Towards a unified theory of brand equity: conceptualizations, taxonomy and avenues for future research


Marketing and Professional Sales

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Purpose – This paper aims to look into contemporary thinking within the brand equity paradigm, with a view to establishing avenues for further research on the drivers of brand equity formation, enabling a more in-depth understanding of the antecedents of brand equity and its determinants, as well as the development of an improved instrument to measure brand equity. The brand equity paradigm and its importance for marketing theory have been in the research focus for more than two decades. There is no agreement in the literature how to develop a unique measure of brand equity, neither what are the sources, drivers or determinants. Design/methodology/approach – The authors develop the relating conceptual study through the differentiation and integration as specific conceptual goals. The authors present a taxonomic framework of brand equity grounded on a synthesis of contemporary approaches to the theme. Findings – The authors identify gaps in the brand equity literature. The analysis and development of the conceptual study in this paper shall serve as beacons for future research and provide valuable theoretical insights on the determinants of brand equity formation and the development of better brand equity measurement tools. Originality/value – The authors synthesized contemporary approaches in the field, identified research gaps and proposed open questions that should be tackled, as well as provided avenues for future research. The authors argue that creation of a unifying brand equity theory should be based on three pillars: stakeholder value, marketing assets and brand financial performance outputs.