BRAND PERSONALITY:

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“The term ‘brand personality’ is a metaphor for emotional relationship that exist between a consumer and a brand.”

–    Wendy  Gorden

A brand personality is a shorthand way of describing the nature and quality of the consumer response to a brand.

 

 

CONDITIONS FOR BRAND PERSONALITY

 

The  brand  functional  performance  must  inspire  feelings  of  trust  and confidence.  Example:  Dove,  can  rouse  feelings  of  confidence  that  it  will improve a middle-aged women’s complexion.

 

The     second     condition      is    that     all     elements     of     the     marketing communications  mix mainly advertising have to give the brand a human face,   a   personality.  Example:  Titan   watches  is  superlative  example  of everything  surrounding  them- from style, design and  accuracy  to outlets and advertising – has contributed to the brand personality.

 

The  third  condition  for  creating an  effective  brand  personality  is  that  it must   be  persuasive   for  the   target  consumer,  he   must   find   it  more attractive and relevant compared to similar brands.

 

The fourth and  the most difficult condition  for creating successful  brand personality  is  that  it  must  be  unique  and  distinctive  –  originally;  the attractiveness and features  of the creative execution  are the prerequisites. Example: Nestle Polo – the mint with hole. Some other examples of brand personalities are: Thums Up – taste the thunder, personality: adventurous, excitement   seeker.  Pepsi   –   Yeh   Maange  More,   personality:   youthful, irreverent.

 

People’s personalities are determined largely through the values and beliefs they have,  and the personality characteristics they develop. An example of a value or belief is  honesty. Many people believe in being honest in everything they do and say. An  example of a  characteristic  is  confidence. This  is not  precisely a  belief, but more of  behavior. Among the many values, beliefs and characteristics  that a person  may  have,  there  are  some  that  are  particularly  likeable  and  to  which, people are inevitably attracted. There are about two hundred words that describe personality characteristics.

 

To illustrate how people think in personality terms while judging brands, listed in  the  table  above  are  the  results  of  consumer  research  into  how  people  feel about two  companies,  when  asked  the  question:  ‘If  these  two  companies  were people,  how   would  you  describe  them?’  These  two  companies  are  actually competitors in a  service industry. If you were asked which company you’d like to be friends with, you’d probably choose Company b, as did 95 percent of other respondents. It  is  not  surprising  that the service  level of Company  b  can  be  a better experience for  customers. It is  also  easy  to conclude  that if consumers consistently  experience these differences between the two companies, then the brand image of Company b will be much better than that of Company A.

 

A further  point of B  interest arising  out of  this  research  is  that people  tend to prefer   brands  that  fit  in  with  their  self-concept;  everyone  has  views  about themselves and how they would like to be seen by others. And they tend to like personalities  similar  to  theirs,  or  those  whom  they  admire.  Thus,  creating  a brand  with a personality similar to that of a certain type of consumer would be an   effective   strategy.  The  closer   the  brand   personality   is   to   the  consumer personality (or  one  which they advertising-mire or aspire to), the greater will be the willingness to buy the brand and the deeper the brand loyalty.

 

The process will be:

 

Define the target audience.

Find out what they need, want and like.

Build a consumer personality –profile based on the findings. Create the product personality to match that profile.

 

Companies  such  as Levi Strauss  that research  their target audience  fastidiously, favour  this  type  of  approach.  The  result  is  a  master-brand  personality  that  is original, masculine, sexy, youthful, rebellious, individual, free and American.

 

A  related  product-brand  personality  (for  a  specific  customer  group)  such  as Levi’s  501  jeans  is  Roman-tic,  sexually  attractive,  rebellious,  physically  adept, resource, in-dependent, likes being admired.

 

Both  profiles  appeal  mostly  to  the  emotional  side  of  people’s  mind  to  their feelings and sensory functions. This profiling approach aims to reinforce the self- concept  of the consumer and  her aspirations. The  approach  is  ideal for  brands that   adopt  a  market-niche   strategy,  and  can  be  extremely  successful  if  the segment has a high degree of global homogeneity, as is the case with Levi’s.

 

Companies should periodically conduct analyses of their brand personality. They should  match  brand  attributes  with  the  target-segment  attributes.  The  target could  change  personality  over  time.  This  could  be  because  of  various  reasons such as:

 

Change in socio-economic conditions

Media and cultural influences

Change in the immediate external or internal environment of the target.

Change  in  self-perception of  the  target  (in  the 1960s  the majority  of  the youth  perceived  themselves  in  the  Beatles’  mould,  in  the  1990s  it  was Spice Power).

 

Many brands have fizzled out because their attributes were not able to keep pace with  the target group’s,  which changed over time (especially  in the readymade brand-ed-apparel sector). I  wonder  how  many  of us  remember  brands  such  as Avis,  Apache,  Blue Lagoon and  Wanted,  which  were  doing fine  till  just  a  few years  ago.  These  brands  significantly  failed  to  enhance  their  brand  personality with  the   changing  times.  To  maintain  brand  loyalty,  the  companies  should monitor their external and internal environment regularly as and when required.

 

Brand  personality  is  anything  and  everything  that  influences  how  its  target constituencies or even the individual consumer perceives a brand or a company. Brand  personality may be the best, single marketable investment a company can make.  Creating or revitalizing a  positive brand personality  means  reinforcing a pillar on which the company can lay the foundation for its future.

Smart marketers utilize ‘personality’  variables to segment markets. In the late

1950s, Ford and Chevrolets were promoted as having different personalities. The

Ford buyer was identified as independent, impulsive, masculine, alert to change and  self-confident.  On  the  other  hand,  the  Chevrolet  owner  was  conservative, thrifty, prestige conscious, less masculine and seeking to avoid extremes.

 

The  consumer   generally  becomes  loyal  to  a  brand,  which   is  closest  to  her thoughts and beliefs. These are bound to change over time (especially generation to  generation), and the brand, which is flexible enough to adapt to those changes with an add-on to its personality, lives the longest.

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