The meaning of symbolic consumption can be explained by assuming consumption as part of problem-solving. If we consider a brand to be having significant meaning, it can be utilized as a symbol. It is, however, difficult to grasp the meaning of a specific brand because of the idea of presumed knowledge concerning the brand, shared by users of the brand (Schembri et al.
My brand of choice is Coca-Cola. This article provides a review of the symbolic meanings of Coca-Cola as a brand. Coca-Cola brand has symbolic meanings such as phrases in adverts for example, “Thirst knows no season” of 1922, “Life tastes good” of 2001. “Always Coca-Cola” of 1993, and “Open Happiness” of 2009, brand name, logos, and character association. These aspects have been memorized in my mind, influencing my self-concept, thus connecting with the brand.
Also, the brand has several principles; for example, brand salience, brand association, brand verification, and brand conflict principle. First, brand salience refers to the degree to which a brand noticed or thought about whenever a customer is in a buying situation (Nam et al. 2011). Coca-Cola brand has a strong brand salience because of its known quality in beverage industry compared to other brands such as Pepsi.
The quality of the brand memorized by customers makes it have the strongest brand salience when buying a beverage. Second, the brand association is defined as symbols and images which relate to brand benefits or the brand itself. Coca-Cola brand is greatly recognized in the beverage industry. Thus it has the highest brand association. A brand association may be attributed to the longtime refreshing quality, outstanding adverts, fair pricing, its association with celebrities, and great contact with its customers, sponsoring talents.
Third, brand conflict as a brand principle refers to the decision-making process when buying a given brand (Nam et al. 2011). Throughout ages, the Coca-Cola brand through visual representation has made itself favorable to customers; thus, consumers choose it over other brands. Lastly, brand identity constitutes brand logos, packaging, color topography, and messaging, which complements the pre-existing brand reputation.
These elements characterize the Coca-Cola brand, making it conspicuous among other beverage brands. In summary, the symbols and images of a particular brand memorized by its customers, for instance, in my case, is important for the increased reputation of that brand, thus raise sales turnover to producers.
- Nam, J., Ekinci, Y., & Whyatt, G. (2011). Brand equity, brand loyalty, and consumer satisfaction. Annals of Tourism Research, 38(3), 1009-1030.
- Schembri, S., Merrilees, B., & Kristiansen, S. (2010). Brand consumption and narrative of the self. Psychology & marketing, 27(6), 623-637.