Brand Image is what consumers have in their mind, it can be intentional or unintentional, although companies want consumers to feel what they think their brands is or stands for.
Also, premium brands make customers feel confident by increasing self-esteem and social standing. Many luxury brands like Rolex, Ferrari have this principle where they want people to have aspirations to own their brands.
They often have:
- Superior quality- We expect an expensive product to have exceptional quality. Craftmanship and cutting-edge technology are also components of excellent quality, and it is easier to charge a premium.
- Limited stock- Communicating that a product is available in a limited number creates a sense of urgency in the market; it is a feeling of missing a huge opportunity. Take an example of Ferrari; it makes 7000 cars a year, but it is one of the most recognizable and aspirational brands. On the other hand, once highly esteemed brand Pierre Cardin did something in the 60s, which was exactly opposite to their marketing strategy- it started giving licenses with considering the after-effects. Although they were successful in some areas like perfumes, irrelevant extensions led to brand dilution, and more than 800 licenses later, the brand has lost its exclusivity.
- Heritage/Storytelling- Many fashion brands have a founder who was critically acclaimed, and his/her admirable work and legacy still continues to drive the brand. Versace, Chanel has a strong resonance with its founder’s values and styles. It also works for handmade goods, where techniques have been passed on from generation to generation.
- Exceptional store experience- Courteous staff, well-planned and high-end design elements, use of innovative technology create positive and intense associations in the mind of consumers. This also applies to digital brands and they can incorporate user-centric designs to give audiences exceptional experience.
- Celebrity endorsements- When a well-liked celebrity endorses a brand, their image rubs off on the brand and provides credibility and likability to the brand. Omega chose Nicole Kidman to endorse the brand, and both Omega and Kidman have similar brand images, which is important while choosing an ambassador. Contradicting images creates conflict in consumer’s minds, giving them mixed messages.
Although all these points are kept in mind while forming a brand strategy, it is also important that brands should perform consistently and fulfills customers’ expectations to protect their position.