Brand Image is the most significant aspect associated with a product. For a particular product, brand image is the perception of the consumers about it. One product may have one or more images in the market in accordance with the customer segment. But it has been observed that among many only one or two image(s) prevail.
Explanation through Example
Famous brand like Mercedes-Benz has an image of a luxurious car which itself defines the standard of luxury. At the same time, it is also considered as the car meant for the creamy layer of the economic status. That is why no down-market Mercedes-Benz brand car could be seen in USA because it could have affected its image and consequently it’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
Purpose of Brand Image
Brand image helps the producer in setting up the following:
- Price of the product
- Customer base (Target Audience)
- Strategy of the Brand
- Strategy of Promotion and packaging (including advertising)
Factors Affecting Brand Image Development
There are various factors behind building up of the identity of a brand in the market :
# Advertisement :
Advertisements play the most important role in image building of a product and help it to upgrade itself into a well known brand. At the time of brand strategy, target audience is first identified and then ads are made in order to strike a chord with the wavelength of the target audience. Advertisement and other promotional tools with the same underlying slogan is aired through various channels (electronic media, print media, pamphlets, and many more) which tries to create a particular desired image of the product into the mind of the consumers. Hence, the most effective tool in creation of a brand image is played by advertisement.
# Quality of the Product :
Advertisements can bring the customers to use the product but it is the product quality which makes the customer loyal to the product. Advertisements can bring a person to buy Adidas apparels for once but it is the quality of the same which brings the customer to buy the product repeatedly.
# After-Sales and Other Associated Services :
Services associated with the product during and after sale are considered to be one of the main factors in creating brand image. These services distinguish a brand from the similar products available in the market and create a niche for the same. This helps the brand in increasing its value through customer satisfaction and ultimately helping the company to increase the value of the product.
Brand images are not built in a day rather the products need some time to establish themselves in the market. Image of a single brand may vary among consumers but the most significant out of them persists. Brand images are also liable to change with change in brand strategy of the company. In case of Mc Donald’s, they have shifted their initial brand image of a fast-food center to a restaurant meant for the family, young and loners. Thus, the mindscape of the company has broadened in pursuit of attracting all segments of customers. Hence brand image is one of the most important aspects associated with the product.
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