Last Updated 12 May 2020

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What inferences do you draw from the brand names and symbols? Do the brand names accurately characterize each product’s features and benefits? How does the packaging affect the inferences you make about each product? The two competing products that had been selected are Fresh & White Extra Cool Mint Toothpaste and Darlie Double Action Toothpaste. Inductive inference method is used in forming inference based on the product names, symbol and packaging to develop prior judgement about the probable product features and attributes (Kardes, Posavac, and Cronly 2004, 232).

Firstly, as a consumer, the initial inference formed for “Fresh & White” toothpaste is based on interpreting its descriptive brand name directly. For the “Fresh”, I deduce that this toothpaste provides not only a cool and refreshing breath, but also an exceptional teeth whitening capability as the “White” itself implied. The symbol for Fresh & White is a white polar bear. As polar bear are normally found within the Arctic Circle surrounded by cold climate, this inspired the imagination of a cool and refreshing oral breath make possible by this toothpaste.

Besides, due to its white fur, I would assume that this toothpaste contain strong cleansing agent in ensuring long lasting white teeth. “Darlie” brand name is similar to Darkie, a racial slang for black people. The brand symbol for Darlie is a dark-skinned male wearing a top hat. I would infer from both the brand name and symbol that this toothpaste grants the user shiny and glittering teeth resembling an African descent. This is due to the popular misconception about them having whiter teeth due to the colour contrast between their teeth and their dark skin.

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Primarily due to diminutive functional difference between competing products, companies nowadays emphasises greatly in enhancing brand name as consumers tends to bases product differentiation more on the brand name than the product benefits (del Rio, Vazquez, Iglesias 2001, 455). Thus, it is vital for both the toothpaste to establish a brand name with clear relation to its features and benefits for easy consumer association. The brand name “Fresh & White” precisely characterise the toothpaste primary features and benefits.

This toothpaste main function includes bringing refreshing sensation and maintaining the whiteness of the user’s teeth. Both of this is directly represented clearly in the brand name through “Fresh” and “White” respectively. As for Darlie, the brand name does somehow resemble its features and benefits even though the relation is not as significant and noticeable in comparison to Fresh & White. This is because Darlie, although not as easily linked to Darkie by the consumer, provide some insight of the whitening power of this toothpaste due to the popular misconception.

Packaging communicates brand identities and features via numerous structural and graphical elements, including a mixture of colours, typeface fonts, package materials, pictorials and other elements which will influence heavily on the customer purchasing decision (Underwood 2003, 62). Both toothpastes packaging are similar in terms of their size and shape, which comes in a rectangular paper-made box. Fresh & White toothpaste packaging has a much complex design scheme, shiny and glinting surface, contemporary typeface and attractive art style.

Conversely, Darlie toothpaste has a much simpler and old school design, plain and solid colour, classical looking typeface and art style. A package’s extrinsic values such as logo, design, and picture would implicate the product’s quality, often influencing consumer brand perception and purchase decision (Zeithaml 1988, 7 Figure 2). Based on the above statement, I would infer that Fresh & White offers the latest teeth cleansing formula and a better quality control. Due to its old fashioned packaging, Darlie may come to my mind as an outdated product that lacks frequent revising, poorer quality, and inferior cleansing capabilities.

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