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The purpose of this research is to develop a method where companies can compare their brand identity versus their brand image and to identify if there are gaps between them. The theoretical framework establishes that there is a strong possibility that a gap will exist for any brand. Collecting empirical data and testing this hypothesis, exemplifies “deductive rea-soning” which is a view on the nature between theory and research. (Bell & Bryman, 2011) The foundation of the reasoning is based on the researcher deducing a hypothesis “based on what is already known about a particular domain and of theoretical considerations to that domain” (Bell Bryman, 2011, p.11). Researchers must design a study that includes methods that are to be used to collect the data in relation to the theoretical framework which underpins the hy-pothesis. The methodology section for this research includes not only how the brand iden-tities and brand images of the brand are built for comparison, but also in what manner the comparisons are undertaken to deduce if a gap exists or not.

Case Study

There is a distinctive difference in case studies, firstly one must decide between undertak-ing a single case study or a multiple case study when researching. There are five types of single case studies which have different motivations: critical case, extreme or unique case, representative or typical case, revelatory case and longitudinal case (Yin, 2009).
Critical case is the motive which best matches this study as it tests an existing and well-established theory, and can challenge, confirm or extend the theory (Yin, 2009).
As this study applies Kapferer’s (2012) brand pyramid to investigate how far into the pyra-mid a potential gap occurs in the communicated brand attributes drawn from the identity prism and the facets, it fulfills the critical case motive. Single case studies are used to achieve a generalized assumption rather than a particularizing analysis (Yin, 2009). Single case studies are suitable when the research questions are formulated as how and what ques-tions and when the researchers have no control over the events (Yin, 2009). This is in cor-relation with this paper’s research questions and neither do the researchers have any con-trol over the events as they cannot control what the company is communicating with their brand. Neither can they control how the focus groups and surveys conducted will be an-swered. Even though a case study can be limited to quantitative- or qualitative data, it is not necessary to exclude one or the other. It can, in fact, include a mix between qualitative data and quantitative data. This research will be using both qualitative data in the shape of a fo-cus group and quantitative data in the form of surveys. Case study findings do not need to fulfill a specific set of rules to be considered valid, as each case is unique and will yield dif-ferent results (Yin, 2009). The focus group will act as a complement to the survey to fur-ther strengthen our findings.

Selecting and contacting the brand

The first step in planning and designing this study was deciding what brand to use. A selec-tion criteria in regards to which brands can be used must be set. Once decided, the compa-ny is contacted in order to find out if they are willing to provide information that will help construct a brand identity, which will be used, compared to the brand image established from consumers.
The brand chosen has to engage in extensive branding efforts within the company; the headphones industry is a growing industry in which focus has slowly left quality sound at-tributes and shifted towards the physical appearance of the product. Aspects such as de-sign, color and packaging have become important aspects in consumers’ choice of head-phones as a way to mirror their lifestyles and fashion trends. Therefore the authors of this paper reviewed several companies to find the suitable brand for this research.
Once the brand is determined, they are contacted, thus establishing company contact be-comes a key factor in the inclusion or elimination of a brand from the study. To ensure ac-curate results while conducting the focus group research, the researchers assume that the attendant’s answers must be on behalf of the company and match to the company’s brand-ing visions. The research cannot be conducted based on assumptions and the researchers’ personal view on the selected brands. This criteria will be met by company contacts, where a letter is sent to the selected company, inviting them to join this research and provide the information needed to conduct the focus groups as well as explaining the researchers’ in-tentions and therefore better understanding the companies’ branding visions.

Quantitative Data

Quantitative research involves the collection of numerical data and exhibiting a view of the relationship between theory and research. The research must have an indicator to measure the variables and hence measure a concept (Bell & Bryman, 2011). The indicators used for measuring and collecting quantitative data in this study were surveys.


The first step of the “two-step” brand identity versus brand image comparison was to cre-ate and use two surveys in which one constructed the brand identity and the other con-structed the brand image. The survey designs needed to represent and test the six facets of Kapferer’s (2012) brand prism. In order to achieve this, a list of attributes was prepared, each attribute represented one of the following brand identity prism facets: 1. Physique, 2. Personality, 3. Culture, 4. Self-Image, 5. Reflection, or 6. Relationship. Table 3-1 exempli-fies the six facets, along with two examples of corresponding attributes, and the total num-ber of attributes belonging to this facet.
Facets 1, 2, 3, and 6 were represented by a total of 52 attributes that are typically used to describe physical product appearances, an individual’s personality, characteristics of a cul-ture and personal relationships. Facets 4 and 5 were represented by an additional 45 attrib-utes that are typically used to describe an individual. The full list of attributes and their cor-responding facets can found in Appendix 3.

