The purpose of this study is to trace key developments in the evolution of consumer brand choice. Based upon the critical and in-depth literature review, several salient issues are identified. Today's consumer can be characterised as suffering from ‘over choice’ and choice fatigue. As a consequence, consumers have developed phased decision-making strategies in order to simplify their decision making. An integral component of these phased decision-making strategies is the formation of a downsized subset of brands, the consideration set, from which brand choice is made. Of those brands held within the consideration set, similarities in terms of brand attributes have prompted brand image as the significant differentiator in facilitating choice. It is evident that brands must develop an emotional and symbolic attachment with consumers if they are to succeed in today's highly competitive marketplace. Brand managers must recognise that it is through the manipulation and moulding of brand image that truly meaningful differentiation and brand meaning can be achieved. The main contribution of the paper lies in the exploration of brand image. Brand image is viewed as a multi-dimensional construct — the key dimensions of heritage and authenticity have been identified as pivotal determinants of brand success.
- fast moving
- consumer goods