Developing a brand personality can be beneficial to a company, but challenges are presented through this process. The goal for companies is to develop a way to better satisfy the needs of the customers and establish long-term consumer-brand relationships. To do this, a company may position its brand with a unique personality. Companies are able to develop personalities based on human characteristics associated with a brand or brands can develop its own personality. “Perceptions of the brand are created through direct or indirect contacts consumers have with the brand”. (Ahmad & Tyagaraj, 2015, pg.38) Ultimately, companies aspire to develop a personality that resonates with the consumer. Through personalities mirroring each other, a strong bond develops between the brand and consumer. These strong relationships may promote brand loyalty.
Understanding the concept of brand personality can help a company develop and maintain relations with consumers. Brand personality can even explain how consumer-brand relationships impact consumer behavior. “Personality is an appropriate metaphor for brands based on the idea that a consumer attraction towards brands having personality similar to his personality”. (Ahmad & Tyagaraj, 2015, p.38) Consumers are more likely to become loyal when a brand’s personality shares a resemblance. Shared personalities can influence consumers to have a stronger trust in certain brands.
There are three identified modes of action of brand on consumer behavior. The first is “Brand Personality as a Vehicle to Express Functional Benefits of a Brand”. (Ahmad & Tyagaraj, 2015, p.38) Through brand personality, functional benefits of a brand can be advocated. In this capacity, brand personality serves as a vehicle that represents product-related benefits and the brand’s attributes. A brand’s personality can enable a specific brand the opportunity to be more persuasive in promoting its functional benefits. It is easier for a brand to create a personality that implies functional benefits than trying to communicate those benefits directly to consumers. A brand’s personality serves as an information chunk for the functional benefits of a product. Information chunking uncovers important information about the brand. These information chunks play an important role in the consumer purchasing decision. (Ahmad & Tyagaraj 2015)
The next mode of action is “Brand Personality as a Reflective Symbol of the Self of the Consumer”. (Ahmad & Tyagaraj, 2015, p.39) Brands are often used by consumers as a medium. This medium is used to express a consumer’s self-identity. “This identity can be either their actual identity or a preferred or ideal self which they desire”. (Ahmad & Tyagaraj, 2015, p.39) The personalities of consumers may be expressed through consumption and selection of certain brands. A brand may be selected based on how it aligns with the consumer’s personality. This selection may establish a connection and lead to brand loyalty.
Consumers often make purchases on products that may provide a certain meaning. The meaning of a brand can be an important factor in the consumer decision making. To successfully differentiate a product, brands must develop a symbolic meaning that establishes a connection. “The brand is able to satisfy the consumer’s desire for sensory pleasure and cognitive simulation generates an emotional value”. (Ahmad & Tyagaraj, 2015, p.39) Emotional Value can have an influence on consumer behavior. Symbolic meaning can serve as a medium for social interaction and communication. Through figurative characters, brands develop into “reflective symbols of the self”. (Ahmad & Tyagaraj, 2015, p.39) This means consumers use brands as a form of communication to express oneself. Consumers want to express oneself or the person the consumer’s desires to be.
The last mode of action is “Brand Personality as a Medium to Establish Consumer-Brand Relationship”. (Ahmad Tyagaraj, 2015, p.41) This mode of action implies that not all consumers choose brands that have similar personalities. Consumers may prefer brands with differing and even opposing identities. Brand personality provides depth and feelings towards the relationship between the brand and consumer. Different consumers may experience different kinds of relationships with one brand based on the consumer’s perception of the brand. There are three kinds of relationships shared between the consumer and the brand. The first relationship relates to a brand being viewed as a friend. This relationship is built on trust and reliability. The second relationship is the brand’s attitude and appearance towards the consumer. In these relationships, brands have its own opinion. It is important to consider what the brand thinks about the consumer.
The last relationship is based on the actions of the brand. A brand’s actions can influence the consumer-brand relationship. To support this claim, a Brand Relationship Quality (BRQ) framework was developed to measure the quality of the consumer-brand relationship. The framework incorporated six dimensions, which included love and passion, self-connection, commitment, intimacy, independence and brand partner quality. Reports suggested “the higher the brand relationship quality the more brand loyal is the customer”. (Ahmad Tyagaraj, 2015, p.42)
Marketers have used consumer behavior to help the process of psychographic segmentation. Through psychographic segmentation, marketers are able to communicate its message to the target audience. Over the years, five dimensions of personality traits have been examined. These dimensions references the “Big Five Personality Traits”. These traits include openness to experience, conscientious, extraversion, neuroticism, and agreeableness. These traits help so “marketers can build up profiles of what is driving the behavior of their customers and prospects”. (Edelhart, 2015) A model has been developed for Brand Personality to address these traits. Five dimensions of Brand Personality include sincerity, competence, excitement, sophistication, and ruggedness. Brands choose certain dimensions to build its personality upon to address certain target audiences. “Personality traits come to be associated with a brand in a direct way by the people associated with the brand”. (Aaker, 1997, p.348) This includes the people behind the brand and users of its brand.
Ahmad, A., & Thyagaraj, K. (2015). Understanding the Influence of Brand Personality on Consumer Behavior. JOAMS Journal of Advanced Management Science, 3(1), 38-43.
Aaker, J. L. (1997). Dimensions of brand personality. Journal of Marketing Research, 34(3), 347-356.