This paper proposes to reconsider the attitude of marketing researchers on brand image. Two examples are put forward, both of them concern transportation. The brand image of automotive products is determined, apart from the "objectiveâ knowledge of price and performance, by the past history of the brand, the ownerâs image and the ownerâs supposed lifestyle. The weight of the economic situation may modify brand perception as well as product perception and may result in shifts of product usage from more sophisticated to simpler and less expensive transports. A newly developed product will not be perceived as such, unless the ownerâs image and lifestyle can be related to a different kind of usage by a different social stereotype. An overall bad product image weighs on the moped market. Brands have to fight their way among common stereotypes about the general character of mopeds and reinforce their personality by relating their products to different categories of age and sex. Consumer dissatisfaction with cars and fashion act in favour of this product category. The paper concludes on the impossibility of reducing brand image to a single factor and on the negation of a hierarchy between corporate image, brand image and product image. The most important task in changing a brand image is to modify the userâs or buyerâs social stereotype.
Author: Reg van Steen
June 15, 1996
- This could also be of interest