What is a Brand Image?

Alexis W.

The brand image refers to the way a market as a whole views a given company or product. Many companies attempt to create a strong brand that people identify with a given product. Some of the best examples of this include Xerox, whose name has become synonymous with making a copy, and Kleenex, whose name has come to mean "tissue" in general.

Rolex's brand image is one of high-end luxury that demands high prices.
Rolex's brand image is one of high-end luxury that demands high prices.

In addition to desiring to create brand recognition in general, most companies also want their product or company to have a specific image or to be looked upon in a certain way. This brand image can shape how they release a product, the type of product they released, the type of advertising they do, and the type of customers they cater to.

Kleenex once referred to a specific brand, but has come to refer to tissues in general.
Kleenex once referred to a specific brand, but has come to refer to tissues in general.

For example, a company may decide it wishes to have a brand image as a luxury brand. In such cases, it would cater to a high end market. Its products would be priced at an expensive price point, it would advertise only in high end magazines and it would be sold only in boutiques or high end stores, not at discount warehouse stores or outlet locations. Rolex watches, for example, have done a good job of creating an image as a high end and expensive brand, and as such people will pay a premium to purchase these watches because of what they stand for.

Another company may take a different tactic and decide it wants to highlight value as its brand image. Wal-Mart, for example, promises that customers can "Save Money and Live Better." It is not trying to create a luxury image, but is instead trying to position itself as an option for the budget conscious family.

Choosing a brand image is very important for a company, so that the corporate entity can appropriately target its market. Choosing too many different images or trying to represent too many different things can create a problem for a company. For example, if the company tries to target itself as both a luxury item and as a discount brand, then it will not have a clear-cut marketing strategy. Since there would be no target market for such a product since the luxury market wouldn't want a discount item and the discount market wouldn't want to pay luxury prices, the product might find itself a failure as a result of the muddled image it was presenting to customers.

Xerox has become a generic term for copy machines.
Xerox has become a generic term for copy machines.

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Discussion Comments


@Mae82 - I think Kleenex can be in that list, even google.


Do you think it is a good or bad thing that many people are associating their personal image with the brands that they wear?

I am curious as to whether or not you think we are putting to much stock in letting items make us feel a certain way, when we could do it ourselves.

Are brands just an easy fix?


I believe that brand image plays a very important role in the products that I choose to purchase. Even though it is subconscious, I know what kind of image I am trying to present when going to a business meeting versus hanging out at home.

With the example of clothing, I will choose to purchase my suits at a high-end clothing store. I am aware that I can buy suits at a discount retailer jut as easily, and they would look nice. I think though, that with the brand image attached to items, it produces a feeling of confidence that you do not get when a product is not associated with a specific image that you are going after.


Another great example of a company with a strong brand image is Band-Aid. I had no idea that this was a specific product name until a few years ago when I studied some advertising in college.

It is a perfect example of a company that has become so synonymous with a particular product, that everything similar becomes labeled with the brand image. I never say, pass me a bandage. It has always been, does anyone have a Band-Aid?

Can anyone think of any other products that have had such a successful brand image that they have become interchangeable with the very item they are promoting?

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