Understanding Consumer Decision Making: The Means-End Approach to Marketing and Advertising Strategy

By Thomas J. Reynolds; Jerry C. Olson | Go to book overview

6
Advertising Is Image Management
Thomas J. Reynolds
Richmont Partners
Jonathan Gutman
University of New Hampshire

translating image research to image strategies.

As the title of this chapter suggests, the advertising function may be equated, at least in part, to the creation and management of product imagery; that is, the set of meanings and associations that serve to differentiate a product or service from its competition. Obviously, the authors are not the first ones to come upon this way of looking at advertising. One might refer back to Ogilvy's (1963) Confessions of an Advertising Man for a recommendation that brand image should be the basis for developing sound advertising strategies.

The raison d'etre for this point of view has not changed since it was first put into practice — the majority of product classes are comprised of products that do not differ from each other in any significant way. Therefore, advertising functions to enhance physical attributes and their relative importance with respect to how the consumer sees himself or herself, essentially providing psychological benefits through the image-creation process.

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the contributions the means-end chain research model (the linking of attributes to consequences to personal values) can make to creating images for products and services. First, definitions of image and approaches for studying image are reviewed. After a review of the means-end chain model, research implementation techniques are discussed. Then an illustrative example is provided that demonstrates how the research findings can be directly translated into the

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