A name becomes a brand when consumers associate it with a set of tangible or intangible benefits that they obtain from the product or service. As this association grows stronger, consumers’ loyalty and willingness to pay a price premium increase. Hence, there is equity in the brand name. A brand without equity is not a brand.
To build brand equity, a company needs to do two things: first, distinguish its product from others in the market; second, align what it says about its brand in advertising and marketing with what it actually delivers. A relationship then develops between brand and customer—a relationship arising from the customer’s entire experience of the brand. As the alignment grows stronger, so does the brand.
"If Nike can 'just do it,' why can’t we?" from 1997 McKinsey Quarterly