Brands are constantly competing for consumers and they are targeting for dominance in the market. For a brand to attain a position in the competitive market, it needs to come up with innovative ways to attract the attention of the consumers. Tools for promoting brands are being constructed constantly so as to make the brands more desired by the market they are targeting. Fresh trends are being used by competitive brands making the non-competitive brands die out slowly. When it comes to competitiveness of a brand, the brand needs to accept the importance of the consumer relating to the brand personality.
Branding can be labelled as a multidimensional concept that offers corporations with ideas knowing their consumers’ needs that gives the corporation and advantage over its competitors within the mind of the consumer and the consumer market (Chernev, Hamilton, and Gal 70). Innovativeness is important for establishing a desirable brand. Brands need to recognize the importance knowing the psychological factors that influence a customer to buy and continue buying a certain product. The psychological factors include how the brand influences ones self-concept, whether the brand enhances ones esteem and the emotional attachment the consumer has with the brand. Branding largely determines whether a consumer will buy a certain product.
Self-concept refers to the way the consumer feels about him/herself (actual self), the way the person wants others to see him (public self) and the way the person wishes to be (ideal self). It’s a collection of thoughts, feelings and perceptions (Chernev, Hamilton, and Gal 46). Brands and products are a significant way in which brands shape and reflect their identity. Consumers tend to buy products that support their brand personality. Once a consumer notices that a product enhances or reflects their self-concept they form an emotional personal link to the product which is the beginning of a lifetim relationship with the product and in turn the brand. It is important to have the right brand personality appeal in order to reach the targeted customers.
Many companies have embraced the idea that many consumers use brands to show their self-identity and seized from focusing the functional attribute of the products to focusing on how the products fit in the consumer’s lifestyle. Managers are doing this in the hope of avoiding head to head competition with their competitors and gain an advantage over their competitors. How a brand enhances the consumers self-esteem is a large determinant on whether the consumer will buy its products or not (Atkinson 43). Once a consumer comes across a product whose brand relates to his or her self-concept, it becomes difficult for the ego to control the Id and the consumer ends up purchasing the item. The consumer’s self-concept is determined by:
- How the consumer feels as a person
- What or who the consumer would like to be
- How the buyer would like to be seen by the world
- The consumer’s intentionally hidden personality
In order for a brand to determine the above, an aggregation approach can be used to study the behavior of consumers at a given point in time. AIO statements can then be deducted from the results which will assist in knowing how to brand and market a product. Different markets have different self-concept (Atkinson 43). For example, one cannot use the same marketing strategies used to market Venus razors in Mexico and Madrid since the market is different. Self-concepts and self-esteem affect buyers in ways such as:
- Continual development of self-concept and self-esteem. Consumers are constantly working towards developing their self-concepts. People generally want to be associated with a brand that fits their self-concept.
- Self-esteem. Self-concept determines whether one has high or low esteem. Consumers with low self-esteem will be looking to improve it while those with high esteem too maintain it. A product that boosts or supports the consumers self-concept makes the consumer feel understood and validated and that he/she has attained some power through buying the product.
- Products should support self-concept and not try to change it. Consumers tend to oppose change and hence a product that supports self-concept in a given market is likely to have more consumers than one that opposes it (Atkinson 44).
Brands need to consider the idiographic perspective by looking at every consumer as an individual if they want to succeed in promoting their product.
How Can We Help?
- Venus Razors in Mexico
There is a stereotype in Mexico that the women there are hairy and that some even have moustaches. The stereotype lowers their body esteem and women dislike low body esteem. While it may be true that some of the women are hairy it doesn’t mean that all of them are. When musician Tiziano Ferro visited the country, he made a negative comment regarding the women of this country saying that they are hairy. Due to this, the Mexican needed to shave their unwanted hair and, hence, a demand for Venus razors that are suitable for women (Thomson, MacInnis, and Park 80). Human beings naturally have hair at various parts of their body an sometimes the hair grows at parts where it is not required such as moustaches. It can be embarrassing and may even lower self-esteem when it occurs in women if the situation is not dealt with. Thus, the manufacture of Gillette Venus razors appeared. These razors are designed to help women shave off that excess hair they want to get rid of. Venus razors appeal to the identity and self-concept of Mexican women in helping them shave off their excess hair (Thomson, MacInnis, and Park 83). It doesn’t tell the world that “women are hairy”, it says that,“Hair may grow in unwanted areas and when it does there is a way to get rid of it”. Venus razors have helped improve the self-concept and in turn the self-esteem of the women who use it.