Image Differentiation

Buyers respond differently to company and brand images. Identity comprises the ways that a company aims to identify or position itself or its product, whereas image is the way the public perceives the company or its products. Image is affected by many factors beyond the company's control. For example, Nike's mainstream popularity turns off 12-to-24-year-olds, who prefer Airwalk and other alternative brands that convey a more extreme sports image.38 An effective image establishes the product's character and value proposition; it conveys this character in a distinctive way; and it delivers emotional power beyond a mental image. For the image to work, it must be conveyed through every available communication vehicle and brand contact, including logos, media, and special events.

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