Brand, a name, logo, slogan, and/or design scheme associated with a product or service
- Brand management, the application of marketing techniques to a specific product, product line, or brand
- Employer branding, the application of brand management to recruitment marketing and internal brand engagement
- Internet branding, brand management on the Internet
- Nation branding, the application of marketing techniques for the advancement of a country
- Place branding, the application of marketing techniques for the advancement of country subdivisions
- Personal branding, people and their careers marketed as brands
- Co-branding, associates a single product or service with more than one brand name
- Branding agency, a type of marketing agency which specializes in creating brands
- Faith branding, the application of marketing techniques to religious institutions or individuals
Brand management is a communication function that includes analysis and planning on how that brand is positioned in the market, which target public the brand is targeted at, and maintaining a desired reputation of the brand. Developing a good relationship with target publics is essential for brand management. Tangible elements of brand management include the product itself; look, price, the packaging, etc. The intangible elements are the experience that the consumer takes away from the brand, and also the relationship that they have with that brand. A brand manager would oversee all of these things.
Employer brand denotes an organisation’s reputation as an employer. The term was first used in the early 1990s, and has since become widely adopted by the global management community. Minchington (2005) defines employer brand as “the image of your organisation as a ‘great place to work'”. Employer branding is concerned with enhancing your company’s employer brand.
Just as a customer brand proposition is used to define a product or service offer, an employee value proposition is used to define an organisation’s employment offer. Likewise the marketing disciplines associated with branding and brand management have been increasingly applied by the human resources and talent management community to attract, engage and retain talented candidates and employees, in the same way that marketing applies such tools to attracting and retaining clients, customers and consumers.
hile the term “employer brand” denotes what people currently associate with an organisation, employer branding has been defined as the sum of a company’s efforts to communicate to existing and prospective staff what makes it a desirable place to work, and the active management of “a company’s image as seen through the eyes of its associates and potential hires”.
Employer brand management expands the scope of this brand intervention beyond communication to incorporate every aspect of the employment experience, and the people management processes and practices (often referred to as “touch-points”) that shape the perceptions of existing and prospective employees. In other words, employer brand management addresses the reality of the employment experience and not simply its presentation. By doing so it supports both external recruitment of the right kind of talent sought by an organisation to achieve its goals, and the subsequent desire for effective employee engagement and employee retention.
Internet branding or Online branding is a kind of Brand management on the Internet. In the Internet space, branding means creating a great user experience. Internet branding moves beyond logo, tagline, key messages and graphic identity into the customer’s real-time interaction with the brand, for the entirety of the online experience.
In this new world of branding, the Internet has become more than a gimmick or a mere line item on the communications budget. It can now play a pivotal role in enhancing brand relationships and corporate reputations.
Branding is the process of shaping the identity of a company! The “profile”, which is selected by a company, is also one of the main features that will affect the relationship to a certain extent that will be formed with the consumers in the future. If you want to stand out and to properly reflect in the public memory, you must obtain your own identity, you must to leave your personal-print!
Why Branding Online is Important
A company without a specific and distinct identity is very difficult to evolve and expand in a competitive society. It must continually work harder to find new customers and sometimes even go out of budget to acquire each customer.
Top 10 online branding tips
Here is a list of the top 10 tips that can help you improve your online branding:
Designing your own logo may seem to be a bright start. It is also a good way to save money. A logo always has a professional impact and by having it on your website, cards, letterheads etc, people will pay attention to it and will remember it for the right reasons.
A well designed website is a great projection tool for the company throughout the Internet. A well reflecting and effective professional website doesn’t always need a huge budget, but good planning.
3. Email Signature
Create a branding signature as an ending to your emails with the company’s logo and information. This will be an easy way to look more professional and will help you to raise brand awareness.
4. Social Media
Set up social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter which are the most popular and well known to the public. Start to share your content. This will help the company communicate with potential customers & competitors and promote your business, products or services. Your social media strategy is very important for your corporate image & profile.
5. Social buttons
Make it easy for people to find you online. Include social media buttons on your website that will directly link people to the company’s social media accounts which can also be included in the company’s email signature.
Having a consistent online image via your website & social media will help you to raise the awareness of your brand and maintain a professional image. Be careful of Do’s & Don’ts on your social media and you will win!
6. Forum Signatures
Search & connect with business forums relative to the object of your company, communicate and do not hesitate to leave your comments. Business forums often allow you to have a branded profile or signature which can help you stand out.
7. Online Reputation Management
Online Reputation Management is very important for your company. Commonly people judge your product or service in a forum which can be highly damaging your brand’s reputation. Checking for customer’scomments and feedback in online forums constantly will help you raise awareness about your business.
8. Blogging Your Brand
Create a blog for your company or collaborate for guest blog posts about interesting subjects about the industry you are in or just write about your business! This will improve your SEO and your website traffic, as well as it will help you reach a wider audience.
It is important for your website to include Search Engine Optimization campaign. A friendly SEO website will ensure that the related search queries will bring your site to be at the top of the results pages.
