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Hanken School of Economics Working Papers, Hanken School of Economics

No 550:
Value of Image in Service

Tore Strandvik () and Anne Rindell ()

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 customerís corporate brand image affects the customerís value-in-use. Methodology/approach The paper represents conceptual development on customersí 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. Findings 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 providerís 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 customerís value-in-use. We argue that two interrelated concepts are needed to capture corporate image construction and dynamics and value-in-use Ė 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 customerís 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 customerís view on image and value-in-use. Originality/value The paper presents a novel approach for understanding and studying that the customerís image of a company influences emergence of value-in-use. The model implies that the customerís corporate image has a crucial role for experienced value-in-use.

Keywords: service logic; service dominant logic; corporate brand image; image heritage; image-in-use; value-in-use; (follow links to similar papers)

19 pages, September 6, 2010

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