Brand identity, loyalty and equity.
The extent to which a company can evoke an emotional connection between its brand and its target markets will play a big part in determining its business success. By tapping into consumers’ emotions, a company is able to create a long-term relationship in which both consumer and business will enjoy (Robinette 2000, p.1). This essay will discuss the emotional connection a brand has with their consumers, explaining the need to be identifiable and unique with regards to the design of their name, trademark and packaging. A positive response from consumers will then ensure the value of a brand increases, contributing towards increased revenue for a company.
Businesses are constantly searching for ways to immediately provoke a positive emotional response from consumers, as soon as their product is viewed. The first impression, created by the look, feel or sound of the product, “encompasses the entire spectrum of consumers’ awareness, knowledge and image of the brand as well as the company behind it” (Belch et al 2012, p.160). This initial contact can be made at a shop, or through other marketing strategies such as advertising, promotions, mail outs, sponsorships or social media, with each platform leaving lasting emotional impressions on consumers.
A major goal of any company should be to create customers, by developing strategies around the four ‘P’s’ of marketing – Product, Price, Promotion and Place. Strategies around branding need to be considered in all four of these areas, such is the importance of brand marketing as a whole. After identifying a target demographic, a company should aim to stimulate their audience through the name, symbol and packaging of the product. Founded in 1964, Nike is a sports apparel brand, whose goal was to improve the performance of running shoes. This company has since become recognizable all over the world, whose trademark, appearance, value, and philosophy has evoked people of all demographics.
To create brand equity, a product needs to successfully generate brand awareness, perceived quality and an emotion association with consumer. The financial benefits that accompany consumer behaviour will then be evident. As defined by Stephen King, “A product is something that is made in a factory; a brand is something that is bought by a customer. A product can be copied by a competitor; a brand is unique. A product can be quickly out-dated; a successful brand is timeless” (Aaker 1991, p.1). Successful brand equity creates longevity for a company; with their market position reflecting the way customers are able to associate with their brand.
A brand name is important for both the promotional and emotional perspective of a product, with the name aiming to resonate with the consumer. People always want to make informed decisions when purchasing a product, but this decision is often rushed due to time constraints or other factors. A brand name, combined with product appearance can reverberate with customers emotionally, providing a short cut to purchase decisions. Brand names that are able to “communicate product concepts and help position the product in customers’ minds” (Belch et al 2012, p.160) will initially succeed. The consumer-brand relationship is then able to deepen from this original contact.
A suitable brand name paired with a striking logo will solidify the brands identity, and in turn encourage the consumer-brand relationship. In 1972, the ‘swoosh’ trademark was developed and linked to the name Nike, with these two mediums being singly identifiable worldwide today. This symbol advocated movement and speed within a simplistic object. Whether being seen at the shops, on shoes, in advertisement campaigns or within athlete or event sponsorship deals, this ‘swoosh’ can be directly linked to the brand Nike. This immediate identification makes Nike the most recognizable sporting brand in the world (Smith 2011).
The connection each consumer...
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