Newsletter is a very important communication tool, because you can keep the costumers or the people who are interested in your brand informed of the benefits or new activities you release. The most important advantages of the newsletter are that it is simple, inexpensive, mass message delivery and it happens in no time!
Don’t forget: Get personal and be real
Humanizing your company is important for branding. Don’t be afraid to content and share tips and tricks and pieces of advice.
The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding Hardcover (Amazon)
As we move into the twenty-first century the most important question for businesses everywhere is: What are we going to do about the Internet? The two most qualified people in the country to answer that question may be Al Ries and Laura Ries. Not only are they the authors of the BusinessWeek bestseller The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, they are also consultants to dozens of Fortune 500 companies.
This book is the result of their hands-on work with both large and small companies as well as Internet start-ups and established Internet brands. Brash, bold, and mercifully succinct, The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding is the definitive text for businesses eager to jump on the Internet expressway.
In the book you’ll learn why:The Internet can be a business or a medium for your brand, but not both.Interactivity is the single most important ingredient of any Internet site.The kiss of death for an Internet brand is a common name.Being second in a category is tantamount to being nowhere.You have to be fast. You have to be first. You have to be focused.Everyone is talking about convergence while just the opposite is happening.
The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding will also give you tangible information on how to successfully build your company, product, service, or self into a hot and profitable brand on the Internet. Specifically you’ll learn how to:Build a brand that will dominate a category over an extended period of time.Find a proper name (instead of a common one) for your Website.Take your brand into the global marketplace.Avoid the biggest mistake in Internet branding: the belief that you can do everything.Take advantage of the transformations that will occur in all aspects of life, thanks to the power of the Internet.
With characteristic counterculture observations and signature marketing savvy, Ries and Ries bring their expertise to branding on the Internet, the most challenging problem in the world of marketing today. No one who wants to turn a brand into a global phenomenon should ignore their sage advice.
Internet Branding and the User Experience
Imagine you attend a much anticipated dinner at a hot new restaurant. The restaurant’s staff is extremely courteous, you are seated on time, the drinks are cold, dinner is delicious, and a good time is being had by all.
When it comes to dessert, however, an unidentified insect is reposing right in the middle of your tiramisu. That four-star restaurant came so close, but ultimately, so far from making a positive impression, let alone warranting a recommendation to your friends. That restaurant has lost you forever.
Now imagine you caught that clever Super Bowl ad by yet another dot-com and you visit its site. The site loads quickly, the design is exquisite, content seems robust, but you can’t find the product you are looking for. The navigation is confusing and there aren’t shortcuts or site maps to provide clues, so after two minutes you give up and click over to its biggest competitor, where you find your product in three clicks.
In the Internet space, branding means creating a great user experience. Internet branding moves beyond logo, tagline, key messages and graphic identity into the customer’s real-time interaction with the brand, for the entirety of the online experience.
Building brand equity via the Internet requires all the positioning skills of an ad agency, but perhaps more importantly, it requires the keen foresight of an information architect or usability guru. Internet brand strategy requires the expertise of a human factors engineer to plan web site construction and management around how and why people use a particular web site in the first place.
Every company seeking to use the Internet to further establish brand equity should focus on offering utility that is not found in the physical world, while guaranteeing key functionality speed, intuitive navigation, ease of use, content quality, personalization, customer service, and security and privacy assurances.
As the Internet is an interactive, user-initiated medium, Internet brand strategists must also be exceptional listeners, especially since digital consumers are no longer passive recipients of marketing messages. Because increased dialogue is the by-product of exceptional web development, Internet brand strategists should be judged on how well they interpret and utilize customer feedback.
As The Cluetrain Manifesto explains, “Markets are conversations. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter and getting smarter faster than most companies.”
If great brands speak to the mind, senses, and heart, great Internet brands will hurry up and also speak to our diminishing attention spans. One of the challenges of any Internet business is the exponential growth in the number of web sites competing for the attention of time-starved individuals.
As web viewers are overwhelmed by too much information, increasingly chaotic schedules, and millions of marketing messages, competition for their notice has become a short-attention span theater, where the victors are fast sites with “sticky” content and applications, intuitive navigation, and a user-friendly interface. These sites offer real value to those perpetually short on time.
The great irony of the dot-com advertising explosion is that TV, print, and radio offer phenomenal value in driving web traffic the first time. However, the spike in traffic will be short-lived if content and functionality are not compelling enough to encourage repeat visits, and unless the user experience provides the information the user needs when he needs it. If the user experience fails that simple test, the offending site has probably lost another customer forever.
Branding on the Internet
By Larry Chiagouris and Brant Wansley
Bonding brands with customers has always been about building relationships. It has always been about taking someone who knows little or nothing about a company or its products and transitioning them to become a loyal user. Although the tactics might sometimes be different on the Internet, many classic marketing principles still apply.
It’s almost impossible to pick up a business publication without seeing some reference to the world of new media, especially the Internet and its role in marketing a product or service.
