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Brands versus Information: The changing role of brands in  the age of empowered consumers

Brands versus Information: The changing role of brands in the age of empowered consumers

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Revision with unchanged content. On the one hand, the Internet increases information transparency for conA­suA­mers a?? they are now able to obtain objective, trustworthy information on reA­taiA­lersa?? existence and reliability as well as on products and services in real-time, at any time from virtually any place in the world. On the other hand, the Internet provides tools to businesses to strengthen their consumersa?? bonds with their brands, e.g. through offering platforms for consumers to enA­gage in brand-related behavior for fun and entertainment during their free time or through offering businesses the opportunity to personalize offerings for their customers. For the first time, this book analyzes and describes the roles that both brands and the increased information transparency play in purchase decision proA­cesses. It gives answers to a wide range of questions: Does the Internet emA­power consumers in a way that strengthens or weakens functions of brands? Can information substitute brand functions? Are brands becoming even more imA­portant in the age of empowered consumers? What are the impacts of this deA­velopment on brands, on intermediaries and retailers, and on prices and proA­duct quality? And what are the implications for brand management?