Posted in Marketing and Strategy Terms, Total Reads: 4086
Definition: Brand Image
Brand Image is what the customers think/perceive (or form an impression) about a particular brand in their mind. Brand Image can be defined as how existing or potential customers view the brand and associate with it. Every company wants to position its brand in a certain way which it deems is the best way for it to be seen by the customers, that is known as Brand Identity. Brand image is something that eventually forms in the mind of the customer. Brand image may be same as brand identity or may be totally opposite. The ideal scenario is that the brand image should be positive and what the company or the manufacturer wants it to be.
The figure above shows the cycle how brand identity converts into brand image and comes back to the company itself. If brand identity is in sync with the image the customer comes back to the company.
The views, beliefs and perceptions of the target customers form an image in their minds defining how they imagine or identify the respective brand. Basically, brand image is the overall impression of a brand's total ‘personality’ in the consumers' mind. Brand image is developed over time and affected by the consumer’s experience or association from all sources, as well as mass advertising. The brand image in the mind may be made up of real data or imaginary assumptions.
The main identifier of brand image can be a unique logo or slogan, which recalls the customers of the brand’s name. The customers also recall the brand in terms of remembering their experiences with the brand- be it pre, during or post purchase.
Importance of Brand Image
Brand image is a very important parameter when it comes to brand performance. If the brand image is positive, the product would rise which would result in more sales. Negative brand image will lead to opposite results. Every company should try to be realistic while identifying the brand identity of the product. This identity should be practical, objective and smart. If it is too ambitious it may lead to customers not forming the same brand image in their mind. A positive brand image is built when customers are able to recall the brand and its uniqueness in terms of the offered value proposition, relate to the organization’s way of business and its key values. Hence the Brand Image is important because it is formed completely on its own in customer's mind and cannot be measured quantitatively. Brand image can be influenced through a good brand identity which a company can control.
Factors Contributing to Brand Image
1. Quality of the Product/service
2. Usability of the Product/service
3. Perceived value
4. Some association like a celebrity with positive impact
Brand Image Example
The brand image can be understood with BMW example. BMW as a car is associated with luxury, power and status symbol. The brand image of BMW is positive in minds of target audience and the image is of a brand which will raise their status in society and would be seen as absolute parameter of one's success.
Another example can be seen for Starbucks. It is considered a place which is associated with warmth, comfort and good coffee. The brand image for Starbucks is that of a comforting brand. People associate memories with such brands.