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BRAND PERSONALITY - Essay Example

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BRAND PERSONALITY

392). The concept of brand personality eludes clear definition. Anandan (2009) provides what is probably the most practicable description: ‘Simply put, brand personality answers the question “What happens when the brand turns into a human being?” or “What happens when the brand comes alive?” (p. 139). Brand personality is also defined as “the set of human characteristics associated with a brand” (Asperin, 2007, p. 49). The concern of marketing practitioners as far as brand marketing is concerned is therefore how to personify a brand. Kumar (2009) links brand personality to self-concept, and it is self-expression, rather than emotion, that more significantly develops brand personality (p. 177-178). Brand personality is achieved by associating human characteristics that consumers commonly attribute to a brand. The characteristic may be in terms of demographic attributes (age, gender, status), lifestyle (activities, social class), culture (values, beliefs), and other personality traits. The brand may be associated with celebrities or historical figures, and several devices may be used such as animism, anthropomorphism, personification, and user imagery (Purkayastha, 2009). A well established brand personality must possess the following attributes: (1) elements of the brand’s marketing mix are deliberately coordinated; (2) personality sought is competitively distinctive and desirable; and (3) the personality sought is robust and kept consistent over time and over media (Aaker & Biel, 1993, p. 49). Brand personality influences the choice of consumers by enabling them to express who they are by the brands they use (Asperin, 2007, p. 49). Brand personality can help marketers in: (1) the conception and creation of a brand; (2) evaluating its perception in the minds of the customer and compare it with what was expected; and (3) incorporating necessary changes to make the brand more attractive in order to meet the goals of creating lasting consumer satisfaction and loyalty (Purkayastha, 2009). In recent years, brand personality has become a topic of interest not only among academic researchers but more especially among marketing managers and strategists. This is evident in a scan of professional and academic journals on marketing research and applications. The principal theoretical framework employed in academic literature is the multidimensional framework, first devised by Aaker, and later developed by other researchers to account for market-specific factors and universal, cross-cultural studies. Aaker’s Brand Personality Framework In applying brand personality constructs, the theoretical paradigm most commonly used is the multi-dimensional framework devised by Aaker, which is considered the prevailing standard. The Aaker framework is accepted as a comprehensive framework that may be generalised over a broad number of product categories (Malik & Naeem, 2012). The Aaker framework underlies the Brand Personality Scale, or BPS, developed by the same author. Based on an extensive study of American consumers, Aaker derived a framework comprised of five core dimensions and their facets, as follows (Guse, 2011): (1) Sincerity (Domestic, honest, genuine, cheerful); (2) Excitement (Daring, spirited, imaginative, up-to-date); (3) Competence (Reliable, responsible, dependable, efficient); (4) Sophistication (Glamorous, pretentious, charming, romantic); and (5) Ruggedness (Tough, strong, outdoorsy, rugged). The study of Malik and Naeem (2012), however, called attention to the perception that Aaker’s framework provides only a crude estimation of brand personality because it transposes human personality traits instead of using the brands themselves. The study also expresses concern that the original ...Show more

Summary

According to Aaker and Fournier (1995), brand personality is the “set of meanings constructed by an observer to describe the ‘inner’ characteristics of another person…that can be used to summarize complex behaviors and form expectations of future behaviors’ (p. 392). …
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