Value of Image in Service

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Title: Value of Image in Service
Author: Strandvik, Tore; Rindell, Anne
Contributor: Hanken School of Economics, Department of Marketing, Marketing
Belongs to series: Working Papers - 550
ISSN: 0357-4598
ISBN: 978-952-232-084-1
Abstract: Purpose
This paper takes a customer view on corporate image and value, and discusses the value of image in service. We propose a model depicting how the customer’s corporate brand image affects the customer’s value-in-use.

The paper represents conceptual development on customers’ value and image construction processes. By integrating ideas and elements from the current service and branding literature a model is proposed that extends current views on how value-in-use emerges.

From a current service perspective it is the customer who makes value assessments when experiencing service. Similarly, if branding is a concept used to denote the service provider’s intentions and attempts to create a corporate brand, image construction is the corresponding process where the customer constructs the corporate image. This image construction process is always present both in service interactions and in communication and has an effect on the customer’s value-in-use. We argue that two interrelated concepts are needed to capture corporate image construction and dynamics and value-in-use – the image-in-use and image heritage.

Research implications
The model integrates two different streams of research pointing to the need to consider traditional marketing communication and service interactions as inherently related to each other from the customer’s point of view. Additionally the model gives a platform for understanding how value-in-use emerges over time. New methodological approaches and techniques to capture image-in-use and image heritage and their interplay with value-in-use are needed.

Practical implications
The company may not be able to control the emergence of value-in-use but may influence it, not only in interactions with the customer but also with pure communication. Branding activities should therefore be considered related to service operations and service development. Additionally, practitioners would need to apply qualitative methods to understand the customer’s view on image and value-in-use.

The paper presents a novel approach for understanding and studying that the customer’s image of a company influences emergence of value-in-use. The model implies that the customer’s corporate image has a crucial role for experienced value-in-use.
Date: 2010-05-26
Copyright information: This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for Your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.
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