Brand Communication

Good brands leave lasting memories for customers. Do you remember the VW Beetle in a great movie? If you do, it would probably be Herbie, the Love Bug. Yet, the VW Beetle takes me back to my undergraduate days in the bayou. There was a guy from my own hometown who drove a purple VW Beetle. This guy reminded me of Prince and the Revolution as he graced our campus. This story brings to mind how it is important for businesses to give customers a great impression. Good memories can be a strategic advantage for companies. The principle of working memory and long-term memory apply greatly to learning consumer behavior.

Michael Solomon, author of Consumer Behavior, maintains that the test of the brand-building ability of brand elements is what consumers would think or feel about the product if they knew only its brand name, associated logo, and other characteristics. Solomon further suggests that many organizations need to understand extensive connections between products and memories as a potential way to build and keep brand loyalty. VW Beetle demonstrates how lasting impressions can make a difference. Thanks for your story to carry this theme along.

Several years ago, my wife and I were looking for a new home. Our realtor, a friend and church member, drove us around in his LS 400. I sat in the backseat. I would never forget my comfort level. The vehicle was luxurious. The vehicle was showcased in black. Of the six brand elements, my Lexus experience was related to memorability. Kevin Keller, author of Strategic Branding Management, maintains that marketers seek to promote this element through inherently memorable and attention getting features, thereby facilitating recall or recognition of a purchase.

Mark Johnston and Greg Marshall, authors of Relationship Selling, further maintain that organizations that use integrated marketing communications ensure that the marketing message is consistent throughout organizations. For me, it was clear that Lexus used their customers to further promote their brands. My friend kept telling us how dependable his Lexus auto was, despite having over 100,000 miles. Therefore, Lexus strategically showcases its brands using a variety of branding elements.

Good brands also generate favor among customers. One key attribute in brand equity is the word ‘trust!’ Keller also suggests that branding elements are those trademarkable devices that identify and differentiate the brand. Trust is one of those underpinning values that impact the branding elements in a critical way. Most consumers will not purchase from someone who they do not trust. Consequently, brands that undervalue trust, by using sales gimmicks or even scams, will not be able to sustain any kind of genuine trust with buyers. Michael Beverland, author of Building Brand Authenticity, highlights that authenticity involves the manifestation of the search for what is real. Therefore, trust can go a long way toward supporting a brand. It is directly related to likability.

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