Forbes suggest that brand personality could differentiate and create competitive advantage inthe consumer’s minds for brands that otherwise are indistinguishable from their competitors.Brand equity is more likely to be stronger for brands that are clearly distinguished anddifferentiated in crowded consumer markets (Lovelock, 1984; Keller, 1993). Effective marketsegmentation and communication strategies would be possible if brand personalitycharacteristics could be anchored with specific consumer market traits and other individualconsumer psychometric characteristics, such as, self-concept. Identifying congruityrelationships between brand image and consumer’s self-image would enable marketers to position and promote products more effectively with the appropriate target markets.Identifying more clearly symbolic brand personality meanings, consumer personalitycharacteristics and the interrelationships between consumer self-image and brand image,would provide an integrated nomothetic approach to understanding the symbolic with theactual consumer needs. Understanding the relationships between brand and consumer personality would prove most invaluable, as personality constructs, are considered stable over a long timer and universally generalisable for all individuals and transcend culturaldifferences (Jung, 1921/1971; McCrae and Costa, 1997). Brand meaning and personality isfound to transcend cultural boundaries and therefore coupled with consumer personalitycharacteristics would be a valuable combination for marketing strategy purposes for all kindsof brands globally (Aaker and Schmitt, 2001; Escalas and Bettman, 2005).Thus the followinghypothesis is proposed.
Specific brand personality characteristics are positively related to consumer’s personality characteristics.
Self Concept and Brand Self-congruity
The use of personality as a predictor of self-congruity seems a natural extension of the self-concept/Self-congruity theory because both constructs are closely related to each other (Markus and Nurius, 1986; Schiffman et al, 2001). According to Pervin and John (2001), self-concept is often viewed as a component of personality. A number of researchers havesuggested that there is a positive association between self-concept and brand image (Levy,1959; Sirgy 1982; Sirgy and Su, 2000; Sirgy, Grewal and Mangleburg, 2000; Johar and Sirgy,1991). Self-concept is hypothesised to consist of four components, actual self-concept, idealself-concept, social self-concept and ideal social self-concept (Schiffman et al., 2001). Withinthis framework, actual self-concept refers to the present way in which individuals perceivethemselves (reality), whereas the ideal self-concept represents the manner in which theywould like to perceive themselves. Social self-concept represents the way individuals believeothers perceive them, while ideal social self-concept represents the way the individual desiresto be perceived by others.Self-congruity represents the degree of similarity between consumer’s self-image or self-concept and that of brand. The degree of consistency between the self-image and brand imageis self-congruity (Sirgy, 1982). The four aspects of self-concept compose the global self-image, which is hypothesised to influence consumer choices of products/brands through self-image with brand image congruity (Johar and Sirgy, 1991; Sirgy and Su, 2000). There is noclear position or evidence of whether ideal self-image is related to ideal product image andsocial self-image with social aspects of brand personality. Sirgy and Su (2000) suggest thatconsumers purchase product/brands that possess images or indicate specific types of either actual or aspiration brand images that are congruent with consumers multiplicity of self images, either actual or ideal ones. Congruity impacts are desirable because they influence