Brand Image: Do Consumers Buy It?
Companies put a lot of time, effort and money into their brand image, but do consumers agree with what companies think of themselves? There are brands that do not know how they are seen by consumers.
The image consumers have of a brand can be very different from the image the company has of itself. This is because the image of a brand is the set of perceptions, beliefs, expectations and attitudes that consumers have towards it, and these perceptions can be influenced by many factors, such as advertising, the consumer’s experience with the brand, the company’s reputation and the perception of the quality of its products or services.
For example, a company may have an image of itself as innovative and sustainable, but consumers may have a different image of the brand if they have had negative experiences with its products or if the company has had problems with social or environmental responsibility.
Why is it important for a brand image to be consistent and coherent?
It is important for companies to have a consistent and coherent image both internally and externally, as this can affect consumer loyalty and trust in the brand. However, there can sometimes be mismatches between the image that companies have of themselves and the image that consumers have, and it is important for companies to be aware of these mismatches and work to adjust their brand image to ensure that it accurately reflects what they offer and how they do it.
How can companies ensure that their brand image accurately reflects what they offer and how they do it?
One way companies can do this is through market research and consumer feedback. This can include consumer surveys, focus groups and social media data analysis to gain a deeper understanding of how consumers perceive the brand and how this perception may differ from the company’s self-image.
In addition, it is important for companies to be transparent and authentic in their communication and marketing, as this can help build trust and loyalty among consumers. Companies should also be responsible and take into account the impact of their actions on society and the environment, as this can affect the brand image and how consumers perceive the company.
Examples of how a brand’s image may differ from the image that companies have of themselves
A sportswear company may have an image of itself as inclusive and diverse, but if its advertising campaigns only feature thin, athletic models, consumers may perceive the brand differently and feel excluded. In this case, the company can work to adjust its brand image to ensure that it accurately reflects its commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.
Another example might be a food company that has an image of itself as healthy and sustainable, but if it is discovered that its ingredients are not as healthy or that its production practices are not sustainable, consumers may have a negative image of the brand. In this case, the company must work to adjust its practices to ensure that they reflect its commitment to health and sustainability.
Conclusions: the importance of brand image for consumer trust and loyalty
It is important for companies to consider the image consumers have of their brands and work to ensure that it accurately reflects what they offer and how they do it. This can include reviewing their practices and communicating their messages in an authentic and transparent manner. By doing this, companies can build trust and loyalty among consumers and ensure that their image accurately reflects their values and principles.