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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

A Method to Measure Visual Similarity within a Brand Portfolio

Published: May 28, 2019


Ella Ward, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, University of South Australia; Virginia Beal, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, University of South Australia; John Dawes, University of South Australia; Giang Trinh, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute University of South Australia


Brand Identity; Variant Branding; Portfolio branding strategy


Composed of elements such as logo, color and pack shape, a strong visual brand identity ensures the brand speaks with one voice across all consumer touchpoints. In turn, this builds brand equity, improves brand recognition and recall, and facilitates a smooth transition between advertising and the purchase environment. Yet common barriers, including category prototypicality and fragmentation across line-extensions, can hinder the development of a strong identity. This paper proposes a method to measure the visual similarity of products within a branded portfolio. Similarity is chosen as a key determining factor in identity strength due to the well documented connection between reinforcement and association strength in memory. The Homogeneity Index is adapted from Labrecque et. al (2013), to determine an overall index of branding homogeneity for a portfolio of products with the same brand name. The measure is explained and then applied to 38 products in the laundry liquid and gel category as a pilot study in the United Kingdom.