A substantial amount of this rhetoric, however, ignores one of the most important components of a marketing professional’s responsibility — building a brand or corporate reputation to create relationships with customers. When it comes to building a brand on the Internet, never have so many talked so little of what may be the Internet’s most stunning capability — strengthening the bond with customers and prospects.
“Branding is redefined online,” says Caroline Riby, vice president-media director at Saatchi & Saatchi Rowland of Rochester, NY. “We are moving beyond representing a brand to experiencing it.”
In this new world of e-branding, the Internet has become more than a gimmick or a mere line item on the communications budget. It can now play a pivotal role in enhancing brand relationships and corporate reputations.
It offers a huge advantage over traditional mass media. The speed people can move from awareness to action on the Internet is a true differentiator and challenge for e-marketers. This requires a new way of thinking about how to design Web sites and related marketing communications.
However as the author of The End of Marketing As We Know It, Sergio Zyman says, there is no difference between building an Internet brand and a traditional brand. In effect, the steps to bond prospects to brands are essentially the same. The difference, however, will be the speed a brand can transition prospects to customers.
Prospects pass through several stages before embracing a relationship with a company:
These stages are driven primarily by reputation elements.
Awareness The first is the consumer becoming aware of the company or its brands. At this stage the prospective buyer can recall or recognize the name of the company. That does not mean trust in the brand, but simply a sense of the company as a player in some product or category.
Familiarity During the second stage, the prospect becomes familiar with the company through acquiring an appreciation of the products or services offered, and various related features.
Trust The next stage takes the relationship to a deeper level. The potential customer becomes motivated to purchase a product or service because of the perceived benefits derived from particular features. During this phase, positive imagery about the brand or company encourages a feeling of trust, which in turn, enhances the relationship-building process.
Commitment The final stage is the most important. At this stage, a transaction occurs that consummates the relationship. The prospect and the company each get something from the other. They are no longer strangers. Both comprehend something about each other, hopefully encouraging many repeated exchanges.
In looking at media choices for creating this desired relationship, the advantage of the Internet over mass media is obvious. Mass media cannot communicate with individual prospects in a customized way. The Internet enables communication based on where each prospect is in the four stages of the relationship-building process.
With traditional media, the messages are sent out to the world no matter what level of trust and interest the company has previously generated. Accordingly, some prospects are told what they already know. Others are not able to learn what they need to know to engage further.
By contrast, a well-executed e-branding strategy, expressed in a well-designed Web site and integrated e-marketing program, can adapt communications to match the aspiring buyer’s needs and wants at any stage in the relationship-building process.
The Internet and Relationships
Don Peppers, co-author of The One-to-One Future, has noted the future of marketing is about persuading consumers to participate in a dialogue. Not just any dialogue, but one that helps to bond the consumer to the brand.
Rather than simply interrupting a television show with a commercial message or barging into prospect’s lives with unannounced phone calls or letters, innovative marketers will first try to get individuals to voluntarily enroll in the selling process. A volunteer’s experience will almost always be more likely to result in the embrace of a brand than any forced viewing or consumption experience can ever accomplish.
Interactive technology enables marketers to inexpensively attract consumers into one-to-one relationships fueled by two-way “conversations” — played out via mouse clicks on a computer. Through this process, prospective buyers collaborate with marketers to fashion the product or service being sold. By inviting each prospect to join in a uniquely responsive and tailored dialogue, marketers are more likely to earn loyalty.
To nurture such a highly targeted and relevant engagement, the communications professional needs to create marketing tactics customized to whatever stage the prospect has reached in the relationship-building process.
Creative material on the Web site needs to do several things.
It must capture the attention of those prospects who know nothing or very little about the company, but are interested in its category. It also must build awareness of what the company does within the context of the industry in which it’s competing.
For those who already know something of the company, but not the advantages of doing business with it, site content should identify and link benefits sought by the consumer to the company’s products and services. This material needs to deepen to a level that triggers a desire to do business with the company.
Clearly, those individuals wishing to become customers need easy site access to satisfy their needs and assure the relationship develops even further. And most importantly, existing customers of the company need to feel their interaction with the site, identifying them as more than just an anonymous browser.
These customers need to be given some sense they have access not available to just anyone. They need to be rewarded for continuing to engage with the company.
There are many design elements that can accomplish the objectives of moving a prospect along the relationship-building continuum. These techniques can start with a simple interaction such as a brief registration forms to begin the relationship-building process. More sophisticated techniques are available such as games that intrigue the user on a category relevant subject, use of an intelligent component, such as cookies, that knows if the user has visited the site before and greets andtreats the user personally.
Consider some of the successful Internet branding tactics of leading marketers.
Amazon.com launched a new idea for packaging books by having John Updike write the first installment of a story. Then for 45 days after that, people came to the Amazon Web site and competed to add to the story. In the end, Updike wrote the last paragraph. So, it was a serial collaboration with 45 or 46 authors.
It was hugely successful as a fun event that involved hundreds of thousands of Amazon.com customers. The company did the same thing with a Doonesbury cartoon. Gary Trudeau did the first panel, and left the other panels blank. Each day Trudeau selected the winner for the next panel submission. Finally, Trudeau did the last one.
