The benefits of quantifying qualitative brand data
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Researchers suggest quantification of qualitative data as an innovative approach to knowledge creation. Brand associations, a form of qualitative data, are common in measuring customer-based brand equity. The branding literature suggests that not all brand associations are equal. The strength, uniqueness and valence of brand associations need to be considered when assessing brand associations (Keller 1993). Although Keller's work is cited by many, no study has devised a method to quantify and integrate these three dimensions into a single index. This study provides an approach to address all three dimensions simultaneously. The approach first determines uniqueness of brand associations by coding associations into several mutually exclusive meaning categories. Then the serial order of free-association elicitation is used to assess association strength. The serial order, combined with a measure of valence, creates a quantification of open-ended brand associations called a 'weighted valence index' (WVI). In conclusion, the paper discusses the reliability and validity of the proposed measure.