Aligning Brand Identity with Brand Image : An evaluation of a proposed method
Branding and the management of brands has become a highly prioritized aspect for com-panies to maintain lasting competitive advantage and to provide meaning to consumption. Therefore companies have adopted an inside-out approach in order to manage their brand. The challenge with an inside-out approach is to align the internal brand identity,what brands communicate, with the external brand image, what consumers perceive. Therefore two questions are crucial to answer; how does the brand want to be perceived and how is the brand actually perceived? There is a risk that gaps occur in the communication of the brand, and these gaps are crucial to monitor and prevent for effective brand management.
This paper proposes a method on how to measure and align brand identity and brand im-age, based on existing theories and models regarding brand management. The method is evaluated through a case study, where the difference between Happy Plugs’ brand identity and brand image is analyzed. The method was designed using Kapferer’s Brand Pyramid and Brand Identity Prism. Both qualitative and quantitative data is used to examine how wide the gap between Happy Plugs’ brand identity and brand image is. The Happy Plugs brand is solely used as a tool to apply the designed method and evaluate the validity of it.
The findings show that a gap in brand identity and brand image does occur, at higher levels of the brand pyramid, or brand identity. The results from the case study indicate that the designed model is an effective tool in identifying and measuring possible gaps, and is a use-ful approach for companies who wish to align their brand identity with brand image.
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