researchers gave a selected population a taste of the same peanut butter packaged in two different jars; the difference between both products was that Cyprus WhatsApp Number List one of them had a recognized brand and the other did not have any brand. The result of the experiment was that 75% of the subjects tested stated that the peanut butter in the marked jar tasted better than the other.
These positive perceptions that generate direct effects on the purchase decisions of a brand is what is known as ‘brand equity’ or brand capital in Spanish (Kotler & Armstrong, 2006), and it is understood as how willing consumers are to overpaying for a brand (Hague, nd). As the brand is more recognized and valued by the consumer, the more confidence it will have in the purchase decision and the better perception of quality in the consumer experience (Aaker, 2013). This value is quantified in the accounting in the financial statements of the companies (Hague, n.d.). In globally recognized brands, brand equity may represent the company’s most valuable asset, for example, the Coca-Cola brand represented 48% of the company’s value in 2010 (Schultzs, 2011).
Don E. Schultz (2011) argues that brands and their value belong and will belong to companies, since they are the ones who create, record and quantify them in their financial balance sheets. But how much power do companies have over their value? In the book Marketing 3.0, Kotler, Kartaja, and Setiawan state that marketing has had three stages: (1) product management (the four Ps); (2) consumer management (segmentation, positioning, and targeting); and we are entering the era of brand management from the vision of the human spirit, where consumers look for brands with a purpose that help them solve conjunctural problems of a social, environmental and cultural nature.
The justification that the value of the brand will not be lost by consumers when changing owners as long as it delivers the same quality of products (Hague, nd), can be valid from a perspective where the consumer is ego-centric and seeks to satisfy individual needs and desires through the brand. From this perspective, as long as he continues to deliver the same value on an individual level, he will be able to keep his brand equity constant over time. But when the needs of customers transcend the individual to the collective, and they seek to solve temporary problems based on the individual consumption of goods and services, it is no longer enough for a brand to be able to deliver its message clearly, to create a perception of quality. functional by the consumer and connect emotionally with him (Lake, nd). The values, and especially the business mission, defined as the raison d’être of the companies (Kotler, Kartajaya, & Setiawan, 2010), of the company that owns the brand, are essential for the sustainability of the business itself (Kotler, Kartajaya, & Setiawan, 2010). Companies that seek and work sincerely and transparently for a better world, no matter how cliché it may sound, will be valued better than companies that seek profit as an objective or worse, that generate dissonance between their mission and their operation.