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Building Brand Image With Ethics Essay

3315 words - 14 pages

Building Brand Image With Ethics

The Positive and Negative Effects of Ethical and Unethical Behaviors on Brand Trust

Executive Summary

In the market of today, businesses are faced with complex situations where they not only have to make decisions for the better of the company, but also for the better of society. In an economy and market that thrives on the competitiveness of various companies, business officials must abandon the focus on profit and focus on the needs of their consumers. Businesses cannot thrive without the support and trust of their primary and secondary stakeholders. These can include – consumers, employees, media, community leaders, etc. Businesses ...view middle of the document...

The same can apply to the way that Hondas and Toyotas are associated with reliability, and Wal-Mart is associated with affordability. Brand Image can be negative or positive. A brand's image coincides with its identity; benefits, attributes, performance, quality, service support and values. The image of a brand can also be strengthened through brand communication, such as advertising, word-of-mouth, other promotional tools, etc. Brand identity is the way that a business wants to be seen while brand image is the way that business is seen. It is the brand image that alters consumer opinion and allows a company to standout from the others it is in competition with. Brand image has an effect on brand and consumer trust and confidence.1

Brand and Consumer Trust

Trust is an important factor that influences human communication at all levels. J. Rotter, author of “Generalized Expectancies for Interpersonal Trust”, defines trust as “a generalized expectancy held by an individual or group that a word, promise, verbal, or written statement of another individual or group can be relied on.”1 As consumers, the propensity to trust, is the inclination, bias, or desire to trust people. It varies amongst them depending on one's views of the brand image. This propensity may be affected by either personal experience or conditioning. The propensity to trust is just the starting point of establishing trust. As humans, we are often driven to begin trusting at first, until analysis is required to ensure that blind trust is not given to undeserving recipients. The inclination to trust represents a matter of the heart while the analysis of trust is a matter of the mind. Analysis of trust involved the assessment of three variables: Opportunity, Risk, and Credibility. Opportunity refers to what you are giving your trust for. Whether it’s to repay a loan, provide extraordinary customer service, or return valuable items after a repair, all of these scenarios are opportunities to give trust. Giving trust is a risk in itself, and there are risks in giving trust. When analyzing, a person must think of the possible outcomes associated with this decision. They must weigh the likelihood of favorable or unfavorable outcomes before considering the credibility of the other party. Credibility refers to the character and competence of the person or business involved. Since extending trust is an act of faith, if credibility is low then the risk of extending trust is high.

Brand trust is the foundation and the connection between a brand and its stakeholders that converts simple awareness into strong commitment, or lack thereof. In order for a business to establish basis for strong trust in their brand, they must demonstrate positive opportunity, low risk, and high credibility through their behaviors, actions, communication, and overall attitude. Actions and behavior of the brand establish credibility with customers who are aware of the business while communication brings...

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