Amazon.com also provides an excellent example of how to build a relationship on the Internet. Once a customer buys a book, Amazon.com begins collecting information and making educated guesses about what might appeal to this person. Then they make book selections and gently guide the individual toward them.
They do so by creating communities of special interest groups (art, cooking, or sports for example) and offering appropriate links throughout their site. Today when a customer logs on to their Web site, Amazon.com provides “Personal Recommendations” based on selection criteria.
David Risher, Amazon.com’s senior vice president of product development, says, “We’re about 1 percent of the way there,” in terms of targeting specific customers with tailored book offerings. They clearly recognize the opportunity to move consumers from casual browsers to customers to repeat buyers.
If you’ve been on the Internet, you’ve heard of Yahoo!. The company’s approach to building its brand includes delivering a My Yahoo! site that allows the customer to personalize the Internet experience in return for providing basic information such as industry, occupation, and zip code.
An option section requests site visitors to indicate choices that enable Yahoo! to customize the kind of news, Web sites, and information displayed on that individual’s pages. The result: The customer gets information anticipated, relevant, and personal. In the process, the customer moves along the relationship-building continuum.
General Motors and Saturn
General Motors (GM) also has recognized the need to involve the customer based on where they are in the relationship-building process. GM revamped the Saturn Web site to offer more help and less hype. As a result, site visits tripled to as many as 7,000 per day. An astounding 70 percent of Saturn leads now come via the Internet, almost double the previous year.
Saturn’s old site offered the usual car specs and dealer referrals, but then the marketer began adding features that were actually useful including a lease-price calculator, an interactive design shop for choosing options, and an online order form. It highlighted these new online features with a TV commercial that delivered old-fashioned emotional appeal. The humorous TV ad features a college student in his dorm room using the Internet to order a Saturn, as easily as one might order a pizza.
According to Farris Kahn, Internet coordinator for Saturn marketing, “By giving the consumers something they want, you are helping them and promoting our brand message at the same time. This improves our brand position in a way an online brochure could not.” Dell
An example of relationship building in the business-to-business realm is Dell Computer, which moved its brand promise of “Be Direct” to the Web. For its larger business customers, such as Boeing Co., Dell developed “premier pages” that provide procurement departments with a customized Web template for ordering PCs.
“What this is about is building relationships online and keeping engaged with our customers,” said David Dix, Dell’s global Internet public relations manager. Dell’s latest figures show the company conducts $30 million in business on the Internet daily. “The idea is we want people to say, ‘We just love ordering direct from Dell; we want to buy everything from you,’” Dix says. He also adds that at Dell.com, the product is not being branded, the Internet experience is.
Linking Bricks and Clicks
One of the most interesting relationship-building uses of branding on the Internet are those companies like Barnes and Noble, Toys-R-Us, and The Gap, who are seeking to link the traditional brick and mortar brand experiences they provide with their e-brand experience.
Barnes and Noble announced it’s going to use store locations to provide same-day delivery. Toys-R-Us has already begun to use its stores for returns and exchanges. Both of these brick and mortar leaders are leveraging their facilities to fast-forward the distribution process.
Perhaps more critical than delivery is the actual order generating process. Here we find The Gap is leading the way. It is putting computers, for customer use, in many of its locations so consumers have the ability to order clothing styles they find attractive, but might not be in stock at the moment of their store visit.
Consumers can sample the goods in the stores and, based on the in-store experience, place an immediate order. They do not even need a computer at home to cybershop with The Gap. In this way these companies are building integrated “clicks-and-mortar” brands that work together to create a single brand relationship.
To maximize the opportunities of Internet branding, it is critical to measure the degree the site is actually migrating visitors to a deeper acceptance of the company and a greater attachment to its products and brands. Measurement of the effectiveness of a company’s Internet marketing activities yields significant insight for cultivating more business.
Traditional communications testing methods treat respondents alike. They must meet a pre-specified level of awareness or knowledge about the company or its brands.
Measuring a Web site’s impact, however, does not and should not base evaluative considerations on a “one size fits all” category. The dialogue with each prospective customer must reflect his or her unique transition along the relationship-building continuum.
Although there are standard metrics for measuring how well a Web site is achieving its purpose, Web site measurement and evaluation has an additional goal — seeking to calibrate the incremental movement of each individual toward a full relationship with the sponsoring company.
A strategic measurement system will need to segment prospects and customers into their respective place on the relationship-brand building continuum according to the depth of their relationship with the brand. An effective system will seek to calibrate how each type of customer feels toward the brand and how likely each is to be moved along the continuum toward a deeper relationship.
This need for measurement acknowledges the traditional model of marketing, which assumes people move through stages of interest in a brand (sometimes referred to as the AIDA approach, transitioning a prospect from Awareness, to Interest, to Desire, to Action), is still relevant.
The only difference on the Internet will be that the movement between stages can take place much more quickly. The need to accommodate the enhanced speed of relationship building on the Internet means that the speed that data about prospects and customers must be developed. A customer can move from neutral to satisfied to dissatisfied much more quickly via an Internet experience and, therefore, systems for measuring satisfaction must match the speed customers are changing their views toward brands.
