This essay discusses the strategic capability of inoculation to protect images such as those of brands, countries, individuals, and corporations. After defining the concept of image and establishing its strength and vulnerability, the efficacy of four alternative image defense strategies (counterattack, restoration, bolstering, and inoculation) is assessed. After comparing the strategies based on the extent theoretical and empirical evidence, inoculation is proposed as overall the most promising image defense strategy by illustrating its application in the image defense of: product brands, countries (as product origins and tourist destinations), individuals (as political candidates and celebrities), and corporations. Consequently, conclusions are drawn and implications extended.
|Keywords:||Corporate Image, Country of Origin Image, Political Candidate’s Image, Brand Image, Tourism Destination Image, Inoculation, Bolstering, Restoration, Counterattack|
Assistant Professor, School of Journalism & Telecommunications, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
Associate Professor, School of Communication, Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky, USA