CONGRUENCE OF BRAND IDENTITY AND BRAND IMAGE

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Branding

“Value added products need a distinct individuality – they need a brand.” (Giddens & Hofmann, 2001, p.1)
Investigating branding within the realm of new venture companies proves to be a unique and interesting research topic for multiple reasons; one of which being the lack of position and rominence in the marketplace. Branding is a concept that appears to be a necessary process of building a company’s sales, which allows their products and services to become identifiable. It is one of the most important factors influencing a company item’s success or failure in today’s marketplace (Castree & Kitchin 2013; Giddens & Hofmann, 2001; Bhave, 1994). Branding is the process of identifying the brand and in turn, the brand itself is the combination of names, words, symbols or design that identifies the product to its company, thus differentiating itself from competition (Giddens & Hofmann, 2001).
Only humans can attach meaning and feeling to inanimate objects and random collections of symbols, which suggests the appeal of branding is not entirely rational (O’Malley, 1991). As a result, once the consumers become accustomed to a certain brand, they do not readily accept substitutes; therefore allowing organizations to seek ways of taking advantage of this human trait through the strategy of branding (Rooney, 1995). Leventhal (1996) put branding in a broad context, explaining how branding encompasses both the tangible and the intangible benefits provided by a product or service. He describes how branding covers the entire consumer experience and includes all the assets critical to delivering and communicating that experience, namely the product name, advertising, product or service, and in many cases the multiple media and proliferating distribution channel (Leventhal, 1996). All in all, it is the preliminary method to generate consumer awareness through not only naming what the company offers and stands for, but also by distinguishing the offer from other similar products or services within that category. Branding is about being different, and through which, a competitive advantage can be created (Kay, 2006). Likewise, Roy and Banerjee (2007) further explain that branding acts as a supporter in the achievement of competitive success.
In a sense, branding consists of thinking ahead of the consumers, anticipating and shaping their needs or wants. As mentioned before, the most central objective in branding is to differentiate products (Murphy, 1988; Bhave, 1994). Accordingly, if products are the same as their competitors, little room is left for customer preference. The goal, or what can be called one of the “primary logics” of branding, is to distinguish or differentiate a product or service within its category. Within this “product decision” framework, branding decisions are effectively applied to the company’s products and services for many decades (Kay, 2006). Consequently, a brand offers instant product recognition and identification, thus allowing consumers to identify branded products for their extended lifetime.
Furthermore, branding can be seen as the act of helping the brand be seen as a concept, something that gives appeal to customers rather than just an added name. In relation, it is used to reduce the risk that consumers face when buying something that they know little about (Rooney, 1995). Brands are best understood in terms of a particular “logical structure” that channel consumer perceptions. Being names that are associated with experiences, brands can also be treated as logical structures that are parallel to metaphors, allegories, or other representations. As associative representations, the brand is used to explain why products and services have meaning for consumers. Congruently, Kay (2006) explains the function of a brand is to create meaning, and there are numerous ways of making meaning “happen”. As a result, when a product has a sense of familiarity, the consumer upholds higher purchase confidence.

Importance of Branding

Brands have a social impact on the society and consecutively the society itself influences the development of the brand (Cova & Paranque, 2016). Sales are crucial to the company survival, however if consumers are unaware of what the business offers, the likelihood of failure increases.
Thus, through branding that dilemma can significantly be reduced. Because branding is about building sustainable relationships with consumers, companies closest to the consumer often have an advantage with that connection. Hence, companies that have taken branding into consideration will always gain an advantage over competitors since they communicate with the consumer (Leventhal, 1996). Today, firms apply branding to more diverse settings where the role of branding is becoming increasingly important and market analysts generally agree that this trend will continue and be part of a formula for successful firms in the future (Rooney, 1995). In relation, by expressing the features that identifies one seller’s good or servers as being distinct, generally through names, design, symbols, etc, from those of other sellers; the brand becomes a an influential actor in the shaping of modern day society (Cova & Paranque, 2016).

1. INTRODUCTION 
1.1 BACKGROUND
1.2 PROBLEM DISCUSSION.
1.3 PURPOSE AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS
2. FRAME OF REFERENCE
2.1 BRANDING
2.2 BENEFITS OF BRANDING
2.3 BRANDING AS A STRATEGY
2.4 BRANDING IN NEW VENTURES
2.5 CONGRUENCE OF BRAND IDENTITY AND BRAND IMAGE
2.6 BRAND IDENTITY
2.7 KAPFERER BRAND IDENTITY PRISM
2.8 BRAND IMAGE
3. METHODOLOGY .
3.1 RESEARCH PARADIGM
3.2 ABDUCTIVE RESEARCH APPROACH
3.3 RESEARCH STRATEGY
4. METHOD 
4.1 DATA COLLECTION
4.2 SECONDARY DATA
4.3 PRIMARY DATA
4.4 SAMPLE SELECTION
4.5 RESEARCH DESIGN
4.6 TRUSTWORTHINESS
5. EMPIRICAL FINDINGS
5.1 BRANDING
5.2 BRAND IDENTITY
5.3 BRAND IMAGE
6. ANALYSIS 
6.1 BRANDING
6.2 INTERPRETATION OF BRAND IMAGE AND BRAND IDENTITY
6.3 BRAND IDENTITY
6.4 BRAND IMAGE
7. CONCLUSION.
8. DISCUSSION

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Fortification of New Venture Branding through Brand Image and Brand Identity

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