A brand can be the most potent asset a business possesses, but this doesn’t necessarily make it easy to define. Perhaps this is because in the digital age, the definition has broadened in scope to include not only a company and its mainstay product but also people. The brand according to the business dictionary can be defined as unique design, sign, symbol, words or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors. Over time, this image becomes associated with a level of credibility, quality and satisfaction in the consumer’s mind. Thus, brands help harried consumers in a crowded and complex marketplace by standing for certain benefits and value.” In this article we are going to define the effects of brand positioning and strategies on consumer behavior.
According to Gallup consumers must identify with a brand, a concept it calls “brand alignment.” It helps explain how branding can influence customers’ perception of an organization. Consumers who identify with a brand are likely to “give it twice as much share of wallet as those who are not aligned with that same brand. Brand alignment builds trust — and trust is a necessary precursor to any company’s long-term success.”
Positioning as a way of emphasizing the distinctive characteristics of a brand that make it different from its competitors and appealing to the public; brand positioning is a way of demonstrating a brand’s advantage over and differentiating it from its competition. Brand positioning is a rather functional affair, with an emphasis on product and service features, benefits, usage, value and ability to solve problems for consumers. It is a part of a brand identity and value proposition that is to be actively communicated to the target audience and that demonstrates an advantage over competing brands. To understand brand positioning in details students can now avail online assignment help from SourceEssay experts.
Impact Of Branding On Consumer Behavior
Brand alignment may be the most powerful influence on consumer behavior, but many consumers experience a few more brand effects before opening their wallet. Sometimes, the feelings are commensurate with the cost of the purchase. Whether it’s a designer handbag, a Smartphone or a vehicle, a recognizable brand;
- Creates Desire. Its human nature: when something looks appealing and we think it will somehow enhance our life, we want it.
- Becomes Synonymous With Status And Prestige. This is one of the reasons many savvy small-business owners review many logo designs before settling on “the perfect” one. They know that the picture alone holds the promise of communicating values that thousands of written words could only hope to convey. Of course, status and prestige convey more than a high price; they signify quality, too.
- Validates Self-Esteem. It may also help forge a lacking one. Either way, Brand Anew notes that “every individual has a certain image about himself or herself in their mind. When they purchase something, they would like those items to conform to their self-concept.”
- Creates A Sense Of Belonging. Before the dawning of the era of content marketing, it was rare to hear marketers talk about consumers wanting to “bond” with a company by understanding its culture and products and what goes on behind the scenes. Now they talk about little else. At their best, brands are inclusive.
Consumer Decision Process Model
- Need To Be Recognized- Stage one is need recognition, which occurs when an individual senses a difference between what the consumer perceives to be the ideal and the actual state of affairs (Chen et al., 2012). First of all, consumers recognize that they have needs, this is the beginning of the decision-making process, and these needs may be caused by functional and the psychological needs. Since many factors can stimulate an awareness of needs, companies can through advertising inspire consumers’ needs for new products, so that they subsequently give up those old products or those products that are no longer competitive in the market.
- Search For Information- Stage two is the search for information. As mentioned by (Faircloth et al. 2001), the information search is the process by which a consumer surveys their environment for appropriate data to make a reasonable decision. The information search may be internal and external. Internal is from the memory, while external is the information which comes from environmental influences and individual differences. The environmental influences can include culture, social class, family or friends. Particularly in the case of friends and family, people will get knowledge and information about a certain product and a significant portion of consumers prefer to accept other people’s advice as a guide to their own shopping. Individual differences include attitudes, personality, values and lifestyle.
- Pre- Purchase Evaluation Of Alternatives- Stage three is the pre-purchase evaluation of alternatives. At this stage, consumers are trying to identify alternatives based on their decisions such as what their opinions are and what is best for them. After collecting information, consumers will evaluate a variety of products, and the composition of these will be based on rational and emotional components. Consumers often judge a brand by attributes such as quantity, size, quality and price. At the pre-purchase stage, consumers often have to take into account many factors. Therefore, if a firm can understand the important evaluation factors of their consumers, through promotions such as lowering the price or providing some special offers, then it is possible to obtain more consumers and obtain competitive advantages.
- Purchase- Stage four of brand strategy is the purchase, as (Lieven et al. 2015) states, there are two phases as part of the consumer decision-making process, the first phase is when consumers choosing the type of retailer, such as through catalogues, Internet or direct sales. The second phase is the in-store choice, which is influenced by salespersons, product displays, electronic media, and point-of-purchase (POP) advertising. Alternatively, after the consumers have undertaken product evaluation, they make the decision about which products to buy, and then undertake the buying action. However, this is often the attitudes that will influence by other and some unexpected factors. For example because of the consumer evaluation and the decision-making process the purchase decision may be cancelled at this time, and then the consumer purchase decision-making process will stop.
- Post Purchase- Consumption, Evaluation & Divestment- Stage five consumption, stage six post-consumption evaluation, and stage seven divestment, all occur at the post-purchase stage. After purchasing the product, the decision-making process still has not been terminated, because during the initial process of using the product, consumers will look back and measure to see whether there are any problems or whether they are dissatisfied with the product.(Lieven et al. 2015) state that post-evaluation is a sense of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Satisfaction occurs when the consumers’ expectations are matched by the perceived performance of the product. Dissatisfaction occurs when experiences and performance fall short of expectations. Divestment considers the consumers’ disposal, recycling for environmental concerns and firms remarketing.
After evaluating the aspects of brand positioning it can be said that almost every company has a brand promise that tells consumers what they can expect from their interactions with that company. However, Gallup finds that not every company has done an effective job of creating and communicating a strong brand promise. And to create brand alignment, companies must develop a strong brand promise to let consumers know what the company stands for, what makes it unique and why they should choose it over its competitors. Brand positioning helps create desires, becomes synonymous with status and prestige, validates self esteem, and creates a sense of belonging. To understand the effects of brand positioning in details students can avail online essay help from SourceEssay experts.
Chen, C. C., Chen, P. K., & Huang, C. E. (2012). Brands and consumer behavior. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 40(1), 105-114.
Faircloth, J. B., Capella, L. M., & Alford, B. L. (2001). The effect of brand attitude and brand image on brand equity. Journal of marketing theory and practice, 9(3), 61-75.
Lieven, T., Grohmann, B., Herrmann, A., Landwehr, J. R., & Van Tilburg, M. (2015). The effect of brand design on brand gender perceptions and brand preference. European Journal of Marketing.