Consistent with the idea of brand positioning is the notion of a "strong brand", or a brand with a strong "brand equity", as one for which the members of the target group hold clear and precise knowledge and attitudes. Conversely, a "weak brand", or a brand with a weak brand equity, is one where those attitudes and knowledge are confused or at a low level.
David A. Aker defines brand equity as "a set of brand assets and liabilities linked to a brand, its name and symbol, that add to or subtract from the value provided by a product or service to a firm and/or that firm's customers." Aker groups these assets and liabilities into five categories: (1) brand loyalty, (2) name awareness, (3) perceived quality, (4) brand associations in addition to perceived quality, and (5) other proprietary brand assets – patents, trademarks, channel relationships.
"Strong" and "weak" in this context have no immediate connection with volume or share of market. There is, however, a difference in profitability potential between a strong brand and a weak brand. Given an identical competitive situation, a strong brand will need less advertising and promotional expenditure for a given volume than a weak brand.
It is in helping companies build strong brand equity and make brands work for competitive advantage, that developing a good positioning pays off, creating value for both the customer and the firm. Enhancing brand equity means enhancing brand value.