Consumers vary as to which brand attributes they see as most relevant and the importance they attach to each attribute (brand association ). They will pay the most attention to the attributes that deliver the sought benefits.
The market for a product can often be segmented according to the attributes that are salient to different consumer groups. The consumer develops a set of beliefs about where each brand stands on each attribute. These set of beliefs about the brand make up brand image. Brand identity and brand image need to be distinguished. Identity comprises the ways that a company aims to identify or position itself or its product. Image is the way the public perceives the company or its products. Image is affected by many factors beyond the company’s control.
An effective image does three things:
- It establishes the product’s character and value proposition.It conveys this character in a distinctive way so as not to confuse it with the competitor’s image.
- It delivers emotional power beyond a mental image.
- The image of a brand may contain different types of associations in memory: attributes benefits and attitudes.
BRANDS ATTRIBUTE ASSOCIATIONS
These are descriptive features, which are used to characterize a product or service. The attributes could be distinguished on the basis of how directly they are related to product or service performance. The product related attributes are ingredients necessary for the products performance. On product related attributes are packaging, user imagery, usage imagery and price.
In the case of Woodland shoes the product related attributes would be: leather that weathers, unique sole, water resistant etc. The non-product related attributes would be: price -1500+; package-green box; user-young, rugged, tough; usage-outdoors, trekking.
BRANDS BENEFIT ASSOCIATIONS
Functional: These are the outcome of the functions performed by a product of service. These are the intrinsic benefits of consuming a product or service.
Mercedes has the functional benefit of sophisticated and ultra modern technology.
Experiential: these accrue to the user in the form of feelings.
For Mercedes the experiential benefits will be the feeling of a smooth and comfortable ride.
Symbolic: These are non intrinsic to the product and correspond to non-product related benefits.
For Mercedes it will be the prestige of being a part of a select group.
BRANDS ATTITUDE ASSOCIATIONS
Attitudes determine buying decisions. They refer to overall evaluation of a concept like person, product, object or a brand.