Inher 1998 paper identified in the background readings, SusanFournierargues that customers have relationships with brands.1.Explain what Fournier means by "having a relationship" witha brand.2.Using two brands chosen from the categories below, explain whetherornot you believe that customers have relationships withthosebrands.3.Expand your thinking and explain whether, based on Fournier`spaper,your own experience and your knowledge of other people,customershave relationships with all brands.
Thebrand (Toyota land cruiser) of the category of automotive and thebrand (Milky Way) of the category of chocolate candy bar
Brandpartner relationship is more of subjective phrase. Theories, researchand observation have been conducted in view of validating the phrase.The pioneers’ have come up with more interesting empirical andscientific outcomes, trying to illustrate the above concept ofmarketing. In this paper, I have tried to extend their findings hencecomparing and contrasting some of their crucial concepts.In mycoverage and understanding, I have found that, product brand ispertinent and essential along with relationship but does not hold toevery individual and products.
Accordingto Fournier (1998), relationship is all about self-connection,interdependence, commitment, love and passion among others. This isreflected much on a specific brand according to individual’sinterest or feelings. Marketability holds if there is a strongrelationship of product brands with customers. To arrive to thisconclusion, a research was conducted from three people. The outcomesfrom the research were a bit controversial and therefore, thequestion still remains’ subjective and ambiguous.
Inmy case study, Toyota land cruiser and Milky Way are the two brandsof the category of automobile and chocolate candy bar respectivelywill be my concern. People have self-concept towards product brands.Some of them are driven by the affection of the brand and they wantit now and then.
Pro.Fournier theory of anthropomorphizing helps consumer to identify witha certain specific brand of a product. Animism tends to describeinanimate product of having a relationship dyads with the consumer.This gives the non- human objects to play an active role in arelationship. Products are given human characteristics.This makesbrand to define redefine the relationship. The two brand chosen(Toyota land cruiser and Milky Way) have been anthropomorphized wheremany people feels comfort having them. They develop feelings towardsthe vehicle where they can’t live without it. Also, a number ofthem seem not to care about which brand to select. The threshold oftheir selection is determined by the size of their pockets. On theother hand, most people personalize the chocolate brand as havinghuman qualities. Milky Way chocolate acts as a partner to thecustomer as they feels strong connected with the brand to a pointthey cannot go on without it.
Advertiserstend to humanize inanimate product by giving them qualities, hencegiving them a role to play in a relationship dyads (Vargoand Lusch, 2004).Fournier (1998) goes further to explain three ways of animism. First,a spokesperson having characteristics that somehow fit those of thebrands. As they advertise the brand, they stimulate a directreflection about the brand. This is much reflected on the brand ofthe chocolate brand. People advertise wearing qualities of the MilkyWay chocolate this makes more customers to have a directrelationship with the brand.
Pro.Fournier also stresses that the relationship of the partners shouldbe interdependence where it define and redefine the engagement. Thisalso holds to the two brands (Toyota land cruiser and Milky Way).Having the brand of Toyota land cruiser, an individual feels in ahigher position in the society than without it. It has privilegeswhich define the owner and due to interdependence they stick to thebrand.
Marketerspersonalize, humanize, and animate the product so that they canlegitimize the brand as partner (Steve& Lusch, 2012).For instance, marketers’ of the Toyota land cruiser and Milky Way ,they do humanize the brand designing them on television havingqualities to communicate, produce sound effects, and giving a realrefreshment after having the brand. This impacts a positive mind tothe potential customers as they are eager to feel the same.
Inthe case of Fournier, the spirit of the past defines the spirit ofthe endorser through usage of the endorsed brand (pg. 345). Thisbrand will be strongly used due to the reminiscent of the spirit ofwho was using it before. Also, brands which are given as a gift arehighly used due to the owner of the giver. This aspect also holds tothe brand of chocolate (Milky Way). As I approached my friend,(Rewel, September 20th2014), he confessed the reason of using the Milky Way brand ofchocolate was to honor his ex-girlfriend’s gift. This is a vitalbenchmark of a brand as a partner.
Pro.Fournier describes types of relationship on bases of multiplexphenomena and dynamism phenomena. In multiplex case, she arguesrelationship in terms of distinguishable benefits derived from it.This benefits includes socioemotional provision along with thepayoffs of stimulation, social support and security.in dynamismfield, it concerns with a series of iterate exchanges of thepartners. The relationship will only differ in terms of intimacy,commitment, love, self-connectedness and passion.
Fromthe research, I found people have different motives of how theyactual relates with product brand. Some people are incited by themotive of post-modern society. They desire to live past time and theywill select product brand type with respect to the societaladvancement. For example, brand of Toyota land cruiser is muchhonored due to its position in the minds of the society, albeit somepeople concentrate on its durability and brand quality.
Agood number of people also are highly influenced by other people.They let them define and redefine what type of brand to choose. Forinstance, most girls chose to go for Milky Way chocolate. The reasonbeen their friends are using it. They have to go for it as means ofshow off. In contrary, others do have a direct relationship with thechocolate brand and they have self-independent motive toward it. Theyfeel that their friends are just a function of many brands to choosethe best. They rely much on marginalized utility and functionalityderived from the brand. For example, the brand of Toyota land cruiserpeople go for it as they have in mind its functionality.
Generally,brand should be in minds of all marketers despite of its outcomes.For a product to be marketable, branding is a treasure specificationfor all products to be competitive enough in the market segment. Thiswill enable it differentiable from similar line of products and takesa larger share of the market, albeit relationship of brand as apartner is much resilient in marketing. And as result, thisrelationship foresight a concrete decision of a customer while othersare influential.
Thefirm that excels tremendously is the one that not only focuses onproduction and sale of tangible goods but the one which provideshighly customized ones. This act as a merit I terms of competitivecompetencies. Large number of goods is produced globally this makesmost of firm’s good obsolesce. In a service-centered whichconcentrates in marketing, they are required to advance in technologyfor innovation and invention so as to create market for their good(Elliott,Percy & Pervan, 2011).
Inconclusion, in some point Pro. Fournier research, holds for someproducts and for specific individual but does not hold for holistic.It is true that some people have product brand relationship but itdoes not apply to all brands statistically. Furthermore, branding andrelationship is pertinent for marketers in marketing niche.
Elliott,R. H., Percy, L., &Pervan, S. (2011). Strategicbrand management.Oxford: Oxford University Press.
FournierS. (1998). Consumers and their brands: Developing relationship theoryin consumer research. Journalof Consumer Research.24:4(March).
Steve,V., & Lusch, R. F. (2012). Towarda better understanding of the role of value in markets and marketing.Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Pub.
Vargo,S.L., and Lusch, R.F. (2004). Evolving to a new dominant logic formarketing. Journalof Marketing,68(January):1-17.