Purpose brands: A Likely Cure for Marketing Malpractice

Purpose brands create powerful means of differentiation in the minds of customers as they are tightly associated to the job for which customers hire them. Advertising and WoM communication play a vital role in building awareness for the purpose brands and creating positive and strong brand associations, which result in brand equity. Brand equity is the added value a brand name brings to a product or service besides the functional benefits. Brand equity in case of purpose brands is built when the product does the job and people talk about it. High brand equity implies that customers perceive that the brand is of high quality, have positive and strong associations related to the brand, and are loyal to the brand.

The in-depth interviews conducted in my research revealed that the purpose brands in the selected product categories of Search Engines and Portable Digital Media Players were closely tied to the job for which customers hired these brands, and they were primarily built on WoM communication. The findings of the online questionnaires suggested that the two purpose brands had relatively higher mean scores, and enjoyed significant differences in mean scores in terms of the three core dimensions of brand equity (brand awareness / associations, perceived quality and brand loyalty), compared to the relatively more generic brands. It was concluded that there is a difference in the influence of purpose brands, compared to relatively more generic brands, on brand equity, and the influence seems to be positive.

The purpose brand approach has significant implications for marketing communications. Job-specific brands create meaningful differentiation in the customers’ minds, which could imply that marketers may need to spend less on overall advertising, other than the occasions of creating brand awareness when the product is launched and for reminder advertising. This in turn could improve the profitability of the companies. Purpose brands should be able to create a strong ‘pull’ for a brand and in this event, Internet marketing becomes a powerful tool for information dissemination. The limitations of the research were that the brand selection could be refined to enable selection of more combinations of purpose brands and relatively generic brands, and the sample could include more than just student samples.

Glossary

Advertising

Any paid form of nonpersonal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor

Brand awareness

The ability for a buyer to recognize or recall that a brand is a member of a certain product category

Brand associations

Anything linked in memory to a brand

Brand equity

The added value a ‘brand name’ brings to a product or service besides the functional benefits

Brand loyalty

Tendency to be loyal to a brand, which is demonstrated by the intention to buy the brand as a primary choice

Perceived quality

The consumer’s [subjective] judgement about a product’s overall excellence and superiority

Purpose Brand

The brand of a product that is tightly associated with the job for which it is meant to be hired

WoM communication

Oral, person-to-person communication between a perceived non-commercial communicator and a receiver regarding a brand, a product, or a service

Leave a Reply