“Pepsi okay too?” – The power of the brand
Whether in a café or at lunch with colleagues, in Germany people tend to order an apple spritzer, avoiding a question that divides minds in Anglophone countries: “Is Pepsi okay?”
The question of whether Pepsi or Coke is more representative than any other of the importance a brand can have and how much consumers can value supporting “their brand. But where does this significance of a brand come from and what makes brands so important for their fans in general?
Brands offer consumers not only quality, but also security and, in addition, an image – a whole world – with which one can identify through the products. In short, orientation in the vastness of the supermarket shelves.
Quality awareness strongly influences daily purchasing decisions and, together with price, forms the main criteria for product selection. The perception of the quality of a brand product is strongly influenced by the communication and the investment of a company or brand in innovations and the associated research, further development and modernization of the products. The individually perceived quality further strengthens brand loyalty, resulting in a close interplay between quality, innovations and purchase decisions. Thus, the communication of the innovations made is a potent means for a brand company to communicate high quality to the customer, to generate a willingness to pay a higher price for the product and to bind the customer in the long term. This is because the quality promise of a brand creates a long-term, close bond based on high customer trust and tolerance.
Another essential component of the brand promise is safety. This is based on the one hand on the quality expectations of consumers and on the control mechanisms that brand companies set up to ensure this in the long term. Brands also actively respond to consumers’ need for security by communicating with their consumers: Companies that address questions, wishes and problems at eye level and maintain a dialog with consumers actively serve the customers’ need to exchange information.
The image enables the consumer to identify with the brand and the company. Cultivating the image through tailored campaigns on all channels and active work on further development contribute to the loyalty of the target group and make it possible to build up a community or even fan base – both on social media channels and in life offline. Through the image, a brand conveys values, attitudes and even entire lifeworlds, which enables identification with the brand and thus significantly influences the purchase decision. Furthermore, the image is the first point of contact a consumer has with the brand, shaping future attitudes – is it love at first sight or a fleeting acquaintance? The image is thus the most emotional component of a brand, which should be shaped and cultivated through active work, especially on the part of PR and marketing.
A mixture that works
Das Zusammenspiel dieser Faktoren machen Marken für Verbraucher besonders attraktiv und geben ihnen einen bedeutenden Stellenwert. Die Orientierung im Handel und Präferenzen beim Kauf sind entscheidende Aspekte, die durch eine durchdachte und konsistente Öffentlichkeitsarbeit geboten werden – sowohl im Falle eines Rückrufes, als auch bei Innovationen und Neuprodukten. Denn so werden und bleiben Marken ein wertvolles Gut für Unternehmen.