The relevance of the traditional model should not be overlooked.
People will still need to develop a sense of trust about a brand and its Web presence before they will reveal data about themselves or share their credit card number. The branding power of a site relies on the ability to bring a customer back for repeated interactions, the degree of permission granted by the customer for ongoing dialogue, and the extent this access is being leveraged.
Once permission is granted, the marketer’s chief goal is to expand the engagement. If done well, this elicits more trust, satisfaction, and loyalty from each customer.
At the turn of the last century, the owner of a general store knew his customers so intimately he could suggest specific products to meet their unique needs. Now, 100 years later, marketers have the opportunity to make that same personalized connection.
Companies that grasp the power of the Internet and its relationship building capability will discover an accelerated path to prosperity.
Nation branding aims to measure, build and manage the reputation of countries (closely related to place branding). Some approaches applied, such as an increasing importance on the symbolic value of products, have led countries to emphasise their distinctive characteristics. The branding and image of a nation-state “and the successful transference of this image to its exports – is just as important as what they actually produce and sell.” This is also referred to as country-of-origin effect. Nation branding is still a developing field in which scholars continue their search for a unified theoretical framework. Many governments have resource dedicated to Nation Branding. Their aim is to improve their country’s standing, as the image and reputation of a nation can dramatically influence its success in attracting tourism receipts and investment capital; in exports; in attracting a talented and creative workforce and in its cultural and political influence in the world.
Place branding (including place marketing and place promotion) is a new umbrella term encompassing nation branding, region branding and city branding. Place branding is the process of image communication to a target market. It is invariably related to the notion that places compete with other places for people, resources, and business; the global competition of cities is estimated to host 2.7 million small cities/towns, 3,000 large cities, and 455 metropolises
The strategic application of place branding is growing with nations, regions, cities, and institutions as they realize they compete with other places for people, resources, and business. The phenomenon of place branding, as an organic process of image communication without strategy, has been occurring throughout history. Examples of strategic place brands are diverse and include Amsterdam‘s “Iamsterdam”, Las Vegas‘s “Sin City”, and Abu Ghosh‘s “world capital of hummus”. Examples of organic place brands are ancient and include Jerusalem‘s “holy city”, Paris‘ “Illuminated City”, and Silicon Valley‘s “tech capital.”
City branding refers to all the activities that are undergone with the purpose of turning a City from a location into a destination. “Successful branding”, says Robert Jones, consultant director at international brand consultancy Wolff Olins, “can turn a city into a place where people want to live, work and visit”. City branding is often confused with City marketing. The difference comes from the fact that marketing uses consumer wishes and needs as its guiding principle for the operations of an organization, whereas in the case of branding a chosen vision, mission and identity play that role. City branding refers to the application of branding techniques to geographical locations in the widest sense of the word.
City branding creates a single brand for the city and extends it to all its offerings and interactions. From a customer point of view this creates a unique picture of the city at every level of interactions. This also helps in removing the need to present a case by case picture of the city for each of its offering to the customers.
A city brand is its promise of value, a promise that needs to be kept.Good branding can assist in making cities desirable, just as bad branding can assist in making cities undesirable. Some examples of well branded cities are New York City, San Francisco and Paris. Its seen that the successful city brands marketed their history, quality of place, lifestyle, culture, diversity, and proactively formed cooperative partnerships between city municipalities and government in order to enhance their infrastructure.
Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. While previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal-branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging.Personal branding also involves creating an asset by defining an individual’s body, clothing, physical appearance and areas of knowledge in a way leading to a uniquely distinguishable, and ideally memorable, impression.The term is thought to have been first used and discussed in a 1997 article by Tom Peters.
Personal branding often involves the application of one’s name to various products. For example, the celebrity real-estate mogul Donald Trump uses his last name extensively on his buildings and on the products he endorses (e.g. Trump Steaks).
In sociology and social psychology, impression management is a goal-directed conscious or unconscious process in which people attempt to influence the perceptions of other people about a person, object or event; they do so by regulating and controlling information in social interaction (Piwinger & Ebert 2001, pp. 1–2). It is usually used synonymously with self-presentation, in which a person tries to influence the perception of their image. The notion of impression management also refers to practices in professional communication and public relations, where the term is used to describe the process of formation of a company’s or organization’s public image.
While impression management and self-presentation are often used interchangeably, some authors have argued that they are not the same. In particular, Schlenker (1980) believed that self-presentation should be used to describe attempts to control ‘self-relevant’ (pp. 6) images projected in “real or imagined social interactions’. This is because people may manage impressions of entities other than themselves such as businesses, cities and other individuals (Leary & Kowalski 1990). Self presentations are building blocks to interpersonal communications, relations are contingent upon how people manage their impressions upon other people.
