Building Brand Equity

My new book, The Definitive Guide to Brand Building, is all about building and maintaining brand equity–the most important asset any company has.

Every CEO and every C suite executive needs to read this book.

To this day even after years and years of academic and business discussions in the press, a multitude of books, and countless courses in every business school in the nation, there still is confusion about what marketing is all about?

The most common definition is that marketing is about differentiation. What differentiates one product from another? That’s a key part of it, but the real definition is that marketing is the battle for the customer’s mind.

I contend that our mind is like a huge ice cube tray with a space/cube for every product and service, and other information that we buy or have an interest in. I call this our mental product grid. Marketing then is all about how we get our brand value proposition into the mind. and then grow the valuation proposition so that we “own” a position in a specific cube in the customer’s mental product grid.

That position is what brand equity is all about. What that brand is worth in the minds of our customer base. Worth is defined in terms of repeat purchases to the exclusion of competitive products. For example, Proctor & Gamble’s Tide brand owns 40 percent of the detergent market. Toyota’s brands sell more cars than competitive car brands. Apple’s various brands of smart electronic devices, etc.

The mind is like a dripping sponge and the only way something new can get in is by displacing something that already exists. Like, Uber displacing traditional Taxi’s. So the battle for the customer’s mind is a perpetual marketing challenge.

It’s all about faster, better, cheaper–and migrating with customer’s changing socioeconomic circumstances. Life is about change and successful marketers are able to migrate with their customers changing requirements. Because if the customer gets to the future before you do, they will leave you behind.

In the current era technology is changing the way we live, work, and consume. Traditional retailers are struggling to remain relevant while contending with competitive threats from online less expensive online offerings. Supermarkets are struggling to compete with new aggressive online food suppliers making the food shopping experience more convenient, less expensive, and more personalized.

Today more people are ordering meals to be delivered and eating out, than are buying food to prepare at home.

Smart devices are enabling a more convenient and more personalized life style, and displacing a host of traditional products and services in the process. Protecting your brand equity is your current imperative. Maintaining the competitive advantage and continuing to grow the value of your brands is your strategic challenge over the coming years.

Get the book online direct from the publisher: Kendall Hunt publishing

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Robert Donnelly

Robert M. Donnelly is an author, educator and brand builder for businesses and individuals. His consultancy business is called His corporate life was spent in executive positions with IBM, Pfizer and EXXON and then as the CEO for several U.S. subsidiaries of foreign multinational firms. Professor Donnelly is on the faculty of Saint Peters University as well as Rushmore University, a global online university. His latest book is Personal Brand Planning for Life, available on Amazon. He also functions as an interim executive. You can contact him at or visit his website at

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