Brand Personality is the ultimate step towards the brand connect with the consumer. Brand Personality adds a dimension to enhance the visual communication for a brand.
The consumer while making the purchase decision looks at how the brand fits into their personality.
Brand personality is an outcome of brand identity and brand image, which helps us associate attributes of the brand with a living being, be it a person, animal, or any other object, such that the attributes and qualities associated with the latter get translated to the former.
The brand personality includes all the tangible (functional) and intangible (symbolic) traits associated with a brand, and this gives it a distinctive character. Consumers always prefer buying brands with which they can relate their own values and characteristics.
1. Introduction to Brand Personality 2. Meaning of Brand Personality 3. How to Create and Develop Brand Personality? 4. Strategic Framework 5. Scales 6. Formulation 7. Advantages 8. Disadvantages 9. Future.
Introduction to Brand Personality
Meaning of Brand Personality
How to Create and Develop Brand Personality?
Strategic Framework for Brand Personality
Brand Personality Scales
Formulation of Brand Personality
Advantages of Brand Personality
Disadvantages of Brand Personality
Future of Brand Personality
What is Brand Personality in Marketing
Brand Personality – Introduction
Just as individuals have a personal make-up with traits, characteristics, and qualities, products too have human-like characteristics or personalities (including traits and gender). Brand personality refers to a set of characteristics or qualities similar to those of human beings that become associated with a brand. In other words, when a brand is expressed in terms of human traits and characteristics, it is known as brand personality. It could relate to age, gender, socioeconomic status, and psychographic, emotional, and socio-graphic characteristics.
Such characteristics are long term and enduring, and built over a period of time. In the words of Aaker, brand personality is defined as ‘the set of human characteristics associated with a brand’. This attribution of human traits or characteristics to inanimate objects (goods and services and/or brands) is called anthropomorphization.
Marketers attempt to attribute human traits and qualities to a brand, and perceive it as a human being, so that consumers can easily relate to the brand. Consumers also use these brand traits to relate it to themselves, that is, their personality, self-image, and self-concept. Brands possess an identity as well as an image. The brand identity manifests itself in a manner in which it is intended to be (or it aspires to be created), while the brand image represents the manner in which the brand is actually perceived by the consumer. Let us elaborate on brand identity and brand image a little more.
The sum total of a brand expressed in terms of organization, product, person, and symbol forms its identity (called brand identity). Often evident in the form of a unique set of brand associations that the brand stands, it is representative of the promise that a company makes to its customers. In this way, it reflects the company’s perspective and specifies the meaning, aim, and purpose of existence. It has two dimensions, namely the inner-core identity and the outer-core identity.
Core identity refers to the essence of the brand and is quintessential to the brand in terms of the fundamental values and beliefs that it represents as well as its uniqueness and focus. The inner core is the internal spiritual centre which explains the reasons as to why the brand was born, as well as its basic purpose of existence. The outer core is the externally manifested elements (form, attributes, and features) that provide meaningfulness and direction to the inner core.
The manner in which consumers perceive a brand and form associations is referred to as the brand image. It is reflective of what and/or how customers think about a brand. In a way, it is the impact that is created through brand identity. In this way, the brand image reflects the receiver’s (customer’s) perspective and is representative of how consumers perceive the brand. Creating a brand image for a good or service offering allows a company to differentiate its offering from that of the competitors. It also helps develop a bond with the customer, eventually leading to the creation of customer loyalty.
Brand personality is an outcome of brand identity and brand image, which helps us associate attributes of the brand with a living being, be it a person, animal, or any other object, such that the attributes and qualities associated with the latter get translated to the former. The brand personality includes all the tangible (functional) and intangible (symbolic) traits associated with a brand, and this gives it a distinctive character. Consumers always prefer buying brands with which they can relate their own values and characteristics.
Brand personality is different from brand image. While brand image denotes the more tangible, physical, and functional attributes and the resultant benefits of a brand, brand personality not only relates to the functional, but also to the emotional associations of the brand built as a result of the ‘fit’ between the traits and characteristics of a person and the brand.
According to Aaker, there could be five kinds of brand personalities, namely sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness. Sincerity includes down-to- earth, honesty, wholesomeness, and cheerfulness; excitement includes daring, spiritedness, imaginative, and up to date; competence includes reliability, intelligence, and success; sophistication includes upper class and charming; and ruggedness includes outdoorsy and toughness.
The components used to create brand personality include the company name, brand name, logo and symbols, age of the brand, colour, product features and attributes, product packaging, product performance, price, store and dealer, and advertisement (content and context, including the celebrity). Based on their understanding, consumers begin to ascribe certain characteristics or traits to a brand. This association between the characteristic/trait and the brand gets generated out of the manner in which it is positioned by the marketer.
Consumers desire a congruency between brand image, brand-user associations, and self-image and make purchase decisions accordingly. Thus, consumers match the product and/or brand personalities with their own personalities, self-image, and self-concept, and they buy those brands which they find as a close or perfect match. They always seek a brand that matches or fits in perfectly with his or her self-concept.
Some personality traits with examples of brands are mentioned below:
a. Sophistication – Dove, Titan Raga
b. Ruggedness – Levi’s Jeans, Bajaj Pulsar
c. Power – Surf, Rin, Hero Honda
d. Achievement – Boost, Glucon D
e. Competence – IBM
f. Sincerity – Life Insurance Corporation, Western Union Money Transfer
g. Uniqueness – Parker, Allen Solly
h. Intellectualism – Infosys
i. Excitement: Thums Up
j. Masculinity – Marlboro, Rin Power
k. Feminity – Sunsilk, Fair and Lovely.
