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The Importance of Brand Image in the Purchasing Field

Autor:   •  March 1, 2014  •  Essay  •  1,539 Words (7 Pages)  •  768 Views

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Introduction

Branding is « the process of creating a relationship or a connection between a company's product and emotional perception of the customer for the purpose of generation segregation among competition and building loyalty among customers »(Hislop, 2001). Therefore, this relationship has to be built in order to get loyalty and to create differentiation. Indeed, achieving differention for a brand is one of the keys to success. More precisely, in the retail industry, branding is an effective tool to stores to differentiate from one another because it will allow a store to get its target market to choose it over its competitors by providing a unique value to its customers. That is the reason why buyers must considerate branding in their decision-making process. To illustrate this perspective, the results of an interview with a store buyer will be given thereafter.

A brand, as defined by the American Marketing Association, is « a name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers ». Its goal is to convey a clear message to customers about its products to create credibility about the fact that they will meet customers’ needs and expectation so they will buy them. Building a valuable brand involves identifying accurately these requirements in order to define what to offer, how to offer it in a different and better way and what are the unique benefits the customers will get. All the characteristics developed via the marketing mix will play a strategic role to make the brand easy to remember and desirable. A brand has to be recognizable in the mind of customers and this is possible through the name, the colors, the logo used to defined the brand. Those are the first attributes customers will see on products on the shelves in a supermarket for example. They will memorize them and will use them at first to differentiate brands from one another. Nevertheless, the emotional aspect is also important. Brands need to focus on customers’ perceptions, associations and interpretations because they will have a direct impact on the brand image and on brand loyalty.They will also be involved in the differentiation process that the customers will do but will have a more significant influence than the visible features. That is the reason why brand image and reputation are crucial, they will determine to a certain extent the brand equity and brand loyalty. However, brand loyalty is much harder to get because of the increase of similar new products from different brands that customers can find in stores. The emtional link highly depends on the marketing communication strategies such as advertising, public relations, sponsorship or social media. Those are the levers to control in order to make sure that the message sent to customers is the desired one

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