What Is Brand Association? (With Strategies and Examples)

Updated February 3, 2023

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Companies may use various strategies, including images, experiences, celebrity representatives and social media influencers, to help consumers think about their brand positively. From a unique logo to a TV commercial, brand association helps customers recognize and remember a brand. Learning the importance of brand association and strategies to develop it can help a company reach members of its target audience and help it compete with other organizations in its industry.

In this article, we define brand association, explain why it's important, list strategies companies can use to develop it and provide an example.

What is brand association?

Brand association is a symbol or image consumers associate with a business and its products or the benefits they receive from the company. This term typically refers to a logo that companies may use to build a consistent reputation with their audience. The goal is to have consumers connect a company's brand and logo with a positive attribute of an organization. Brand association can also raise awareness of the quality of a company's product by highlighting the value and equity of an organization's items.

When positive characteristics become attributes of a brand, it can increase product sales exponentially and emerge as a leader in its representative market. Companies create details through visual design, language and personification. Brand association can be more than just a logo. People associate brands with attributes such as professional athletes, celebrities, adult beverages, commercial characters and other popular or known entities.

Relate: Brand Personality vs. Brand Imagery: A Complete Guide

Why is brand association important?

Brand association is important because it helps consumers foster positive feelings towards a company and its products, which can help businesses develop a loyal client base. These associations have the power to help influence purchase decisions and help build a recognizable brand image. Here are some reasons brand association is significant:

  • Familiarity: Brand association helps customers recall a brand by showcasing its unique qualities. It also helps established companies launch new products under the same brand name.

  • Positive image: Brand association creates a positive image for a brand and the company's product or service. A positive reputation can lead to more sales.

  • Differentiation from competitors: Creative and positive brand association helps consumers visualize a specific logo or brand while differentiating from its competitors. This may help develop brand loyalty.

  • Quality assurance: Companies with a positive brand association help assure customers of the quality of products or services they're offering. This also contributes to an increase in sales.

Related: 9 Step To Build a Strong Brand Identity (With Tips)

Strategies to build brand association

Regardless of an organization's size, consumers need to associate the brand with a positive reputation. Here are some ways companies can build a positive brand association:

Have a cohesive branding strategy

Having a branding strategy is essential to having a positive brand association. To do this, companies can create a strong brand identity by showcasing the company's mission, values, personality, voice and unique offerings. Brand identity tells a story about a business through its logo and brand colors. This messaging can also help communicate the benefits of a brand that differentiates it from its competitors.

Related: How To Develop a Branding Strategy

Nurture customer interactions

How companies interact with their customers online and in person can help them foster positive brand associations. It's important for them to carefully consider their interactions through social media, email, their website, in-person meetings, and phone conversations with consumers. The way they communicate with their community influences how people view them. It's important to have excellent customer service and relationship management tools in place. The way their team responds to emails, social media posts and unsatisfied customers contributes to consumers' perspective of the brand. These customer interactions also can help maintain a positive brand image.

Related: 11 Different Ways To Improve Customer Interactions

Build partnerships

It's important for businesses to build relationships with other companies and influencers to help maintain a positive image of their brand. It's essential for an organization to choose collaborations carefully, since this person may represent your brand and become the figure consumers associate with your company. This means it may benefit a company to partner with celebrities, public figures or other organizations with similar interests. A person or business that partners with a brand can impact its reputation, though, so companies need to be cautious when partnering with other organizations or influencers.

Related: What Is Influencer Marketing and How To Measure Campaign Success

Be proactive

It's important for companies to be proactive to prepare for situations that may affect their brand's image and identity. For example, developing a crisis management plan can help maintain a positive brand image with social media communication and other issues that a company may handle. This plan allows them to identify and address any issues, resolve them quickly and repair relationships with consumers and business partners.

Related: 21 Types of Brands (With Definitions)

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Example of brand association

Consumers can associate with brands whether they offer a product or service. Companies provide a brand association through traits and concepts of their business, so it's essential that the associations are accurate and positive. Ideally, it's important that any type of brand association is memorable for consumers.

Here's an example of a company fostering brand association among members of its target audience:

EcoBest is a clothing company that values making unique clothing using environmentally friendly dyes and sustainably sourced fabrics. EcoBest fosters a positive brand association with consumers by creating a logo highlighting its commitment to sustainable practices. It also uses influencer marketing to partner with social media influencers who participate in outdoor activities and endorse other eco-friendly brands. This helps create a client base and community that think of EcoBest as a company that cares about the environment and its community.

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