Meaningful different framework

Through years of continuous tracking, and through building our BrandZ database, we’ve built an unrivalled understanding of how brands work. From this understanding, we’ve developed the Meaningfully Different Framework to help brands create financial value and growth.

We have found that the capacity of a brand to deliver volume share and justify a higher price point is dependent on how meaningful, different and salient the brand is to consumers.

Meaningful: Consumers feel an affinity for a strong brand or think it meets their needs, so a combination of emotional and rational resonance.

Different: A strong brand either feels different from other brands or sets the trends for the category. For example a category leader brand may not feel especially different to other brands because, as the leader, for many consumers it defines the category, but it is perceived to be setting trends and this sense of dynamism sets it apart from others.

Salient: A strong brand comes to mind quickly and easily when consumers are making category choices. It’s all very well having a brand that is meaningfully different, but if it’s not properly amplified and communicated, then a brand cannot hope to reach its full potential.

At Colmar Brunton we use survey-based measures of consumer predisposition, how Meaningful, Different and Salient brands are, and combine these to give overall metrics of brand equity that tie directly to commercial outcomes.

Power is our lead equity metric. It measures people’s predisposition to buy the brand and so tells us the volume share that the brand is contributing to the business.

Premium measures people’s predisposition to pay extra for the brand and so tells us what the brand is doing to justify its price point.

Finally, we also have a forward-looking metric Potential, which tells us how consumer relationships with the brand are helping to prime future success.

We know that being Different is particularly important if you want your brand to justify a price premium; why would people pay more for your brand if they can get the same thing cheaper elsewhere? In contrast, being Salient rarely plays a big part in justifying a price premium (people don’t pay more for a brand just because it pops into their head), but simply being prominent in the mind can be can be the sole reason why people choose a brand.

All three (Power, Premium and Potential) are validated to in-market results. Brands that have high Power have been proven to generate five times the volume share of brands that have low power. Brands that have high Premium can charge 13% more, and having high Potential makes a brand 4 times more likely to grow.

We also go beyond brand pre-disposition or equity to understand what happens in-market – what are the brand’s facilitators and barriers, and how do these link to a brand’s financial performance.


Group Account Director
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