It was Peter Farquhar who articulated that "a brand is a name, symbol, design, or mark that enhances the value of a product beyond its functional purpose" (Farquhar 1989). This gave rise to the brand equity's subsequent definition as the "added value with which a brand endows the product." (Farquhar 1989).
In 1991 David Aaker put forth the model of Brand Equity in his seminal work "Managing Brand Equity" (1991). The model stipulates that brand equity is founded on five dimensions that of brand loyalty, name awareness, perceived quality, brand associations and other proprietary brand assets. Of the five brand equity elements, the basic four elements will be the subject of this discourse that will attempt to apply the principles of brand equity to Blacks Leisure Group's current market situation.
This report will attempt to discuss the subjects of Brand Loyalty and how Blacks can begin to fully appraise the status of its core market's willingness to support the brand vis--vis the many market and economic fluctuations; the subject of Brand Name Awareness and how Blacks can continue to perpetuate its top-of-mind status in the outdoor sporting goods and lifestyle business; the subject of Perceived Quality and how Blacks can improve on its product attributes which can make or break its "specialist" status in the outdoor sporting goods category; and finally, the subject of Brand Associations which is ever more important these days in the face of stiff competition, environmental pressures and increasing consumer awareness that exacts nothing less than the best of what a company can offer and give back to the various communities and stakeholders it impacts on.
With its stock publicly traded at the London Stock exchange and enjoying, there is no arguing that Blacks has been enjoying enthusiastic public support over the last 10 years. In fact, there is no denying that Blacks is one of United Kingdom's leading retail sportswear and sporting goods groups and the largest specialty outdoor retailer. Innovation, style and technology and a demonstrated passion for providing a range of outdoor clothing and equipment at great value for money remain Blacks Outdoor's hallmark in the industry.
The company operates 427 stores under seven company-owned and managed retail chains across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Its Sports & Fashion division includes the First Sport chain, the AV (Active Lifestyle) chain, and the company's newest store concept, Pure Women, the company's first attempt to target specifically the women's sportswear and sports fashions category.
Its Outdoor division features the company's original store format, Blacks Outdoor, buttressed by the company's acquisition of U.K. outdoor sporting goods leader The Outdoor Group--which included the Millets chain of family-oriented sporting goods stores and the higher-end Air and youth-oriented Free Spirit retail chains.
Though it had to cut back on its Wholesaling division, after the sale of the company's Fifa UK license back to Italian parent Fifa International in 2000, Blacks still enjoys