Motives and strategies
Self-presentation is expressive. We construct an image of ourselves to claim personal identity, and present ourselves in a manner that is consistent with that image. If we feel like this is restricted, we exhibit reactant/be defiant. We try to assert our freedom against those who would seek to curtail our self-presentation expressiveness. A classic example is the idea of the “preacher’s daughter”, whose suppressed personal identity and emotions cause an eventual backlash at her family and community.
People adopt many different impression management strategies. One of them is ingratiation, where we use flattery or praise to increase our social attractiveness by highlighting our better characteristics so that others will like us (Schlenker 1980, pp. 169).
A strategy that has garnered a great amount of research attention is self-handicapping. In this case people create ‘obstacles’ and ‘excuses’ (Aronson et al. 2009, pp. 174) for themselves so that they can avoid self-blame when they do poorly. People who self-handicap choose to blame their failures on obstacles such as drugs and alcohol rather than their own lack of ability. Other individuals devise excuses such as shyness, anxiety, negative mood or physical symptoms as reasons for their failure.
Concerning the strategies followed to establish a certain impression, the main distinction is between defensive and assertive strategies. Whereas defensive strategies include behaviours like avoidance of threatening situations or means of self-handicapping, assertive strategies refer to more active behaviour like the verbal idealisation of the self, the use of status symbols or similar practices.
These strategies play important roles in one’s maintenance of self-esteem. One’s self-esteem is affected by his evaluation of his own performance and his perception of how others react to his performance. As a result, people actively portray impressions that will elicit self-esteem enhancing reactions from others.
Impression management (IM) theory states that any individual or organization must establish and maintain impressions that are congruent with the perceptions they want to convey to their publics. From both a communications and public relations viewpoint, the theory of impression management encompasses the vital ways in which one establishes and communicates this congruence between personal or organizational goals and their intended actions which create public perception.
The idea that perception is reality is the basis for this sociological and social psychology theory, which is framed around the presumption that the other’s perceptions of you or your organization become the reality from which they form ideas and the basis for intended behaviors.
A range of factors that govern impression management can be identified. It can be stated that impression management becomes necessary whenever there exists a kind of social situation, whether real or imaginary. Logically, the awareness of being a potential subject of monitoring is also crucial. Furthermore, the characteristics of a given social situation are important. Specifically, the surrounding cultural norms determine the appropriateness of particular nonverbal behaviours. The actions have to be appropriate to the targets, and within that culture, so that the kind of audience as well as the relation to the audience influences the way impression management is realized. A person’s goals are another factor governing the ways and strategies of impression management. This refers to the content of an assertion, which also leads to distinct ways of presentation of aspects of the self. The degree of self-efficacy describes whether a person is convinced that it is possible to convey the intended impression.
A new study finds that, all other things being equal, people are more likely to pay attention to faces that have been associated with negative gossip than those with neutral or positive associations. The study contributes to a body of work showing that far from being objective, our perceptions are shaped by unconscious brain processes that determine what we “choose” to see or ignore — even before we become aware of it. The findings also add to the idea that the brain evolved to be particularly sensitive to “bad guys” or cheaters — fellow humans who undermine social life by deception, theft or other non-cooperative behavior.
There are many methods behind self-presentation: including self disclosure (identifying what makes you “you” to another person), managing appearances(trying to fit in), ingratiation, aligning actions (making your actions seem appealing or understandable), and alter-casting (imposing identities on other people). These self-presentation methods can also be used on the corporate level as impression management.
Strategic interpersonal behavior to shape or influence impressions formed by an audience is not a new field. Plato spoke of the “stage of human life”[ and Shakespeare crafted the famous sentence “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players”. In the 20th century, Erving Goffman also followed a dramaturgical analogy in his seminal book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, in which he said, “All the world is not, of course, a stage, but the crucial ways in which it isn’t are not easy to specify.”
Goffman presented impression management dramaturgically, explaining the motivations behind complex human performances within a social setting based on a play metaphor.Goffman’s work incorporates aspects of a symbolic interactionist perspective,emphasizing a qualitative analysis of the interactive nature of the communication process.
The actor, shaped by the environment and target audience, sees interaction as a performance. The objective of the performance is to provide the audience with an impression consistent with the desired goals of the actor. Thus, impression management is also highly dependent on the situation. In addition to these goals, individuals differ in responses from the interactional environment, some may be irresponsive to audience’s reactions while others actively respond to audience reactions in order to elicit positive results. These differences in response towards the environment and target audience are called self-monitoring. Another factor in impression management is self-verification, the act of conforming the audience to the person’s self-concept.
The audience can be real or imaginary. IM style norms, part of the mental programming received through socialization, are so fundamental that we usually do not notice our expectations of them. While an actor (speaker) tries to project a desired image, an audience (listener) might attribute a resonant or discordant image. An example is provided by situations in which embarrassment occurs and threatens the image of a participant.
The social psychologist, Edward E. Jones, brought the study of impression management to the field of psychology during the 1960s and extended it to include people’s attempts to control others’ impression of their personal characteristics. His work sparked an increased attention towards impression management as a fundamental interpersonal process.
