Brand Image in Consumer Decision-Making Process


The companies performing in a highly competitive market strive to engage their customers by targeting their products or services to the audiences that are most likely to make a purchase. Through marketing and advertising, businesses make efforts to raise awareness of prospective customers about their products, thus ensuring that the buyers are acknowledged their benefits and feel the need to obtain such a product. Indeed, advertising is a pivotal tool enabling companies to influence consumer decision-making. Through advertising, marketers develop a strong brand image that captures the company’s advantage over other rivals and encourages the target audience to prioritize the products of one company over others.

In such a manner, it is arguable whether branding strategy is a decisive element of influence on consumer decision-making. On the one hand, there are plenty of other factors that drive buyers’ intentions to purchase a product or a service. They might include the price, quality, value, affordability, and accessibility, as well as personal appeal and the impact of a celebrity endorser (Neger & Uddin, 2020). On the other hand, a properly structured branding strategy allows for increased recognition, reliability, and trust built in the customer base that triggers unhesitant purchasing decisions based on the brand’s reputation. Despite the ambiguity behind the issue, this argumentative essay is designed to claim that brand is a dominant factor in the consumer decision-making process due to the prevailing role of the trust-worthy and reliable product in creating value behind the brand’s name.

Literature Review

The purpose of this argumentative essay is to support the researcher’s position concerning the prevalent role of brand image in the consumer purchasing decision-making process. Since such claims should rely on credible evidence, it is essential to research the issue and present scholarly support for both sides of the debate. This section presents a comprehensive review of recently published academic literature on the topic of consumer decisions and branding to identify the claims and justifications of the two sides of the debate.

Argument: Brand as a Decisive Consumer Decision-Making Factor

The considerations of the role of a branding strategy in the decisions of consumers whether to purchase a product or service or not are based on contextual assumptions. They might be informed by the economic processes and the tendencies of the contemporary business world. Indeed, the globalization trends impose a significant burden of added competition to the company’s conventional rivalry in their respective markets. According to Marliawati and Cahyaningdyah (2020), the rapid technological advancement has allowed companies to conquer global markets, thus increasing the scope of competition. In such a manner, the branding strategies allow companies to remain noticeable and recognizable in order to build relationships with loyal customers. Indeed, “the highlight of the competition for the company’s brand” is “loyalty and the key to business success now is to maintain partnerships with consumers” (Marliawati & Cahyaningdyah, 2020, p. 140). Thus, the importance of branding is impossible to deny, given its essential role in companies’ obtaining a competitive advantage.

Similar claims are presented by other scholars who have investigated the relationship between such factors as purchasing behavior, satisfaction, and awareness about a brand. According to Ilyas et al. (2020), creating brand awareness is essential for a company to be recognizable and demanded in the market. Product quality is commonly assumed on the basis of brand reputation. Ilyas et al. (2020) state that “brand awareness is a fundamental factor that determines the quality of a brand” and has an ultimate impact of people’s decision to buy a product from a particular business (p. 434). In other words, since the brand name is known to consumers through advertising, endorsement, and other means of marketing promotion, the quality is assumed through the lens of the social appreciation of the brand. Thus, branding is a dominant factor in buyers’ decision-making process in the contemporary globalized world of business.

Another significant statement supported by literature review insights in favor of branding as a driving factor of purchasing decision-making is the social attributes of brands. According to Keller (2020), attachment to brands is one of the key attributes of successful branding campaigns that connect consumers with companies in ways that expand further than mere economic interaction. Indeed, the researcher states that “brands can take on rich meaning and allow consumers to signal to others, or themselves, who they are or who they would like to be and what they value” (Keller, 2020, p. 995). The representation of social status is one of the reasons why an individual might prefer one company to another despite the similarity in the quality of their products.

Furthermore, people in a contemporary society driven by information exchange pay much attention to brand use as a means of self-representation. According to the literature review findings, “brands are embedded in consumer lives and part of their identities in profound ways” (Keller, 2020, p. 996). Thus, loyalty to a brand stems from one’s connection with the company’s image and the values it represents in the social environment. When considered from an opposite perspective, Keller’s (2020) findings suggest that consumers’ resentment of some brands is triggered by implied negative attributes and not the poor quality of products. Ultimately, it is the branding strategy and the reputation of a brand in the market that has the most significant impact on consumer decision-making.

Counter-Argument: Product Quality as a Decisive Consumer Decision-Making Factor

The opponents of the idea that branding dominates the factors influencing consumer decision-making claim that the essence of consumer behavior is pursuing the quality of the product itself rather than other content. Literature review findings suggest that mere adherence to the brand name is not the case for driving loyal customers’ decision-making. Indeed, since brand image stands for the quality of the product and its reliability, the consumers are more likely to be motivated by the value of the obtained purchase rather than the recognition of the brand. As stated by Marliawati and Cahyaningdyah (2020), consistent work on improvement and quality assurance builds the foundation for customer-business loyal, long-term relationships. The long-term relationship between consumers and companies is validated by the tested quality of services and products that are informed by the knowledge of buyers about the brand (Marliawati & Cahyaningdyah, 2020). In such a manner, the decision to purchase and repurchase from a company is stated to be motivated by the outcomes of the experience with the brand and not its image considered in isolation.

