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INTRODUCTION A consumer is an individual with a distinctive personality.

The term "personality" refers to the unique psychological characteristics eliciting consistent and lasting responses to one's own environment. Therefore, personality can be useful in analyzing an individual consumer's responses to certain products or brands. Brands provide different types of benefits to consumers. A major distinction is often made between three basic categories of benefits: (1) functional, (2) experiential, and (3) symbolic brand benefits (Park et al., 1986; Keller, 1993, 1998). Symbolic benefits refer to the signal effect of using a brand, which is what the brand says about the consumer to the consumer and to others. The signal effect of a brand can be based on the image of a generalized user of the brand and/or the personality of the brand itself. When using a brand, consumers become associated with these signals. A user of a product or retail brand can be personally associated with a brand's particular image through its usage. Focusing on symbolic brand benefits, two streams of research are found in the literature: (1) self-congruity research (e.g. Sirgy et al., 1991), and (2) brand personality research (e.g. Aaker, 1997). Self-congruity is how much a consumer's self-concept matches the personality of a user of a brand. Brand personality is defined as the set of human characteristics associated with a brand (Aaker, 1997). Brand personality symbolizes the specific mix of human traits that are attributed to a particular brand. Aaker (1997) found that a number of well-known brands tended to be strongly associated with one particular trait. Hence these brands will attract consumers who posses the same personality traits. Harris and DeChernatony (2001) proposed that brand personality was one component of brand identity. Many marketers have applied the personality related concept of a person's self-image or self-concept in their research (for example, Aaker, 1999; Azoulay & Kapferer, 2003; Govers & Schoormans, 2005; Sirgy et al., 1997). The self-concept is based on the premise that people's possessions contribute to and reflect their identities. Thus, in order to understand consumer behavior, the marketer must first understand the relationship between consumers' selfconcept and their possessions. Marketing managers have long sought to differentiate their brands from others as a means of achieving competitive advantage. Traditionally, these brand-personality strategies centered on products or services and the corresponding functional or utilitarian benefits those products or services provide. In recent decades, however, the number of brands has proliferated and competition has intensified, making it difficult for managers to differentiate brands on the basis of functional attributes alone. As a result, symbolic meanings increasingly form a basis for brands' positioning and differentiation. There are frequent efforts by marketers to create meaningful and distinctive brand personalities in the minds of consumers. Therefore, the development of a clearly defined brand personality can be an important objective of brand management. Although the automobile industry in Korea spends millions of dollars each year on advertising to build and maintain brand image, the author has found little research directed toward either determining automobile brand personalities or examining the extent to which brands are differentiated on personality dimensions. This study seeks to provide empirical evidence regarding the extent to which automobile brands of Korea have established clear and distinct brand personalities in the minds of consumers. In this study, the author measures the brand personalities of five manufacturers in the Korean automobile industry representing two segments: functional utilitarian owners and upscale symbolic owners. This paper argues that in the development of advertising and in the measurement of the effects of advertising, a great deal of attention should be paid to the content of a brand's messages brand image and brand personality. The relationship concept is defined as the interaction between consumers' personality toward the brand, and the brand's personality toward the consumer. It is argued that the development of a successful consumer-brand relationship depends crucially on the consumer's perceptions of the brand's personality. It is a common experience, however, that neither of these adequately represents the totality of a brand's relationship with the consumer. This paper includes examples of Korean automobile brands illustrating the key role of brands' personality as differentiators and argues the case for managing these across the spectrum of brand communications with the same attention normally devoted to brand images. There is significant empirical evidence that many consumers enjoy the

challenge of purchasing a brand that matches well with their own values and personalities (for example, Kim, Lee & Lee, 2008; Ko et al., 2008). Therefore, it is said that the personality of consumers impacts the final selection of a brand and represents the self-concept. Accordingly, this study focuses on it in two ways: first, consumers are inclined to purchase a brand or a product that reflects their own personalities; second, consumers tend to choose a brand that promotes self-concept. Therefore, the objective of this study is to investigate empirical evidence of the relationship between consumers' personality and brand personality as the self-concept of consumers.