Protecting Images with Inoculation: A look at Brand, Country, Individual, and Corporate Images

By Bobi Ivanov and Kimberly A. Parker.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 669.186KB).

Bobi Ivanov

Assistant Professor, School of Journalism & Telecommunications, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA

Bobi Ivanov’s research interests concern the influence of mass media communication, message processing, and resistance to influence, particularly the uses of inoculation. Ivanov has co-authored journal articles appearing in Communication Monographs, Communication Research, and Central Business Review. He has also co-authored two books. One of his co-authored articles in Communication Monographs has won the National Communication Association Communication and Social Cognition Division’s “Distinguished Article Award”.

Kimberly A. Parker

Associate Professor, School of Communication, Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Kimberly Parker’s research interest concern message processing, resistance to influence and adolescent romantic and sexual communication. Parker has co-authored journal articles appearing in Human Communication Research, Communication Monographs, Communication Quarterly, and Communication Studies.