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Brand Identity Construction Survey & Brand Image Construction Survey

The two surveys that were created and used to construct the brand identity and brand im-age were named “The Brand Identity Construction (BID) Survey” (Appendix 1) and “The Brand Image (BI) Construction Survey” (Appendix 2) respectively. The surveys took forms of self-completion questionnaires; this implied that those answering them did not require researcher supervision. However, this also meant that the questions had to be short and easy to comprehend in order to avoid confusion or leading respondents to get bored and not answer truthfully. It was important that respondents respond thoroughly instead of just finishing the survey as quickly as possible (Bell & Bryman, 2011). For both surveys, ques-tion 1-3 asked the respondent to value a list attributes on a 5 point Likert scale based on the level they agree the attribute relates to the brand and the question. The valuation levels of agreement ranged from Strongly Agree (5) to Strongly Disagree (1) and were given a numeri-cal value which was needed for the data analysis as seen in Table 3-2.
Table 3-3 provides a comparison between the two surveys to show how similarly they were constructed, but also how they differed. The BID Construction Survey, which was to be answered by a representative from the selected brand, consisted of eight questions while the BI Construction Survey, only consisted of four questions. The first four questions of both surveys are very similar to each other, the only difference being the perspective of the question formed. For example, Question 1 in both the BID Construction Survey and the BI Construction Survey, asked respondents about how a list of attributes reflected on the brand and the culture aspects of the brand. However, in the BID Construction Survey, it was formed for the respondent to answer from a brand’s owner perspective, while in the BI Construction Survey it was formed for the respondent to answer from a consumer’s at-titude perspective.
Questions 3 and 4 in both surveys related to personal attributes that consumers may felt they have when using or hypothetically using the brand’s products. Once again, the ques-tion was formed in the perspective of the consumer and the brand owner’s idea of how they wanted consumers to feel when using their products. Questions 4-8 in the BID Construction survey are open-ended (qualitative) questions that relate to the company’s marketing communication and business strategies of the brand. They explored the brand’s communication channel choices, brand repositioning, and prod-uct line. Question 4 in BI Construction Survey on the other hand gave the respondent the chance to add any attributes he or she believed to represent the brand but was not in the list of attributes already. Furthermore, Question 4 in the BI Construction Survey gave the respondent a chance to freely express their opinions and attitudes towards the brand there-fore making it a qualitative question. It is important to note that in the BI Construction Survey, the consumers were not asked similar questions to BID Construction Survey’s question 5-8 because the purpose of this method is to compare a company’s brand identity with brand their image, and not to explore how consumers have heard of the brand.
The full and separated Brand Identity Construction Survey and the Brand Image Construc-tion Survey can be found in Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 respectively.


The principle of sampling is to be able to make some assumptions between the results of a smaller observed group with the population a researcher is studying. Because of resource and time restrictions, sampling must always be planned with care when conducting quanti-tative research (Bell & Bryman, 2011). The method of comparing brand identity versus brand image in this study uses simple random sample, which is the most basic form of probability sampling (Bell & Bryman, 2011). The criterion for choosing a sample popula-tion was that the population must either own the chosen brand’s product or is familiar with the brand and have attitudes or opinions towards the brand. Hence, the selection criterion for the survey participants was that they must have strong familiarity of the brand. Simple random sampling was used meaning anyone who fitted the selection criterion was consid-ered to have an equal probability of inclusion and fit to represent the population (Bell & Bryman, 2011).
Because the purpose of this research is to test a method of comparing brand identity versus brand image and not to profile the brands users, it was not very important to exclusively use individuals who own a pair of the brand’s headphones. However it is often that con-sumers who own a brand’s product, have more in depth opinions and attitudes towards a brand rather than consumers who lack owning a product (Kapferer, 2012). Therefore effort was still made during the distribution of the surveys in trying to find actual owners of the brands’ products.

1 Introduction 
2 Theoretical background
3 Methods of Implementation: 
4 Finding and analysis
5 Discussions and Conclusion 
6 References

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