Brand Images contain the sum of individual attitudes towards objects. Brand image is a set of association in the minds of consumer that, where the brand stands in regard to, keeping the promises made to consumer. Brand image is an impression of a total brand personality, in consumers mind (Trommsdorffand Becker 2005).
(Shwu-lng and Chen-Lien. 2009.) researched on a larger scale suggesting the core components of brand image which are as follow; brand awareness and brand preference, both are positively associated with the attitude of core brand image. The research was conducted on the basis mentioned variables, which are considered to be vital for creating strong brand image.
Images contain the sum of individual attitudes towards objects, are holistic collections of conscious as well as sub-conscious properties of attitudes (Trommsdorff & Becker, 2005), they cannot be accurately retrieved by asking consumers “What image do you have of “brand X” in your mind?” Instead, indirect measures are preferable. Firstly, indirect measures were implemented to overcome distortions caused by social desirability i.e. Lost Letter-Technique (Mailgram, Mann & Harter, 1965)
(Porter and Clay comb, 1997) measured brand image from two dimensions, namely the symbol and the Function. The functions of the brands were measured by the utility factors which are usability, convenience, product attributes whereas, symbol determines the social status, acceptance, personality defining etc.
More modern approaches like the Implicit Association Test proposed by the same authors (1995) or the Affective Priming Task by Fazio, Sanbonmatsu, Powell, and Kardes (1986) take this into account. While they were helpful for quantifying one-dimensional attitudes, they are not yet capable of providing multidimensional measures, as they would be needed for obtaining differentiated image profiles.
Aaker (1996) believed that brand image could be measured through three dimensions, including: (1) Brand value, in relation to functional benefits, also the basic condition required by the brand, (2) Brand characteristics, the connection between brand characteristics and customer perception are appeared differences; (3) Brand associations, the associations customers have with the brand that, the customer would expand buying other merchandise and service of the same brand.
Concept of consumer preference comprises of two main components; consumer acceptance and consumer satisfaction, components are considered to be closely linked however, are distinct from each other. Consumer acceptance is the willingness to tolerate product, whereas, satisfaction is the fulfillment of the desired needs of consumer from product. Nevertheless, acceptance and satisfaction fall in same continuum but it is not completely certain that, acceptance will lead you to satisfaction. Consumer can be satisfied only when the required needs of the customers are fulfilled.
Consumer makes purchase decisions, without conscious mind, “ninety-five percent of the thought, emotion, and learning, that drive consumer purchases, occurs in the Sub-conscious mind” (Armstrong et al. 2005, p. 143).Consumers’ purchasing process is affected by a number of different environments , such as, cultural, social, personal, educational, and psychological , some of the factors are not under the control of marketers. However, mentioned factors must be taken into consideration in order to reach target consumers effectively (see figure 2.1) (Kotler et al. 2005).
Some Studies in Relation to, Brand Image and Consumer Preferences
In this context, some previous studies implied, the importance of image; when it comes to buying, voting or other decisions. Allison and Uhl (1964) were amongst the first to prove the impact of brand image on consumers brand preference. They conducted a taste test in which the consumers have to rank the product quality. The ranking of the labeled beer bottles were high as compare to the unlabeled beer bottles. Furthermore, the ranking of the worst quality labeled beer bottle was higher compare to the ranking of best quality unlabeled Beer bottle.
Later, Nevid (1981) also worked on certain brand image effects on soda water. In the study he focused on the intrinsic and extrinsic qualities of a product that produce a brand image. Intrinsic qualities were the ingredients carbonation and taste and the extrinsic qualities were shape of bottle and the logo.
.A study by Carpusor and Loges (2006) Tells us about how the ethnic subgroups are affected by their image and what kind of image is developed by the brand belongs to an ethnic subgroup? The study was conducted by sending the emails to the landlords who were searching for the rental enquiries. The fictitious sender was varied to have either a typical Arab, white American or African American name. E-mails from the white American senders got the much more positive response then the other two, while the emails with the African American names had the most negative response.
(Bertrand & Mullainathan, 2004).also did a similar study with the idea of sending the resume to employers with names with different ethnic groups in which mostly white American people were called for the job. So the image has been created in the subconscious mind of people which click on them at a very initial level and direct them for the decision making process. The title of the study was “Are Emily and Greg more employable than Lakisha and Jamal?”
Other factor which also creates brand image is the country or origin of Manufacturing Company, the study of Verlegh and Steen Kamp’s met analysis (1999) contributes the clear view, regarding the Impact of the manufacturing country of a certain product, on consumer perception towards brand. The phenomena of origin help the customer in decision making while purchasing a product. A good example is people prefer German cars instead of French car and French wine instead of German wine.
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