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LITERATURE
AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

Brand
Identity Prism

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Most literature,
despite of the various brand identity frameworks, have been unanimous in
stipulating that, “brand identity is best understood from the picture of
sender; and the brand image from the recipient” (Farhana, p26, 2014). Kapferer’s (2008) provides
a useful conceptualization of brand identity, by introducing his hexagonal
brand identity prism model (see
Appendix: C ) that helps elucidate the principal differences between
rivaling brands (Viot,2011; Farhana,2014).). His model presents
six facets (parameters): Personality, Culture, Physique, Relationships,
Reflection, and Self-image; the dimensions helping brand managers gauge the
identity of the brand (Farhana, 2014). From this theoretical point of view Kapferer’s model,( 2008) will be used as a framework to analyze
the case company A&F’s brand identity and assess how
the re-brand has changed A’ brand identity prism following former
controversial CEO Mike Jeffries.

The six facets are
divided into four dimensions: Picture of Sender (intended brand identity) vs Picture of Recipient (perceived brand identity), and Externalization (external expressions)
vs Internalization (Internal expressions) ( Kapferer, 2008). The brand
identity facets of Physique- (i.e., tactile, sensory, physical features) and
Personality (i.e,.set of human characteristics) depict the Sender; whereas the
identity facets of Self-image (i.,e consumers perception of the brand) and
reflection (i.e., image of target audience) portrait the receiver. The final
two facets, Relationship (i.e. how the brand treats consumers) and Culture (I.e.
mission and values) can be seen as the facets that form a connection between
sender and recipient (Kapferer,
2008; Farhana,2014). Placement of
the six facets in the dimensions of Externalization vs Internalization follow
the notion that internal expressions (i.e, Culture, Personality and Self-image)
fall into the Internalization dimension; whereas the social aspects of the
brand- its external expressions (i.,e Relationship, Reflection, and Physique)
fall into the externalization dimension (Farhana,2014).

In order for the
brand to succeed and come to life, it is crucial for management to communicate a
congruent and coherent brand to its consumers ( Nandan, 2005; Roy
& Banerjee, 2008). This would entail all six facets in the prism weaving
into a holistic core brand essence; that according to Kapferer, (2008) and Farhana, (2014) results in a clear
and concise brand identity that is appealing. To understand 

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