Brand Identity & Brand Image

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Frame of reference

Brand Image

Brand image is the mental picture that consumers have of a brand or branded article, more formally defined as “a subjective mental picture of a brand shared by a group of consumers” (Riezebos, 2003, p. 63). Brand image is dependent on the extent to which consumers have been ex-posed to marketing communications of the brand and on their consumption experiences. (Riezebos, 2003)
Images are formed through inductive inference or deductive inference. Inductive inference is when an image is created through confrontations with products and exposition to mar-keting efforts. It is influenced by marketing communications, consumption experiences and social influence. Deductive inference is when and image is formed based on existing images of the brand (Riezebos, 2003).

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness involves recognition and recall. Brand recognition is the ability of con-sumers to recognize a brand when given the brand as a cue (Keller, 1993). Brand recall is the ability to retrieve a brand from memory when only the product category is mentioned (Keller, 1993). Brand awareness is created through repeated exposure to a brand. Brand re-call is best strengthened through reviewing the brand identity and creating a brand image. (Keller, 1993) There are different types of brand awareness: top of mind, spontaneous and aided or prompted awareness (Kapferer, 2012). Top of mind is when customers recall a brand when a product category is mentioned. Spontaneous awareness is all the brand names, which come to mind, and aided awareness is when a brand is recognized when pre-sented.

 Brand Associations

Brand associations, which are the constructs of brand image, are driven by brand identity (Aaker, 2010). When measuring brand equity, focus is not on the source of brand associa-tions and the manner in which they are formed; what matters are favorability, strength and uniqueness (Keller, 1998; Riezebos, 2003). Strength describes the extent to which an asso-ciation or feeling is linked to a brand (Riezebos, 2003). Two factors which strengthen asso-ciations are relevance to the customer and consistency. Favorable associations are associa-tions, which are desirable and successfully delivered (Keller, 1998). Uniqueness involves differentiating from other brands and compels customers to buy it. Brand attributes, a type of association, are the descriptive features which characterize a product. Brand benefits are the personal value and meaning that consumers attach to the product attributes. (Keller, 1998) Associations can relate to cognition and feelings. Manifest content are associations, which can be directly verbalized, whereas latent content associations cannot be named di-rectly, but can be measured by semantic differentials, or rating scales (Riezebos, 2003).

Elaboration Likelihood Model

The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) of persuasion is a two route process that ex-plains why and how attitudes form and change as information is processed, depending on which of the two routes the individual’s elaboration take when processing information. In the various theories towards attitude change Petty, Caioppo & Schumann (1983) have iden-tified two main routes to attitude change towards an issue or product. The first route, the central route, views attitude change of a person actively processing information he or she feels is central to his or her attitude towards the issue or product (Petty, Cacioppo, & Schumann, 1983). The determining factors this route takes are the cognitive motivation of deviant attitude behavior, the understanding, learning and the retention of product infor-mation, the person’s personal and unconscious reaction of external communication (adver-tisement), the way a person evaluates and takes in product oriented information and forms it into a personal opinion (Petty, Cacioppo, & Schumann, 1983). Changes in attitude through the central route are considered to be relatively permanent and predictable based on behavior (Cialdini, Petty, & Caioppo, 1981). The second type of attitude change goes through the peripheral route, change in attitude through the peripheral route does not oc-cur bedue to an individual has deliberately considered the positives and negatives about an issue or product but rather because the product is associated with positive or negatives cues (a hint, stimuli) (Ellis, 1991). E.g. Instead of energetically questioning the product related information, a person may simply accept an argument for the simple reason that it was pre-sented during a pleasant time or because the source of the information is considered an ex-pert in that specific field. A person may as well reject the information because it was pre-sented in a too extreme manner (Ellis, 1991). These cues may shape attitudes (expertise, pleasurable moments, food, and inferences, meaning, if an expert said it, it has to be true) without the individual needing to engage in any kind of thought process regarding the product (Ellis, 1991). One can view the amount of elaboration given to a conveyed mes-sage as an ongoing continuum, starting off at no thought about the product to extensive evaluation of the information presented and integration of the information to shape the person’s attitude. The likelihood of elaboration (towards a message) occurring is deter-mined by the person’s level of motivation and ability to interpret information presented about the product. (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). The basic principle of the ELM model states that different methods of persuasion is better suited dependent on whether there is a high chance of encouraging elaboration (high elaboration likelihood) or not. If the elaboration likelihood is high it is suggested that persuasion through the central route, where individu-als actively elaboration on product related information, and the other way around, when the elaboration likelihood level is low, persuasion through the peripheral route is more ef-fective (Petty, Cacioppo, & Schumann, 1983). It also has to be mentioned that people are often more keen to apply the thought process needed to fully evaluate the characteristics of a product when one’s involvement is high rather than low.E.g. If a person is eager to pur-chase a new computer, that person’s level of involvement on the issue or product is high and will therefore actively do research about various computer options available.

