My Brands and I.
The growth in the research of consumer-brand relationship has been a key focus of branding theory in the past few years. Although relatively little work has been done on adopting the relationship metaphor at the consumer brand level, research has been accelerating slowly and there are numerous influential studies such Fournier 1998, Sirgy 1982 and Aggrawal 2001. The Qualitative research process used by both gives an insight in the development of relationship theory in the consumer brand domain. Due to financial and time problems secondary research is mostly used for consumer research. It is therefore not always accurate and credible. The reason for researching in the brand-domain is that it is extremely helpful to marketers and consumer researchers in our fast moving world where communication is so advanced. There is an immense amount of brand advertising and brand image surrounding us all the time. Advertising not only helps to create and transform cultural meanings for the consumer, but it also represents cultural meanings derived from the consumers (Elliott p136). These are then turned into products through positioning. Individual post purchase in consumer behaviour is also of growing concern to marketers as the shift to the focus on developing long term and profitable relationships . (Arnould&Price&Zinkhan,2004, consumers 2nd Ed) From a marketers perspective the brand is a very complex entity. This is because the brand works at different levels constantly providing potential consumers information about what is on offer, who it is targeting and the most difficult and important information is how the brand describes the buyer. This essay will develop a framework of my own consumer-brand relationships and the critical analysis will give me different perceptions of myself depending on the brand and environment. I will develop an analysis on my self-concepts that will show what kind of person I am and what kind of person I want to be also how others see me and how I want them to see me. Brands, defined as collections "of perceptions held in the mind of the consumer," display their characteristics and personalities via the marketing mix. Consumers, conversely, shape their views about a brand in the context of their social environment, culture, and individual values. (Fournier, 1998) My social environment would mostly consist of my family, extended family and university students. My cultural background is of British Asian and a Muslim origin. My individual values are connected with these backgrounds when I purchase a particular product or brand. Brands are connected to us in many forms such as communication, learning, history and feelings hence creating a relationship with the dyad. The names maybe simple but the ideas structuring the brands and the different ways in which brands are used are both complex and multi-faceted. The idea that brands relate to the consumer is referred to as brand relationship or consumer brand relationship. (Fournier, 1998) Fournier introduced the relationship theory to consumer research and demonstrated an understanding of the roles that brands play in the life of the consumer.(Sung and Campbell, 2007) This relationship in return provides an aid for living and meaning in the different aspects of our lives. The concept of a brand can be shown as five step pyramid consisting of different steps of meaning and involvement.
At the first step the brand is an identifying mark to recognise the product from alternatives referred to as an implicit statement of specification. The next step is soon a mark of assurance, standard of quality and a certain level of reliability is highlighted for the brand. The third step, the brand starts to interpret moments of choice. This is when the brand becomes associated with a choice then it is more likely to be purchased. although successful brands can position themselves to become the best choice due to its purpose such as Kleenex for...
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