‘Show me your friends, and I will tell you who you are’ is just one of the many broken philosophies that point to presumptuous human nature. Brands can leverage this unique social phenomenal to market their products. Brands should thus be conscious of whatever or whoever they associate with as it has a bearing on their potential consumers.

Creating conscious associations 

Through secondary associations built with other brands or countries or geographical regions or personalities, a brand subconsciously has an impact on the minds of their target market. The advantage of the said associations is that it could either be independent of the Brand or dependent on the Brand but still do not affect the degree of benefit resulting from the borrowed equity.

Independent/autonomous relationship

The Brand leverages on the association without paying or entering into any financial arrangement aspect it stands to benefit from by the association.

Example, if the Brand’s target market is the rural population, it can have its main office located in the rural region and draw most of its employees from that area. Associating itself with that aspect makes the target market believe that the Brand understands them and is one of them. It increases the probability of the rural population buying their products because of the association in comparison to products that targets them of a company based in and drawing its employees from the city. 

Also, being selective with the stores the products are availed and sold in, such as insisting on high end established stores, for products targeting the upmarket population works to increase the potential consumers’ confidence in the Brand. They will correlate the attributes of the store, which they are familiar with, to that of the product sold therein.  

Dependent/symbiotic relationship

In this case, the Brand enters into a two-way association with the identified aspects that resonate with their product. Both the Brand and the aspect benefits. The aspect benefit by getting a monetary reward or other benefits from the Brand, while the brands benefit from increased sale as a result of the association.

Example, a brand investing in a spokesperson. The spokesperson is to have qualities that are endearing to the target market. If the Brand specializes in products used in bodybuilding exercises, then the spokesperson is to be a well-trimmed, body built muscular person. And if the Brand specializes in beauty products, then the spokesperson is to be above what is considered the standard beauty by the target

The Brand, as a result, gets increased sales and visibility as the consumers associate its products with their spokesperson. Even though the persons attribute may be natural and not directly as a result of using the product, and the spokesperson gets a salary in return. 

Borrowed equity enables brands to benefit from an already established aspect or what is endearing to the target market.