Brand image20th June 2020
Brand image is the current view of the customers about a brand. It can be defined as a unique bundle of associations within the minds of target customers. It signifies what the brand presently stands for. It is a set of beliefs held about a specific brand. In short, it is nothing but the consumers’ perception about the product. It is the manner in which a specific brand is positioned in the market. Brand image conveys emotional value and not just a mental image. Brand image is nothing but an organization’s character. It is an accumulation of contact and observation by people external to an organization. It should highlight an organization’s mission and vision to all. The main elements of positive brand image are- unique logo reflecting organization’s image, slogan describing organization’s business in brief and brand identifier supporting the key values.
Brand image is the overall impression in consumers’ mind that is formed from all sources. Consumers develop various associations with the brand. Based on these associations, they form brand image. An image is formed about the brand on the basis of subjective perceptions of associations bundle that the consumers have about the brand. Volvo is associated with safety. Toyota is associated with reliability.
The idea behind brand image is that the consumer is not purchasing just the product/service but also the image associated with that product/service. Brand images should be positive, unique and instant. Brand images can be strengthened using brand communications like advertising, packaging, word of mouth publicity, other promotional tools, etc.
Brand image develops and conveys the product’s character in a unique manner different from its competitor’s image. The brand image consists of various associations in consumers’ mind – attributes, benefits and attributes. Brand attributes are the functional and mental connections with the brand that the customers have. They can be specific or conceptual. Benefits are the rationale for the purchase decision. There are three types of benefits: Functional benefits – what do you do better (than others ),emotional benefits – how do you make me feel better (than others), and rational benefits/support – why do I believe you(more than others). Brand attributes are consumers overall assessment of a brand.
Brand image has not to be created, but is automatically formed. The brand image includes products’ appeal, ease of use, functionality, fame, and overall value. Brand image is actually brand content. When the consumers purchase the product, they are also purchasing it’s image. Brand image is the objective and mental feedback of the consumers when they purchase a product. Positive brand image is exceeding the customers expectations. Positive brand image enhances the goodwill and brand value of an organization.
“Brand image” is the customer’s net extract from the brand.
Brand image Dimension
Brand identity is composed of various shares that trigger particular responses in consumers in addition to filling the afore-mentioned functions. These shares build on one another; the more shares a brand has, the stronger and more positive the relationship with consumers.
At the very lowest level, mind share must be created in the consumer consciousness (cognitive level). This means that, as a complex perceptual and conceptual construct, the brand evokes an internal neural representation in the minds of consumers, leaving behind certain brand impressions.
This refers to the emotional relationship a consumer should develop with a brand. Heart share is less a matter of a product’s functional utility and more a matter of its symbolic attributes. The buyer of a Ferrari, for instance, will not develop an affection for the car based purely on functional attributes, but rather as a result of the values associated with the brand and the brand environment it operates in.
Brand identity must trigger a buying intention share in consumers. After all, despite the importance of a brand’s mind and heart share, it only makes sense for a supplier to invest in brand identity if consumers will also want to buy the brand.
Brand identity contributes to self share, which means that the brand functions as a manifestation of the self, a tangible expression of self-image within the social environment. In this context, brands serve self-expression and self-design purposes, differentiating the individual within the social group. Brands can easily serve similar ends in the realm of business-to-business, where they bolster self-image in terms of a company and its functions.
Here, the brand shares in the existential search for meaning conducted by a consumer in a world enlightened to the point of meaning-lessness and takes on a virtually religious character. This aspect sheds light on the cultural-sociological proposition that brand management is worshiping the customer. Brands allow consumers to achieve social position or status, to partake of cultural expression, to create mythology and shape meaning, and as a result, to weave themselves into the social and metaphysical fabric of the world. In this context, a loyal customer is a member of a community and an individual loyal to that community not just a customer who makes repeat purchases. A brand is a tool for building a sense of community and belonging, for building the community itself.