252 | 30, pp. 249-263 | doxa.comunicación

January-June of 2020

The construction of intangible values in craft beer brands. Attributes immersed in communications

ISSN: 1696-019X / e-ISSN: 2386-3978

Nowadays, these associations can be understood from the attributes, benefits and attitudes towards the brand. Subsequently, Finne & Grönroos (2009) affirm that brands had to switch their focus of attention, thus being obliged to change the paradigm in which the company is in charge of the message integration.

Instead of the traditional marketing communication concept, where a sender conveys a message to a receiver through coding, noise and decoding processes, marketing communication should focus more on the receivers and the meaning created by the receiver in the communication process. (Finne & Grönroos, 2009: 180).

This enlightens the need that brands have to switch the focus on the consumer, as it is the one responsible for carrying out the work of integrating messages, emphasizing the importance of the creation of meanings built from the attributes early mentioned as the intangible values of a brand, and which are transmitted through the corporate communicative strategies.

1.3. Intangible Values of the Brand

The concepts of identity and brand image are essential to the understanding the intangible values theory. The first represents the communicative strategy that the company wants to convey and the second, the result of what the stakeholders build of the company.

Within the message between the brand and the consumer there is a series of attributes called intangible values that come into play. They are constructed and managed from the marketing strategy. The moment both, stakeholders and specially consumers start interpreting these attributes, is when the construction of the I.V. takes place.

For instance, authors like Pizzolante (2009), consider that product quality is no longer the only competitive parameter of a brand, being the intangibility of products transmitted through the I.V. the most fundamental part for consumers to perceive the brands. Complementing this, “brand value, as a corporate asset is one of the primary measures of competitive advantage of an enterprise that is useful to gain customers’ brand preference over rivals” (Gehani, 2016: 11).

The concern on evaluating the intangibility of brands and their I.V. arises from the need to develop lasting relationships in order to create and maintain customer value and thinking beyond mere transactions and a product’s sale (Porcu, Del Barrio-García, & Kitchen, 2012). Understanding consumer behaviour and how I.V. are built reflects a forward thinking about sustainability and brands, companies, and the value creation that this relationship generates.

The list of I.V., which has been studied by a number of important researchers, is considered extensive. For example, Mercader (2010) states that credibility is the most important intangible value; for Muñoz (2010), loyalty, awareness and quality; for López & Sebastián (2009), ethics, good corporate governance, innovation, quality, responsibility and vision are fundamental. To summarize, some of the researchers that have studied the I.V. of brands are described below Table 1):