The concept of self is important to the theory of impression management as the images people have of themselves shape and are shaped by social interactions (Schlenker 1980, pp. 47). Our self-concept develops from social experience early in life. Schlenker (1980) further suggests that children anticipate the effect of their behaviours will have on others and how others will evaluate them, they control the impressions they might form on others and in doing so they control the outcomes they obtain from social interactions.
Social identity refers to how people are defined and regarded in social interactions (Schlenker 1980, pp. 69). Individuals use impression management strategies to influence the social identity they project to others.The identity that people establish influences their behaviour in front of others, others’ treatment of them and the outcomes they receive. Therefore, in their attempts to influence the impressions others form of themselves, a person plays an important role in affecting his social outcomes.
Significance in empirical research and economyThe medium of communication influences the actions taken in impression management. Self-efficacy can differ according to the fact whether the trial to convince somebody is made through face-to-face-interaction or by means of an e-mail.Communication via devices like telephone, e-mail or chat is governed by technical restrictions, so that the way people express personal features etc. can be changed. This often shows how far people will go.
An examination of different impression management strategies acted out by individuals who were facing criminal trials where the trial outcomes could range from a death sentence, life in prison or acquittal has been reported in the forensic literature. The Perri and Lichtenwald article examined female psychopathic killers, whom as a group were highly motivated to manage the impression that attorneys, judges, mental health professions and ultimately, a jury had of the murderers and the murder they committed. It provides legal case illustrations of the murderers combining and/or switching from one impression management strategy such as ingratiation or supplication to another as they worked towards their goal of diminishing or eliminating any accountability for the murders they committed.Impression management can distort the results of empirical research that relies on interviews and surveys, a phenomenon commonly referred to as “social desirability bias”. Impression management Theory nevertheless constitutes a field of research on its own.When it comes to practical questions concerning public relations and the way organizations should handle their public image, the assumptions provided by impression management theory can also provide a framework.
Since the 1990s, researchers in the area of sport and exercise psychology have studied self-presentation. Concern about how one is perceived has been found to be relevant to the study of athletic performance. For example, anxiety may be produced when an athlete is in the presence of spectators. Self-presentational concerns have also been found to be relevant to exercise. For example, the concerns may elicit motivation to exercise.
More recent research investigating the effects of impression management on social behavior showed that social behaviors (e.g. eating) can serve to convey a desired impression to others and enhance one’s self-image. Research on eating has shown that people tend to eat less when they believe that they are being observed by others
- Calculating Visions: Kennedy, Johnson, and Civil Rights (book)
- Character mask
- Charm offensive
- Dramaturgy (sociology)
- First impression (psychology)
- Online identity management
- On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog
- Personal branding
- Register (sociolinguistics)
- Reputation capital
- Reputation management
- Self-monitoring theory
- Self-verification theory
- Signalling (economics)
- Spin (public relations)
- Superficial charm
- Stigma management
Online identity management
Online identity management (OIM) also known as online image management or online personal branding or personal reputation management (PRM) is a set of methods for generating a distinguished Web presence of a person on the Internet. That presence could be reflected in any kind of content that refers to the person, including news, participation in blogs and forums, personal web sites (Marcus, Machilek & Schütz 2006), social media presence, pictures, video, etc.
Online identity management also refers to identity exposure and identity disclosure, and has particularly developed in the management on online identity in social network services (Tufekci 2008) or online dating services (Siibak 2007).
One aspect of the online identity management process has to do with improving the quantity and quality of traffic to sites that have content related to a person. In that aspect, OIM is a part of another discipline called search engine optimization with the difference that the only keyword is the person’s name, and the optimization object is not necessary a single web site; it can consider a set of completely different sites that contain positive online references. The objective in this case is to get high rankings for as many sites as possible when someone search for a person’s name. If the search engine used is Google, this action is called “to google someone”.
Another aspect has to do with impression management, i.e. “the process through which people try to control the impressions other people form of them”. One of the objective is in particular to increase the online reputation of the person.
Online identity management often involves participation in social media sites like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube,Twitter, Last.fm, Myspace, Quora and other online communities and community websites, and is related to blogging, blog social networks like MyBlogLog and blog search engines like Technorati.
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Reputation capital is the quantitative measure of some entity’s reputational value in some context – a community ormarketplace. In the world of Web 2.0, what is increasingly valuable is trying to measure the effects of collaboration and contribution to community. Reputation capital is often seen as a form of non-cash remuneration for their efforts, and generally generates respect within the community or marketplace where the capital is generated.
- Ebay has a seller rating that attempts to represent trustworthiness of a seller. A negative rating of 1% can decrease the selling price of an item by 4%.
- Google‘s PageRank is a measure of popularity of a site, and for individual blogs, gives a rating of this, and as a result, of the bloggers themselves.
- Technorati has an authority rating based on incoming links to blogs that it has found in its Blogosphere
- This has been more coarsely defined as A, B, or C-list blogger rating.
- Friday Cities online community: users are given points for contributions. The points have tangible value because if a user accumulates enough ‘Kudos’ he may receive a free premium membership for a year.
