The Role of Advertising in Brand Image Development Essay example

6860 Words Jul 27th, 2010 28 Pages
The role of advertising in brand image development
Introduction
The notion that there is no objective reality and that people trade in the realms of perception and image represents one of the most important tenets of human understanding. Nowhere is this more true than in the area of human relationships with business organizations, i.e. the domain of marketing. Indeed images at all levels of marketing have taken on an increased importance in recent times. Corporations have become obsessive about public perceptions of their activities while at the level of the product/brand there has been a “shift in attention away from the physical aspects and functional benefits of products to their symbolic associations,
expressiveness”
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197) or “a set of associations, usually organized in some meaningful way” (Aaker, 1992, pp. 109-10). The “brand” is often regarded as separate from the functional product, with the brand being grafted on by advertising, thereby completing the transformation process from functional product to immortal brand. Kim (1990) suggests that “a product is a physical thing…a brand has no tangible, physical, or functional properties…Yet it is just as real as the product. Disembodied, abstract, ephemeral…it exists like a myth in the imagination of the consumer” (p. 65).
The product is seen as providing core functional benefits while the brand is responsible for creating the magnetic human-like aura around the actual product. While the term “brand” was originally associated with the product-level of marketing imagery, and later extended to include both services and industrial products (Egan et al., 1992), the skills/techniques which brand management implies have been extended to all levels of marketing imagery. Thus it is now quite common to talk of branding at both the corporate and retail level of company activity, as well as the traditional brand domain, namely the product (Grier, 1991; King, 1989; Levy, 1990).
From identity to image
One of the most notable features of this area of marketing is the confusion in terminology employed. At the corporate level, image and identity are often used to mean the

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