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driven by the brand association composition of the image. According to Keller (2002), favourable, unique and strong associations are assumed to provide a positive brand image which will create a bias in the mind of consumers, thereby increasing the brand equity. A widely accepted view is that brand image represents customers’ perceptions of a brand as reflected by the brand associations held in consumer memory. Herzog (1963) and Keller (1993) argued that these associations could originate from customers’ direct experience or from information obtained on a market offering or due to the impact a pre-existing associations which an organisation had on the consumer. Brand image is, therefore, the mental picture or perception of a brand or a branded product or service, and includes symbolic meanings that consumers associate with the specific attributes of a product or service (Dobni and Zinkhan, 1990; Padgett and Allen, 1997; Aperia and Back, 2004).
Chapter 3 194 Pitta and Katsanis also stated that a unique, favourable and strong brand image allows the brand to be easily differentiated and positioned in the consumer’s mind, thereby adding to the possibility of increased brand equity. Conclusively, brand image can be said to be the brand association or consumers’ perception about a particular brand as a result of their association with the brand. Brand image is something an organisation cannot afford to ignore, if it wants to carve a niche for itself in the long run. In order to successfully hold the brand image, a company must ensure to preserve the values of legitimacy, distinctiveness, relevancy and consistency. A strong brand has its long- term gain. Hence, branding is an art of making a product marketable. To grow into a sky identity, a brand should incorporate the following fundamental blocks like Legitimacy, Relevancy, Distinctiveness and Consistency. Brand Trust Trustis the most critical component in building and maintaining a strong, emotionally driven and enduring brand. However, in a world of promotion-driven-marketing tactics, many brand owners forget that building trust is the only thing holding the relationship with the customer together. Most marketers in business create demand and sell more stuff. They are rewarded for their skill and ability to help organizations sell. For most customers, selling is not a very trustworthy practice. Nobody likes to be sold, but people surely do love to buy. More than ever, customers buy from the brands they trust. At the beginning of any relationship, trust is the most difficult component to establish. There are two kinds of people–those who begin a relationship with little trust, which needs to be earned over time, and those who begin with trust freely given, but is forever taken away on the first
Marketing Practices of the LIC195sign of behaviour deemed untrustworthy. Either way, trust must be established or there will be no relationship. Relationships with trusted brands are built and maintained in this same fashion. People naturally will measure, with great care