21 July 2016

Brand determines whether consumers will purchase a product, regardless of quality or price. Some businesses don’t sell, even though their quality may be better than most branded products out there. Some businesses have a thousand loyal customers, although their product is actually just mediocre in quality or price. But if consumers know and trust a brand, they will most likely always purchase from that brand, regardless of the brand’s actual quality or price. So how does a brand influence consumer’s buying decisions?

Before we answer that question, let’s go over how brands work in consumer’s minds in order to understand their decisions. Brands are perceptions of a business in a consumer’s mind. Is the brand reliable, comfortable, cheap, expensive, or luxurious? Marketers then create labels for consumers to identify a product (Trademark name, graphic style, employee uniforms, etc) and provide meaning for a brand. By providing meaning means to explain to consumers what makes this product or business special, different from its competitors, and mostly what this product can do for them.

These labels and meanings are then used by consumers to create a mental structure to help categorize brands, their value and what they offer. This later influences a consumer’s buying decision, as they purchase based on assumptions of the brand’s features or expectations formed from past experiences with the brand. These assumptions of the brand may not actually be true, but as long as the brand satisfy the needs of a consumer, they will be loyal to the brand.

When consumers are making a decision between one product and other, brands can play an important role in what the consumers choose. Although the product may have many attributes or benefits, a brand’s perceived image, reliability, price, and quality can sway a consumer’s decision on which product they will purchase. Brands influence consumer buying decisions, loyalty, and attitude towards purchasing by marketing brand characteristics and attributes to influence or persuade them to purchase the product.