A similar finding has been presented by Lazaroiu et al. (2020), who investigated consumers’ decision-making in the context of social media-based commerce. The researchers provide evidence demonstrating that “end users’ trust and perceived product quality and value affects social popularity” (p. 2). Since trust in online purchases is built on the reviews of other shoppers that report product quality, it is the quality that triggers one’s decision to buy (Lazaroiu et al., 2020). Indeed, in the context of online shopping, people are reliant on the shared experiences of others that reflect the brand’s image through the perspective of the quality of products or services it provides. Given the complexity of the issue and the multifaceted nature of the contemporary purchasing process influenced by technological advancement, it is important to rebut these counter-argumentative claims.


Despite convincing evidence in favor of the quality being essential for consumer decision-making, the argument supporting branding strategy as a driving force of buyers’ decisions remains more consistent. Indeed, although brands build their image and recognizable reputation on quality assurance considerations, quality is not the ultimate factor driving their decision-making. While relying on the value, they expect from a reputable brand, consumers invest in their social status and consistency in their shopping when adhering to the well-known brand. This claim is based on the evidence provided by Zak and Hasprova, who state that the influencers’ representation of a brand builds loyalty in the customer base and leads their decision-making. Indeed, “such buying influence is most often the result of popularity, reputation or even expertise of influencers” and not a quality of a product (p. 2). In other words, a consumer deciding whether to purchase a product or a service is more likely to relate to the famous person’s image or representation behind the brand rather than the checked quality of the product itself.

Such a rebuttal point is inherently connected with another one that holds that brands create value not merely by quality assurance but by the social status and appeal of their mission. Indeed, according to Siddiqui et al. (2021), in the time of social media and the internet of things advancement, the communication between customers and businesses has become more accessible, which develops a significant sense of involvement with brands, consequently driving the loyalty foundation. Through such communication means, companies create “an image and picture of a brand or product in the consumer’s mind that holds solid positions and assembles information about brands that could push consumers to mindful attitudes” (p. 1008). Thus, the quality of a product is not considered a primary decision-making factor but an implied attribute that stems from the credibility of a brand’s endorser or the values promoted by a branding company.


In summation, the review of the literature and the interpretation of the findings in the context of the researched issue have presented a clarification on the relationship between brands and customers’ purchasing intentions. Indeed, it has been found that the process of consumer decision-making when purchasing a product or service from a company is a complex and ambiguous one, which validates the debate around the role of different factors. The two sides of the debate include the supporters of the idea that brand is a decisive factor in consumer decisions and the opponents of such a point of view, claiming the quality of a product to be pivotal. Literature review informs that technological advancement promotes branding that ultimately triggers consumer loyalty, self-representation, and social status demonstration through a brand. On the other hand, the opponents suggest that brand image is inherently based on product quality that stems from a positive experience with a company. Although quality is an important factor, the popularity, credibility, and endorsement of a brand by a reputable individual are the branding elements that convince buyers to make a purchase.


Ilyas, G. B., Rahmi, S., Tamsah, H., Munir, A. R., & Putra, A. H. P. K. (2020). Reflective model of brand awareness on repurchase intention and customer satisfaction. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics, and Business, 7(9), 427-438.

Keller, K. L. (2020). Consumer research insights on brands and branding: a JCR curation. Journal of Consumer Research, 46(5), 995-1001.

Lazaroiu, G., Negurita, O., Grecu, I., Grecu, G., & Mitran, P. C. (2020). Consumers’ decision-making process on social commerce platforms: online trust, perceived risk, and purchase intentions. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 1-7.

Marliawati, A., & Cahyaningdyah, D. (2020). Impacts the brand of experience and brand image on brand loyalty: Mediators brand of trust. Management Analysis Journal, 9(2), 140-151.

Neger, M., & Uddin, B. (2020). Factors affecting consumers’ internet shopping behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from Bangladesh. Chinese Business Review, 19(3), 91-104.

Siddiqui, M. S., Siddiqui, U. A., Khan, M. A., Alkandi, I. G., Saxena, A. K., & Siddiqui, J. H. (2021). Creating electronic word of mouth credibility through social networking sites and determining its impact on brand image and online purchase intentions in India. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, 16(4), 1008-1024.

Zak, S., & Hasprova, M. (2020). The role of influencers in the consumer decision-making process. SHS Web of Conferences, 74, 1-7.

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