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Brand Personality

Brand Personality


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Published by: api-3757737 on Oct 15, 2008
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Brand Personality

What is brand personality? • Brand Personality is a set of human characteristics associated with a brand • Personality is how the brand behaves • Gender, age, socio-economic class, psychographic, emotional characteristics

Some examples…
• Marlboro is ‘masculine’ while Virginia Slims is ‘feminine’ • IBM is ‘older’ while Apple is ‘younger’ • India Today is ‘old-fashioned’ while Outlook is ‘trendier’ • Coke is ‘conforming’ while Pepsi is ‘irreverent’

About brand personality
• Brand Personality, like human personality, is both distinctive and enduring
– Both are built over a period of time

• Refers to the outcome of all the consumer’s experiences with the brand • In other words, the brand’s personality is the weighted average of previous impressions • In consumer’s mind, these impressions merge to form an overall concept of what to expect from brand

More about it…
• Brand Personality is eagerly searched by brand strategists and researchers • Differences in responses by different consumers provide useful insights • For example, users of a product will perceive a brand different from non-users

In essence…

‘Personality traits are what the brand will live and die for’

• Seduction, masculinity, inviduality, unconventionality

• Masculinity, freedom, adventure

• Rebellion, sensuality, being cool

Example: Spinz
Young Modern Active Outdoor Cheerful Friendly

‘Life of the Party’

Why use brand personality?
Enriches understanding • Helps gain an in-depth understanding of consumer perceptions of and attitudes towards the brand • Can provide more insight than is gained by asking about attribute perceptions • For ex., Microsoft, IBM etc.,

Why use brand personality?
Contributes to a differentiating identity • Can differentiate brands especially where brands are similar in product attributes • In fact, it can define not only the brand but the product class context and experience • Mercedes Vs BMW; Clinic Plus Vs Pantene

Why use brand personality?
Guides the communication effort • Communicates the brand identity with richness and texture • If the brand is specified only in terms of attribute associations, very little meaningful guidance is provided
– Is Nike shoes or sports, performance and attitude?

Why use brand personality?
Creates brand equity • Builds long-term brand equity • Differentiates the brand and makes it distinct from other competitive offerings • Serves as a powerful relationship device

How to create brand personality?

• Personality of a person is affected by everything associated with him – friends, neighbourhood, activities, clothes etc., • So too is a brand personality

Product-related characteristics
• Product-related characteristics can be primary drivers of a brand personality
– Even the product class can affect personality

• Banks, Insurance etc., tend to be Competent, Serious, Masculine, Older and Upper-class • Athletic shoes tend to be Young, Lively, Rugged, Outdoorsy, Adventurous etc.,

Product-related characteristics
• Product attributes can often affect brand personality • A ‘light’ beer would largely be classy, sophisticated etc., • A high-priced brand will be considered wealthy, stylish and perhaps snobbish!

User imagery
• Can be powerful driver of personality because user is already a person and so conceptualizing the personality is reduced • User Imagery can be people who use the brand or those portrayed in advertising

• Activities such as events sponsored by the brand will influence its personality • Pond’s sponsoring Femina’s ‘Miss India’ contest • Budweiser sponsoring the blimp in American sporting events

• How long a brand has been on the market can affect its personality • New entrants like Apple, Outlook etc., tend to have younger brand personalities than IBM, India Today etc.,

• A symbol can be a powerful influence on brand personality since it can be controlled and can have extremely strong associations • Some examples…
– Apple’s bitten apple – Nike’s swoosh – MetLife’s Peanuts character

How it creates brand equity?
The ways brand personality can create brand equity are summarized by 3 models: 3. The Self-Expression Model 5. The Relationship Basis Model 7. The Functional Benefit Representation Model

The self-expression model
• The basic premise is that for some customers, some brands become vehicles to express a part of their self-identity • This self-identity can be their actual identity or an ideal self to which they might aspire • Apple is perceived as friendly, unpretentious, irreverent and willing to go against the grain
– This is because Mac is easy-to-use and also due to its symbol, advertising, user groups etc., – The use of Apple expresses a personal identity of being non-corporate and creative

How brand helps express personality?

Feelings engendered by brand personality • There can be a set of feelings and emotions attached to a brand personality, just as there are to a person
– The use of such brands can cause feelings and emotions to emerge

• Feelings, when using a Harley-Davidson or Apple would not emerge when using a Honda or Compaq

How brand helps express personality?

The brand as a badge • A brand could serve as a consumer’s personal statement • Cars, cosmetics, apparels lend themselves to personality expression because their use occurs in a social context with relatively high involvement

How brand helps express personality? The brand becomes part of the self • The ultimate personality expression occurs when a brand becomes an extension or an integral part of the self • The executive who wears Allen Solly on a Friday feels semi-casual and waiting to welcoming the weekend! • The potential to create this oneness with some people can represent a significant opportunity for a brand

The relationship basis model
• Some people may never aspire to have a certain personality trait but would like to have a relationship with one who has that • A trustworthy, dependable, conservative personality might be seen boring but sought nevertheless, from banks or financial products • The concept of a relationship between a brand and a person provides a different perspective on how brand personality might work

The Relationship Basis Model
• To see how this model works, consider personality types of people with whom we have relationships and the nature of those relationships • Spirited, young, up-to-date, outgoing
– Pepsi – On a weekend evening, it might be enjoyable to have a friend who has these personality features

The Relationship Basis Model
• Two elements affect individual’s relationship with a brand
3. Relationship between the brand-as-person and the customer
– Which is analogous to the relationship between two people

5. The brand personality
– The type of person the brand represents

Functional benefit representation model

• The previous two models provide contexts in which brand personality can be the basis for a brand strategy and a link to the customer • A brand personality can also play a more indirect role by being a vehicle for representing and cueing functional benefits and brand attributes

Functional benefit representation model

• Marlboro’s personality of a macho, freedom-loving, adventurous person suggests that the product is strong • Harley Davidson’s personality of a rugged, macho, I-am-different-kind suggests that the product is a powerful, liberating vehicle

Functional benefit representation model • When a visual symbol or image exists that can create and cue personality…
– …the ability of the personality to reinforce brand attributes will be greater

• The Energizer rabbit is an upbeat, indefatigable personality who never runs out of energy
– Just as the battery it symbolizes runs longer than others

Functional benefit representation model

• A brand personality that represents a functional benefit or attribute may be relatively ineffective if it lacks a visual image established in the customer’s mind • A country or region of origin can add credibility to an identity
– It can generate a strong personality that provides a quality cue and a key point of differentiation

To sum up…
• A brand personality can help a brand in several ways:
– It can provide a vehicle for customers to express their own identity – A brand personality metaphor helps suggests the kind of relationship that customer has with brand – Brand personalities serve to represent and cue functional benefits and product attributes well

• Importantly, brand personality is often a sustainable point of differentiation
– Sustainable because it is very difficult to copy a personality

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