- Slashdot‘s karma mechanism
For a business, reputation capital is the sum of the value of all corporate intangible assets, which include: business processes,patents, trademarks; reputations for ethics and integrity; quality, safety, sustainability, security, and resilience.
Delivering functional and social expectations of the public on the one hand and manage to build a unique identity on the other hand creates trust and this trust builds the informal framework of a company. This framework provides “return in cooperation” and produces Reputation Capital. A positive reputation will secure a company or organisation long-term competitive advantages. The higher the Reputation Capital, the less the costs for supervising and exercising control.
Reputation capital is a corporate asset that can be managed, accumulated and traded in for trust, legitimisation of a position of powerand social recognition, a premium price for goods and services offered, a stronger willingness among shareholders to hold on to shares in times of crisis, or a stronger readiness to invest in the company’s stock
Co-branding refers to several different marketing arrangements:
|“||“the term ‘co-branding’ is relatively new to the business vocabulary and is used to encompass a wide range of marketing activity involving the use of two (and sometimes more) brands. Thus co-branding could be considered to include sponsorships, where Marlboro lends it name to Ferrari or accountants Ernst and Young support the Monet exhibition.”||”|
Co-branding is an arrangement that associates a single product or service with more than one brand name, or otherwise associates a product with someone other than the principal producer. The typical co-branding agreement involves two or more companies acting in cooperation to associate any of various logos, color schemes, or brand identifiers to a specific product that is contractually designated for this purpose. The object for this is to combine the strength of two brands, in order to increase the premium consumers are willing to pay, make the product or service more resistant to copying by private label manufacturers, or to combine the different perceived properties associated with these brands with a single product.
A branding agency is a type of communication expert which specializes in creating and launching brands as well as rebranding. Branding agencies create, plan and manage branding strategies, independent of their clients. Branding agencies may also handleadvertising and other forms of promotion.
A branding agency is not to same as marketing agency. Branding is the process of developing the company’s brand; including the name, identity system and messaging platform. The brand message is then applied to marketing campaigns and collateral, which are intended to spread that brand message.
As with advertising agencies, typical branding agency clients come from all sectors including businesses and corporations, non-profit organisations and government agencies. Branding agencies may be hired to produce a brand strategy or, more commonly, a brand identity, which can then be output via a branding campaign, which is a type of marketing campaign.
Branding agencies create branding materials that define who a company is to their customers, differentiate the company from competitors, and communicate the unique value the company provides.
Faith branding is the concept of branding religious organizations, leaders, or media programming, in the hope of penetrating a media-driven, consumer-oriented culture more effectively. Essentially, faith branding treats faith as a product and attempts to apply the principles of marketing in order to “sell” the product. Faith branding is a response to the challenge that religious organizations and leaders face today regarding how to express their faith in a media-dominated culture.
Examples of Faith Branding
Since society is so caught up in media today many have become distracted from other important issues. Another example of mass media taking over the lives of everyday people including Christians who according to the standards set by their worldview chooses to place priorities out of religious order, and even non-believers who choose to live by the standards that are set forth by the media and accept that as their life style. Take the major companies that dominate the shopping industry and look closely at their marketing techniques they use to advertise their products. During a religious holiday is when they are at their worst, in this case look at the Christian holiday known as Christmas. Ever since the man in a big red suit and a white beard started appearing in story time, Companies have taken this time to pull all of the stops out to sell their products in large scale by telling every individual that they deserve bigger and better things. This is not what Faith branding is used for at all.
Negative Aspects and Precautions
Faith Branding does not always work as intended. Its methods are subject to debate. Branding in general does throw up some red flags especially when the topic of branding is about faith or even culture. Most people believe that the procedure of making something more apparent in the media would be solely for the corporations that produce and sell consumer goods that would be purchased and used by an individual, and the subject would develop a “bad reputation” (Cooke 160). In Cooke’s book he states that there are three dangerous areas that need to be revealed when it comes to the process of faith branding, they are “technology, chasing relevance, and conflict with the concept of marketing” (Cooke 160). Cooke discovered these issues so that when organizations are faith branding then they know what they should be cautious when they use the techniques for breaking through the ever evolving media age of the twenty first century.
- Employer Branding – Define or be Defined (edelman.com)
- 3XC Branding (thresholdtechnologycurvemodel.wordpress.com)
- Why I Can Picture Life at Adobe (ashleylaurenperez.com)
- Employer Branding – Who Cares? (next5news.wordpress.com)
- 3Xc Branding San Marino (thresholdtechnologycurvemodel.wordpress.com)
- The Tax on Bad Employer Brands (symbolist.com)
- Do This One Thing And Improve Your Employer Brand Now (swrightboucher.wordpress.com)
- Brandworkz brand management software announces new brand management offering at World Travel Market in London and new client win with Turismo de Canarias (prweb.com)
- Six Branding Basics Web Developers Don’t Want to Miss (thresholdtechnologycurvemodel.wordpress.com)
- Deutsche Bahn Revamps Its Employer Brand to Win New Talent (venitism.blogspot.com)