Branding Identity


Part 2 - Branding Identity

Brand identity is how we want our customers to understand and perceive the brand (Kapferer 2008). Brand identity will help the customers to recognize the brand and can differentiate our brand from the competitors. Kapferer (2008) created the brand identity prism which is charted the brand identity along a hexagonal prism with the externalization on the one side and the internalization on the other side. The externalization consists of physique, relationship and reflected consumer, but on the internalization side consists of personality, culture and self-image (Kapferer 2008). In this case, Nike running shoes have their own beliefs and certain character that lead to become Nike's brand identity. The brand identity prism for Nike running shoes for our integrated marketing communication is created below.

According to Kapferer's model, the brand identity prism for Nike running shoes has six dimensions which are physique, relationship, reflection, personality, culture and self-image. First, physique is the physical aspects and the main purpose of the brand; tell consumers what the product is, what the product actually does and what the product carries value in the eye of customers (Krishnamurthi 2007). The physique of Nike running shoes is “sport- running” because that is what the running shoes being made for. It includes all the tangible things of Nike running shoes including Nike running shoes feature, look, color, design and quality which these add values to buyers as it wears for running.

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The second dimension is relationship. Customers can have a relationship with the brand because the brand often involve with transaction and exchange between people, particularly in the service and retail sector (Garg 2008). According Kapferer (2008), brands exist in the market because of communication, such as advertising and direct consumer's communication. For our Nike running shoes prism, Nike maintains a good relationship with customers by creating memorable award-winning campaign such as Nike running marathon. Furthermore, Nike sponsors the athletes (focusing on individual athlete and their success) as well as sponsors the game, such as the Olympic game.

The third dimension is reflection which means how the individual in the intended group of customers identify himself as a person in relation to the brand (Kochhar 2007). Therefore, every brand tries to design the product to meet the need for the targeted customer group as customer reflection is a good factor for being a strong brand image, so brands should control their customer reflection (Kapferer 2008). In this case, customers will be reflected Nike running shoes for dynamic lifestyle, for winning with cool fashion. Over time, Nike will use advertising to continue address our customer reflection, so as a result of buying Nike running shoes, customers will perceive their own identity to be dynamic and fashionable and certainly to win.

The fourth dimension is personality which refers to when brands talks about its product and what kind of person it would be if it were a human being (Krishnamurthi 2007). Brand personality is described by using the features of customer personality which are directly related to the brand and is closely linked with self-image (Slideshare 2009). For our Nike prism, Nike brand personality may be that of confident, arrogant, aggressive and energetic. Examples of person it could be are Maria Sharapova and Roger Federer since these two tennis players have the personality of confident, arrogant, aggressive and energetic which these character can represent the Nike brand. Nike gives the attention to a specific sport, such as tennis, basketball and golf (Slideshare 2009).

The fifth dimension is culture which is a set of values that the brand is inspired or originated from (Kapferer 2008). It can be said that brand is representative of its culture, including communication (Krishnamurthi 2007). For our Nike prism, Nike takes its culture from the American culture. Nike is a global brand that reveals its culture by which symbolizes the American way which is being individual and aggressive like Michael Jordan (Garg 2008). Nike has aggressive winner attitude that can be related to the American sport attitude. This culture will help Nike in the way to differentiate Nike from other competing brands, such as Adidas, as the brand culture indicates what values are included in the Nike products and services. In addition, Nike communicates with their people by relating it with cultural values by creating a provocative attitude by encouraging them to let loose (“Just do it”) (Slideshare 2009).

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Finally, the sixth dimension is self-image which means how the individual in the targeted group identify the brand in relation to himself and it is the internal version of reflection (Kapferer 2008). It is a certain attitude toward a certain brand. Customer self-image is important as customers are attracted to the brand in which they see their own traits (Kochhar 2007). For Nike prism, the person who identifies himself/herself as fun, smart and sport person will buy our Nike running shoes since customers buy shoes corresponding to their self-image. Nike shoes now have more fashionable running shoes rather than being only traditional running shoes, buyers of Nike running will try to prove themselves too that they are in-fashion, having their own style, as well as they are fit and sport person and feel fun and cool. When they wear Nike running shoes, they belong to a fashionable sport society.

In conclusion, brand identity of Nike running shoes can be described by six dimensions of brand identity prism by Kapferer. Nike running shoes' physique is sport (running) and Nike's relationships are campaign and sponsorship. Customer reflection for Nike are dynamic, winning and fashion, whereas, Nike's cultures are American and “Just do it”. Nike's brand personality can be represented by Maria Sharapova or Roger Federer and finally Nike's brand images are fun, smart and sport person. All of these six elements of brand identity prism help to understand the perceptions of the brand, Nike running shoes, in the customer minds which thus help to build a better brand image and position of the Nike running shoes at a better level.


  1. Garg, A 2008, Brand Identity Prism by Kapferer, accessed 21 March 2010.
  2. Kapferer, J 2008, New strategic brand management: Creating and sustaining brand equity long term, 4th edn, Kogan Page, London.
  3. Kochhar, N 2007, Brand Identity Prism: some examples, accessed 20 March 2010.
  4. Krishnamurthi, P 2007, Brand Identity Prism (Kapferer), accessed 21 March 2010.
  5. Slideshare Inc., 2009, Kapferer Model Brand Identity Prism, accessed 20 March 2010.