Discoveries in the Making
The battle of the brands
In an era where product parity is common, image can make all the difference. It is very difficult to create a truly unique product – especially when points of difference are easily imitated.
Strong brands have strong identities, according to Michael Mulvey, assistant professor of marketing in the Telfer School of Management. Trying to win over consumers has become an identity contest where people make choices based on identity concerns and the nature of the emotionally-charged consumption experience promised by the brand.
In order to create an effective representation, an appropriate image must be identified for the brand, the consumer, and the consumer-brand relationship. Marketers need to become “symbol-minded” and draw upon archetypes to use as models of identity. Success requires an alignment between customer and brand archetypes to create a coherent whole.
The meaningfulness of competing brand identities is sharpened when put into a system: compare Pepsi’s youthful exuberance with Coke’s stoic traditionalism.
Telfer School of Management
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