Brand personality can help a marketer in several ways; first, it acts as a platform for consumers to express their own identity and image; second, it is representative of the product-related attributes and functional benefits, and the resultant expectations that the consumer has of the brand; third, it acts as a point of differentiation, which explains how the brand is different from the rest; and fourth, it reflects the relationship that a consumer has with the brand.
Brand Personality – Meaning
Brand Personality is the ultimate step towards the brand connect with the consumer. Brand Personality adds a dimension to enhance the visual communication for a brand. The consumer while making the purchase decision looks at how the brand fits into their personality.
The smart marketers are those who develop a unique personality fit for the brand, with the consumer, For example, Levis provides a carefree attitude of the youth making it a part and parcel of their everyday life. The personality portrays ruggedness. The brands like Microsoft and Facebook were built on the image of their CEOs who were the ultimate personalities for their brands.
When the brands have to succeed they have to think more than just the functional benefits that their brand can offer to the customer. Thus, brands try to connect with their customers emotionally. The brands can have traits which the customers may like or dislike, which help to develop an image or a personality that rests with the customers.
The brand resonance occurs when the customers like the brand personality. The brand personality is the personification of the brand identity. This personification requires blending of attributes of the brand with human psychological attributes. The way a brand is spoken of and is described shows how the brand would be if it were a person. A brand can be personified with tools like colour, persons, animals, images, etc. All this is done for building a relation with the customer.
Rolls Royce is a symbol of monarchy coupled with luxury and the personality speaks of sophistication. However, some brands use real personalities to connect with their target consumers and may portray their products with these personalities. For example, James Bond series from MGM has a tie up with 6-8 Brands and Bond is the face of brands like Omega watches, BMW bikes, Aston Martin cars, Sony Digital products, etc.
Some brands go a step further and sign up with leading celebrities like film stars, leading sports persons and important icons of the society. At times, individual personality’s social image can have a negative backlash on the brand. For example, Tiger Woods is a classic example of how Nike and Accenture got an image and had to remove him because it diluted the brand image of these brands.
Most of the advertising agencies and the brand owners select the celebrities based on their popularity at that particular period of time. However, it cannot sustain and be consistent forever, For example, the personalities associated with Lux have been various popular and beautiful actresses of their time.
Lux was once advertised by Leela Chitnis, the first known brand personality in Indian context. Later we saw Hema Malini, Sri Devi, Aishwarya, Kareena and lately Katrina Kaif in Lux ads.
The brand personality has been the main focus of advertising since 1970s. A brand usually is given a brand personality to connect with the customers instantly. The brand personality can be symbolic or real.
Brand Personality refers to ‘creating and building the brand value by a combination of imagery as well as attitude to create meaningful impact in the mind of the consumer’. – Dr Y. RamKishen
It can be inferred from the above definition of brand personality that:
1. Brand Personality helps to build brand value and thus in the long run will help increase the equity of the brand.
2. Brand Personality can be created by using both imagery and attitude to create an impact on the minds of the consumer.
Brand Personality – How to Create and Develop Brand Personality?
To develop an effective advertisement or market communication channel, the developer of the advertisement should be very clear about the objectives of the communication. Followed by that, there should be a proper selection of the target audience for communication and selection of an appropriate media to reach the audience.
Communication strategy is not complete without a system to receive feedback and scope for modification and change in the media and message according to consumer requirements. The objectives of communication can be many and varied. It may be create awareness of the product, promoting sales, attracting retail business, reducing post purchase — a combination of some of them.
A study by Urwick Orr and Partners, one of the leading management consultants, surveyed UK and Continental companies, to find out the extent of an advertising objective. The survey report concluded that most consumer-product firms have a clear objective, although an elementary one.
The companies selling industrial goods seem to lack in having any objective while services sector like banks were spending more and more on advertising, but, without any clear objective.
Next comes a suitable audience. Audience/group of audience can be many, the target audience, intermediate audience or unintended audience. The potential customer is the target audience. Intermediate audience will be the dealer, distributor, retailer, etc., while unintended audience will be those who receive the communicated message but were not targeted by the communicator.
The target audience is older generation but young people who are interested in old music will also take note of this advertisement. Hence, the older generation is the target audience and younger generation is the unintended audience.
Audience segmentation is necessary on the basis of personality, interests, needs, and environment. A homogeneous group in terms of all the above mentioned traits will enable the advertiser to create group specific message for the target group and broadcast them on specific group favourite media. In today’s complex market space, it is almost impossible to create a universally appealing message and if the advertiser does that he will find very few interested audience.
To get the message transmitted according to the sender’s desire, it is essential to have an effective media plan. This involves placing the advertisements in a specific media to be read, seen or heard by the target audience. The first step in selecting an appropriate media is to develop the target consumer’s profile, giving their choices of media.
Media also develop their own audience profile when advertiser’s consumer profile matches the media’s audience profile. That medium becomes the correct media for the advertisement to be placed. The choice of media will also depend on the product and the specific product attribute that the advertiser wants to communicate.
For example, if an automobile manufacturer wants to speak in detail about the efficiency of the car, print media is the appropriate media while if he wants to show the car in action he will have to choose television as the media. Even in deciding the print media the advertiser should go for putting the advertisement in Times of India, Cosmopolitan, Femina, or only Auto India is a question that has to be answered.
Media strategy is essentially based on four criteria: