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Ask and Tell

27 Jan 2023 | Saumitra Birthray, Senior Brand Execuitve

My journey in core brand marketing started a few months ago when I shifted from being a management consultant to a brand manager. Few months into the role at Rasta I realized that in order to master brand marketing I need to:

  • Have a holistic understanding of the business and its customers

  • Be able to develop an effective communication approach


Thanks to the training assignment Kuber put me on (just like writing this blog) which enabled me to understand how I can develop these two very important pillars.


Today I am sharing my learnings here so that any brand enthusiast can leverage these beautiful models: 


Keller's Brand Equity Model and The Golden Circle to build a successful brand.

Note The Golden Circle is Relatively new and Keller’s more elaborate and been around for a while. 

Use one and you’ll still have a couple gaps in your Brand Strategy. Use both and voila, you have a more robust Brand Strat. Let me illustrate. 


There are several factors that influence the health of a brand. You need to evaluate these factors by asking the right questions. 

Kevin Lane Keller, a marketing professor, developed Keller’s Brand Equity Model also called Customer Based Brand Equity (CBBE) Model. 


The Brand Equity Model is based on the premise that in order to build a strong brand, you must shape how customers think and feel about your product. 

You have to build the right type of experiences around your brand, so that customers have specific, positive thoughts, feelings, beliefs, opinions, and perceptions about it.

You can do that by asking intrinsic questions of your customer:


Number 1: Who are you? What's your brand identity? To answer this question you need to know your brand’s awareness. How much do your customers know you? Why do they choose you and how do you stand out? 


Second: What are you? What’s the meaning of your brand? Consider your brand in terms of "performance" and "imagery"


Third: What do I think or feel about you? Answer this by identifying your customers feelings and perception about the brand. Assess the quality, credibility, consideration and superiority of your brand. 


And Fourth: How much connection would I like to have with you? How much does your brand resonate with your customer? Brand resonance is the most difficult yet most desirable stage for a brand. Keller breaks brand resonance in four categories - behavioural loyalty, attitudinal attachment, sense of community and active engagement. 


By answering these questions you can develop a holistic understanding of your brand’s awareness, performance and preferability in the market. 


Now that you have asked the right questions, it's time to say the right things. 

All successful, inspiring brands communicate have certain things in common. And Simon Sinek codified it into the Golden Circle. It outlines how a brand should approach communication with its customers.


Let's dig a bit deeper, a brand needs to communicate three things to its customers - the What, How and Why. What most brands do is that they focus primarily on the What and How but the truth is that people don't buy the What or How. They buy the Why.

So you need to first communicate why your brand exists. What is the problem that you’re trying to solve? Then you need to tell how you do it. What’s the USP for your product or service? And finally you need to tell what are your products or services? 



I didn't want my understanding to remain academic so I applied these models for a brand we pitched for. 


Milkbakset is India’s first and largest online micro delivery service. Here’s how Milkbasket stands on the Keller’s Brand Equity Pyramid

This is how Milkbasket looks like on the Golden Circle

After studying the brand on Keller’s CBBE model I found the following key insights that gives me clear actionables on product and marketing front: 

  • People are aware about Milkbasket and its USP. They want organized convenience when it comes to grocery shopping. 

  • Customers are using the app but are dropping out because of poor UX. Brand loyalty is dipping. 

  • Optimizing app UX and customer queries resolution is key for customer retention.


Now in this case, Simon’s golden circle can help me with the second insight. When brand loyalty is dipping, having an effective communication approach is key to turn it around. Using the Golden Circle I can develop the best approach there is. I tried it for Milkbasket and here is what it is:  


“We believe that modern day problems require modern day solutions. Leave the small things to us so you can plan important things in life.”
“Get your groceries at your doorstep before 7 AM.”
“We are India’s first and largest micro grocery delivery platform.”


Isn’t it amazing how these simple yet very effective models give us the building blocks tobuild a strong brand. All we need to do is ask the questions sincerely.

Holler if you’re applying these or other models to brands you’re working with, what are the challenges you’re facing? Is it modeling, execution, management buy in etc.  

At Rasta we’re curious how you make these strategic decisions to build brands.