Academic journal article IUP Journal of Brand Management

The Role of Service Evaluation Index in the Creation of Emotional Brands

Academic journal article IUP Journal of Brand Management

The Role of Service Evaluation Index in the Creation of Emotional Brands

Article excerpt

Introduction

The emotional dimension brings in a personalized relationship and a robust bond between customers and brands. A product can become a successful brand only if it involves the customer emotionally. Otherwise, it will remain just a product. A brand should also be inspirational. It should have a strong personality and create a feeling.

According to the Advertisers (1996), a brand is:

* An unwritten contract of intrinsic value;

* An expectation of performance;

* A covenant of goodness with its users;

* Predictable;

* An unwritten warranty;

* A mark of integrity;

* A presentation of credentials;

* A mark of trust and reduced risk;

* A reputation;

* A collection of memories; and

* Can-be and must-be-more than the sum of all these parts.

Companies have started realising that customers have to be emotionally connected with brands. This application of emotions in branding has led to the concept of emotional Branding, which has emerged in the late 1990s.

Gobe (2001) stated that "emotional branding is the conduit by which people connect subliminally with companies and their products in an emotionally profound way". He further added that building the right emotion is the important investment that can be made in a brand. It is the promise that is made to the customers giving them permission to enjoy the world of brand.

A few global brands which have connected themselves emotionally include Nike, Apple, Morton salt, Coca-Cola, Evian, Levi, Volvo, BMW, Mercedes, Ford, etc. Each brand has in one way or the other created a strong association emotionally with the customers. Application of emotions in branding has not been limited to product brands alone. Service brands have also connected themselves emotionally with the customers. When a customer has a positive experience in an inspiring service environment, when a customer is acknowledged by name personally-an emotional bond is definitely created.

Service brands like AT&T, Marriot Hotels, Virgin Airways, Yahoo, Google, IBM, Disney, Starbucks, Amazon.com, McDonald's, Wal-Mart, etc., have created trust and faith among their customers. They have become unforgettable brand personalities. The application of emotional branding has been well understood by successful global companies. India is a country of diversities in culture, language, religion and geographical divisions. Building effective brand strategies and being successful in the Indian market is really a challenging endeavor for companies, as they would have to contend with the diversity.

Literature Review

According to Travis (2000), "A brand is like a bridge between you and the customers. How your customers feel about your brand isn't a 'casual' question. It is a 'crucial' question. A brand is not a brand to you until it develops an emotional connection 'with' you". Further, he states, "Commitment to product or institution, the pride we feel upon receiving a wonderful gift of a brand we love, having a positive shopping experience in an inspiring environment where someone knows our name or brings an unexpected cup of coffee. These feelings are at the core of emotional branding." These feelings create an emotional connect with the brand, which is similar to that in a friendship or human relationship.

According to Gobe (2001), emotional branding is about "engaging consumers on the level of the senses and emotions". He defines emotional branding as "how a brand comes to life for people and forges a deeper, lasting connection." He emphasized that branding strategies should aim at capturing mindshare and 'emotions share' rather than just market share. He also stated that emotional branding is a means of creating personal dialogue with consumers, and connecting strongly with people in a holistic manner through a mix of anthropology, imagination, sensory experiences and visionary approach.

According to Marken (2003) "emotional branding will help you do a better job of ensuring customers feel good about your company_ and its products. …

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