Since the remnant of the pandemic is still in action, the market conditions are changing accordingly. As a result, brands focus more on brand management. It also made the businesses adapt to a holistic marketing approach that became more important than ever to fulfill the desires of their customers.
If you are a brand owner, you need to make your brand competitive to pay attention to your customers. Today’s retail environment, with numerous brands and products, confuses customers. The particular attributes professed values and many other factors influence consumers. The brand is one such factor that affects consumers’ purchase behavior.
What actually is a brand?
According to David Ogilvy, who is considered the father of advertising, “Brand is something which remains with us when our factory is burned.” It’s crucial for business owners for two purposes— the brand serves as a point of focus for customer loyalty, and it develops assets to meet future demands and ensure cash flow.
Hence brands introduce stability that helps businesses guard against competitive invasion. It also allows investment and planning to be put in place with confidence. Brands also refer to the business assets protected against duplication. A brand isn’t built overnight, but over the period when people experience the company’s products or services.
In other words, a brand is the distinguishable sign of a business and its products to human senses, through which customers can differentiate a business and its products from others. For example, when customers see the logo design of various companies, they recall the brand name based on these brand marks like Apple, Domino’s, McDonald’s, and so on.
Branding works as an indicator. It helps customers quickly identify a product — one they like or the one they are acquainted with. It works like a memory sign, allowing customers to retrieve related information from memory.
It may be the brand’s previous experience, associations, and perceptions. The information that one has stored about a particular brand is crucial in determining their decisions.
Branding has turned out to be a vital part of business strategy. It is essential to create customer value and maintain a competitive advantage. It is the process of nurturing a relationship between your company’s products and customers’ emotional perceptions to create segregation and build loyalty.
On the other hand, brand management is the implementation of special techniques to augment the perceived value of that brand.
Brand and brand-based distinctions are powerful means for businesses to create and maintain a competitive advantage. Customers evaluate brands by investigating brand personality, equity, and extensions.
According to researchers, customers differ not only in how they observe brands but also in how they relate to them. Simply, people build relationships with the brand(s) the same way they build relationships with one another in a social context.
Purpose clarity and promise fulfillment of brand
If a company is clear of its purpose, it starts building a positive image in the market. Customers want to know why a particular business exists. They want a valid reason to support that brand enthusiastically.
They want to be associated with a company that’s best at solving their problems, helps them to live a better, safer, and healthier life, and does what no other businesses have ever done.
If an organization wants it to happen, it should be clear of its purpose. It should convey its visions to its customers. Besides, the organization should depict its firmness on its promises by achieving them.
Let’s take the example of Tesla. Elon Musk’s Tesla is more about a revolution than an electric car. He wanted to revolutionize the automobile sphere. He also wanted to tackle environmental issues; that’s why he brought the concept of Tesla cars.
The same is with companies like Coke, Dove, and more. Coke pitches it with “Coke and connections,” and Dove pitches it with “Dove and empowerment.”
These are the companies with a purpose-oriented mindset, and they go on building a very optimistic brand image.
Brands like Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, and Zara do not believe in advertising. Have you ever thought about why? It’s because they don’t have to.
For these companies, advertising is an extra outflow. Their quality speaks volumes about their brand and sets them apart from their competitors. People use their products and spread the word about them, which is a beautiful example of a word-of-mouth strategy.
That’s how brands build their image in customers’ minds and influence their buying behavior.
The next strategy that brands often count on is continuous innovation. Constant innovation is of utmost importance in maintaining and improving brand image. It puts the brands ahead of the competition and makes the audience believe that they are working hard to satiate their promises.
Take the example of brands like Facebook, Apple, and Google that always strive for innovation. These companies keep heading for innovation to surprise their customers and simplify their lives. And their market shares give the exact idea of their success.
Customer satisfaction and loyalty are significant indicators of customers’ behavioral intent. Customer satisfaction in terms of marketing measures how certain products/services supplied by a brand meet or exceed customers’ expectations.
Customer satisfaction is vital because it gives business owners and marketers a metric that they can implement to improve their offerings or services. A satisfied customer will have a positive brand image in terms of product use.
Customer loyalty, on the other hand, is both attitudinal and behavioral. It shows customers’ tendency to prefer one brand over others. It could be due to the convenience, performance, familiarity, or satisfaction with the product/service of the brand.
Once the positive image is built, customer loyalty develops, and it encourages the customer to shop more, spend more, and feel good about the experience. So, customer loyalty directly indicates that the brand has built a positive image.
We talked about brand equity earlier, now let’s understand it here. The brand image works as a catalyst for brand equity. It refers to a value that a business creates from a product with an identifiable name when
Now, let’s talk about Brand Equity and its relation to Brand Image. In simple terms, brand equity is the commercial value that the company generates out of consumer perception from a particular product/service.
There are three simple components of brand equity — customer perception, negative or positive effect, and resulting value. It’s the perception of the customer that builds brand equity. The perception includes both knowledge and experience gained from the brand and its products. The perception that customers make is either negative or positive.
If the perception is positive, the physical value adds to the goodwill. But if the perceptions are negative, the value is also negative. For example, if customers tend to pay more for a generic product than a branded one, the brand equity will be zero.
Activities within brand management help build a loyal customer base through positive associations or strong brand awareness. It’s the brand image that drives brand equity. No matter what marketing activities a company adopts, the primary purpose is to raise brand awareness and influence customers’ perceptions.
Such a strategy helps establish the brand’s image in customers’ minds and stimulates their purchasing behavior, leading to increased sales, maximized market share, and brand equity development.
In this regard, brand awareness is considered a precondition of people’s buying decisions as it portrays the main factor for considering the brand. It can also impact customers’ confidence in buying decisions and perceived risk evaluation.
External and internal factors
Both external and internal factors also influence the decision-making process. Like a logo, color, and design, emotional appeal also has a significant role in influencing shoppers’ buying behavior.
Nowadays, brands focus not only on their products but also on people. Marketing strategists are well informed of people’s thought processes. That’s the reason they devise strategies that make customers purchase.
There are many brands targeting people with specific discount codes or coupon codes. This may annoy some people, but that’s the strategy. When people buy a specific product, they encounter everything a brand has to offer. It’s called brand alignment.
This idea goes around us every day. Brands are now making personal connections with people based on their experiences. This leads us to develop trust with many other brands.
In simple words, your world meets the advertising world. Corporate branding firms keep on navigating the ways to empower their customers. It’s an enticing trap in which we fall every day.
That’s how brands target their audience, entice them, and influence their buying decisions for all positive reasons. And, brands with the best strategies outshine their rivals.
Brand image plays a significant role in impacting customers’ buying behavior. If the image is positive, customers also show a positive inclination towards the brand. Once customers are satisfied with a particular brand, they become loyal to it.
Many branding gurus suggest that businesses should take their association with society seriously and offer quality products. It helps in influencing customers’ perceptions and decisions.
About the Author!
Alice Jackson is a blogger and Digital Marketing Consultant at Designhill. She is a social media enthusiast, online market analyst, amateur designer and an avid author. She has written on several topics including social media marketing, content marketing, designing trends, startup strategies, and e-commerce. When not writing, she loves spending her time reading romantic novels.