Mumbrella360: Ehrenberg-Bass Professor says ‘you’re poorly branding’ if you’re focusing on assets over your brand

Fame is a key metric for distinctive asset strength, and to get to that point, brands must remember the difference between asset using and asset building, according to Ehrenberg-Bass Institute’s Professor Jenni Romaniuk.

Speaking at Mumbrella360 on Thursday, the Research Professor of Marketing and Associate Director (International) explained the fame score, why it is so important, and if a brand wishes to use an asset as a proxy for their name, how they can get there.

The fame score – which is the proportion of category buyers who, when they experience an asset, think of the brand – is key to ensuring brand awareness is strong. It provides an unprompted opportunity to measure assets and test how distinctive they are.

Romaniuk stressed the importance of testing this unprompted.

“If you’re actually prompting distinctive asset measurement, it gives you inaccurate, inflamed fame scores – up to about 20 percentage points – which is really dangerous,” she said.

“If you want your asset to act as a proxy for your brand name, your fame score needs to be as close to 100% as possible, and messing around with the measurement can absolutely destroy that score.

“I’ve had people push back on that, mainly because they’re impatient,” Romaniuk continued. “They’re like ‘I want to use my asset’, and they forget about the difference between asset using and asset building.”

Professor Jenni Romaniuk at Mumbrella360 on Thursday

She explained that asset building will help brands reach the asset using phase, but it can be a long process that requires patience.

Asset building still requires the brand name, because it is “co-presentation”, while asset using is when brands get the opportunity to use it as a proxy, or a replacement for the brand name.

“People say to me, ‘I’d rather use the asset than the brand’, and I say, ‘okay, then you’re poorly branding’,” she told the crowd.

“Some believe the more you use the asset, the stronger it will become, and yes, they’re kind of right. The asset will become stronger, but not necessarily the link to your brand, so again, I tell them, ‘you’re poorly branding’.”

When brands use weaker assets, they get weaker branding scores, which diminishes brand awareness and, according to Romaniuk, is again ‘poor branding’.

“When you use a strong asset, that you have taken the time to build up and make distinctive, you get that step up to correct branding, and that’s a success.”

To watch this session recording and more from Mumbrella360, head to Mumbrella Pro.


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