What Is Brand Association and How to Achieve It?

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Brand association allows companies to earn customer trust, expand markets and maintain customer loyalty. However, it’s not something that takes place overnight. Learn about brand association and discover how to use it to boost the success of your company.

What Is Brand Association?

Brand association is when company traits are rooted in customer’s minds. The goal of brand association is to have brand associated with positive attributes. Brand association builds value and equity for a company brand. It ultimately makes consumers aware of brand quality.

An Example of Brand Association

A fictional clothes company sells sports performance products. In order to be successful, they need to create brand association. This entails getting customers to associate their clothes with certain sports and strong sports performance. Their branding strategy will involve using the right type of images/logos and language.

Sports clothing and equipment.
Use images and languages of your desired brand attributes when constructing brand association.

One way they might build positive brand association is to create advertisements that link their clothes to sports. For example, they could have a model holding a football or baseball while wearing a new shirt with the logo on it. Next, they could craft their language to be sports literate. For example, they could use key sports phrases during advertisements such as ‘home run’ or ‘touchdown’.


One of the biggest ways brand association benefits companies is it makes your brand stand out among your competitors. If a customer is comparing two similar products, the only difference they might be able to see is the logo. If your logo creates a positive association with them, they’ll likely choose to buy your product.

It also makes it easier to enter different markets successfully. For example, if your company sells running clothes, creating a line of water bottles will have less risk. This is because the logo on the water bottles will use the brand association of your clothes to let the customer know your product is both quality and running-functional.

A chalkboard with the word 'brand' highlighted.
There are numerous benefits of brand association.

When Brand Association Can Be Harmful

Unfortunately, a company can’t always control brand associations. Sometimes negative brand associations are created, forcing customers to choose other company’s products over yours. This is because the media has just as much power as your marketing teams to build brand associations for your business.

Though there’s no way to directly prevent this, there are ways to better your chances of it not happening. Keeping up with current events and maintaining strong quality control is a good way to avoid falling victim to negative press. Also, creating positive brand associations consistently prevents negative associations from existing.

Before you begin building your brand associations, figure out the best route to do so. Remember, the most important thing is to have the right attribute associated with your company.


Casey Schmidt – Content Manager and Industry Expert | Canto

Casey is a content management and branding expert who enjoys taking complex subjects and making them easy to understand for readers.