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Brand Identity

Brand identity provides direction, purpose and meaning for a brand; it is the driver of brand associations (Aaker, 2010; Kapferer, 2012). The identity should help establish a rela-tionship between the brand and the customer by generating a value proposition involving functional, emotional or self-expressive benefits (Aaker, 2010). It is aspirational, as it de-scribes how the brand would like to be perceived. Management of brand identity is crucial in creating brand equity (Aaker, 2010).
The brand name is one of the most powerful sources of identity (Kapferer, 2012). Visual symbols and logotypes also contribute to identifying and differentiating a brand. Often, a brand identifies with the symbols used. (Kapferer, 2012) Another important source is ad-vertising style, or content and form of a brand.

Core and Extended Identity

According to Aaker (2010), brand identity consists of a core identity and an extended iden-tity. This can be compared to Kapferer’s (2012) description of a brand as a system, which is made up of kernel and peripheral traits. The core identity is at the center of a brand, and contains the associations which remain constant (Aaker, 2010). Similarly, the kernel traits are the core values of a brand. Kernel traits are unconditional; without them there is no brand. They are the consistent traits, which define the brand. (Kapferer, 2012)
The extended identity complements and completes the core identity, adding details which help portray the brand identity (Aaker, 2010). Similarly, the peripheral traits are conditional traits which can be present or absent, depending on the product or customer segment. (Kapferer, 2012)
From this perspective, brand identity serves as a set of boundaries; the kernel, or core val-ues are necessary for a brand to remain itself. The peripheral, or extended values, however, are flexible, making it possible for brands to adapt to change while still remaining con-sistent with their core identity (Kapferer, 2012).

The Brand Pyramid

Kapferer (2012) presents a pyramid with which major brands can be compared. At the top levels of the pyramid are the brand vision and purpose, core brand values and brand per-sonality codes. Brand personality codes describe the general style of communication, or the brand’s way of being (Kapferer, 2012). At the lower levels the strategic benefits and attrib-utes, physical signature, and products are found. The perceived strategic benefits and at-tributes are a result of an overall vision of the brand, which is present in the products, ac-tions and communications. This level represents the associations of a brand. Consumers often look at the pyramid bottom-up, beginning with the tangibles, what is visible to them. Brand management involves looking at the pyramid top-down, starting with a strong brand concept, intangibles, and communicating this through all the different levels, down to the products, or the tangibles.

1 Introduction 
1.1 Branding
1.2 Brand Equity
1.3 Identity-based Brand Equity
1.4 Brand Identity & Brand Image
1.5 Brand Management
1.6 Problem Discussion
1.7 Purpose
1.8 Research Questions
1.9 Delimitations
2 Frame of reference 
2.1 Brand Image
2.2 Elaboration Likelihood Model
2.3 Brand Identity
2.4 The Brand Pyramid
2.5 The brand Identity Prism
3 Methodology 
3.1 Case Study
3.2 Selecting and contacting the brand
3.3 Quantitative Data
3.4 Sampling
3.5 Distribution of Surveys
3.6 Qualitative Data
3.7 Data Analysis
4 Empirical Findings
4.1 Headphone Industry
4.2 Happy Plugs
4.3 Brand Identity Construction Survey Results
4.4 Brand Image Construction Survey Results
4.5 HPV vs. CV
4.6 Focus group
4.7 Discussion questions
5 Analysis 
5.1 The Happy Plugs Brand Identity
5.2 Brand Image
5.3 Brand Image and Brand Identity Gaps
5.4 Assessment of the proposed method
5.5 Implications for Businesses:
5.6 Limitations and Further Developments:
6 Conclusion
List of references

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