Module Title: Stakeholder Brand Management
CONTENTS Introduction 2 Understanding Consumer Identity—the Cornerstone of Brand Symbolic Meanings 2 Understanding Consumer Identity Helps Brand Communication 5 Critical Evaluation of Understanding Consumer Identity 7 Conclusion 9 References 10
Belk (1988) has pointed out that the most basic and powerful fact in marketing is that we are what we have. This statement highlighted the importance of consumers’ identities and the relationship between their identities and their consume choices. In marketing practice, the role of consumer identity has never been underestimated. Many studies have proved that consumers’ identities have significant influence on their choices of brands and products. From this perspective, an understanding of consumer identity may help brand managers make wiser decisions and survive intense competition in market.
This essay is an attempt to explain that an understanding of consumer identity can help brand managers in at least two aspects, which are brands’ symbolic meanings and brand communication.
More specifically, the first section will argue that an understanding of consumer identity is the foundation for building the symbolic meanings of a brand. In the second section, the importance of understanding consumer identity when choosing appropriate means of brand communication will be explored. Nevertheless, the over emphasis of consumer identity may also bring some risks to brand management. These risks will be critically evaluated in the final section.
Understanding Consumer Identity—the Cornerstone of Brand Symbolic Meanings
Brand managers are responsible for brand management, which is creating a lasting impression of brand and building emotional association between a company’s products and consumers (Hislop, 2001). In other words, brand managers’ work is contributing to building and managing brand. In brand
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