Brand Personality Theory and Practice

Brand Personality Theory and Practice

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Brand Personality Theory and Practice

1. What is brand personality?

1.1 The background of brand personality.

The first time when brand personality was mentioned was in 1955 by David Ogilvy (Ogilvy, 1955) when he had a lecture to American Associate of advertising Agencies. This concept comes out in the specifically background. As the developing of the technology, the produce with the same quality become much than before. Producers need a new method to identify themselves from each other. On the other hand, customers want to identify themselves from each other too. They need a method to express their personality. So brand personality is on the table with the responsibility of identify produces and satisfy the emotional and personal require of customers.

1.2 The history of the developing of brand personality

As the first mention (Ogilvy, 1955) from now is fifty years already. In these fifty years people never stop to reach brand personality and their reaches a mainly on three aspect. The first one is on the conception level. They defined brand personality with description (Allen. Olson, 1958), dimensionality (Aaker, 1997), and relationship (Susan Fourneir, 1998). The second one is on reach level. And it can be separate to qualitative reach(Levy, 1985; Plummer, 1985) and quantitative reach (Davil Aaker,1997; Bill Merrrilees, 1999; Dale Miller, 2001; Shengbing Huang. Taihong Lu, 2003). The last one is on how to manage brand personality. Someone think it’s the tool that brand express themselves to customer (King, 1989), someone think it just the information created by AD (Lannon. Cooper, 1983), and someone think it’s one of the determinants of build a brand (Keller, 1989; Aaker, 1991; Biel, 1993).(Yanhui Zhao, 2004)

1.3 what is the role of brand personality in build a brand

According to Kevin Lane Keller, brand personality is just one attribute of brand imagine (appendix 1). The user/usage image is one attribute of brand imagine. These two attribute can just solicitation the mental Attribution from customer. And user/usage image is the material part as well as the brand personality is the abstractive part,

2. Why marketer need brand personality.

Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communication and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders.(AMA,2004). So all the Marketing behavior should consider customer, or called customer based.

2.1 brand personality for strategic planning

There are three level in strategic planning: corporate level, strategic business unit (SBU) level and functional level (Kotler et al.

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2006). We build brand personality from customer up, can helps market understand customer better. So, market can make a suitable mission and vision in corporate level, get a better business definition in SBU level and choose the right decision in functional level. Because of these, market can satisfy customer better and avoid some vicious competition like competition of galloping price.

2.2 brand personality for customer behavior

“Marketers must learn and clearly understand the consumer’s feelings, habits, motivations, insecurities, prejudices, and desires. They must understand how their company’s brand fits into a consumer’s life and how they might respond to different branding messages.”(Larson, 2003). Market built brand personality from customer up can do a better job to satisfy customer’s emotional require, so that a closer relationship will be build with customers.

2.3 brand personality for CBBE

CBBE (Customer-Based Brand Equity) is a important concept because almost every markets know strong brands are important but not always know how to build one. And CBBE model make this easier and executable. The basic premise of CBBE is:

Power of a brand resides in the mind of customers.

Challenge is to ensure customer have the right types of experiences with products & services and their marketing programs to create the right brand knowledge structures: thought, feeling, image, perception and attitude. ( Keller, 2006)

So, as the brand personality is just the very thing that thought, feeling, image, perception and attitude in customers’ mind, a suitable brand personality can be a big help for build a strong brand and it one of the most important part of a brand.

3. How to create a suitable brand personality.

A suitable brand personality should make the customers identify, love and be affect by. Just as to make a friend that customer like and happy to hang on time with. Brand personality is just like a personification thing that always happened in people’s daily life. We can always heard “she just need a rest”, or “my boy is not feeling good today” when people’s computer or car are down. What we should is just make this perfect and complete and let it be the one our target customers liked, which is the most important thing.

3.1 Build the customer based brand personality

To build the customer based brand personality, is just as to create a good friend to customer.

3.1.1 Confirm the source of brand personality

Just because brand personality is one kind of relationship between customers and company, the source is come from both sides. One is from company, based on product/service, producing area, and company. This is easy to understand that just like suit and jean can not have the same brand personality. Another is from customer. That means market just segment what customers want, and build a suitable brand personality. Just as PEPSI did, they made a brand personality that is younger (which is true compare to COCA), energetic that make young people drink PEPSI to identify them from their parents who drink COCA.

3.1.2 The awareness of brand personality

AD is very important in awareness of brand personality. Actually some scholar think brand personality is information that given by AD. All the method that can make customers contact to the brand should be used as much as possible, TV, website, in store, out doors, mascot, activities and so on.

3.1.3 From brand personality to brand loyalty.

All the brand personality should be build as a friend which people like. If we know a person which is our style and this person is very kind and easy going. There is no reason that we can not be friends or even diehard followers, so dose a brand.

3.2 Evaluate the brand personality

The world is changing in every second, so dose the requirement of customers. Friends could be enemy in one second, customers could not like you any longer in one second as well. So, evaluate the brand personality to make sure we can always after customers’ steps is necessary.

3.2.1 Evaluate the source of brand personality

Evaluate the source come from both sides to make sure brand personality is accepted by customers. A brand with long history give person a feeling that steady-going but conservatively, this need some change to step after customers but it will be all right if it is a wine brand. Because for wine, the history is longer, the feeling is better.

3.2.2 Evaluate the awareness of brand personality

This is the most important part of evaluate the brand personality. From this we can find our what customer think about our brand personality so that we can improve it if it is needed. Lots of reaches are on this part and this can be another proof to prove how important this part is.

There are lots of models to help to evaluate brand personality. IMPSYS model (Heylen, 1990; Heylen et al, 1995 ), ZMET model (Zeltman. Higie, 1993 ), personification techniques (Lannon, 1993 ), and the brand personality scale(Aaker 1997 ), which is the most popular one now.( Appendix 2). She identified five brand personality dimensions and 15 facets: sincerity (down-to-earth, honest, wholesome and cheerful), excitement (daring, spirited, imaginative and up-to-date), competence (reliable, intelligent and successful), sophistication (upper class and charming) and ruggedness (outdoorsy and tough). Which is supposed can be identify 93% brand personality efficiently(David Aaker, 1996).
3.2.3 Evaluate the affect by brand personality

This part focuses on two sides. One is the affect on brand loyalty, another is on the affect on satisfy customer which is our main point. And we should compare to parallel brands to find out the pros and cons in order to improve the brand personality.

3.3 Manage the brand personality

We learn what brand personality is and evaluate it just because we are going to manage it.

3.3.1 Brand personality strategy

Every marketing change (environal, political and psychological) will affect brand personality more or less, and the brand personality wills retroact marketing. So we have to do a strategy to make sure the personality is just on its way. A record should be build to record these changes in order to adjust the brand personality.

3.3.2 Brand and CMR

CMR (customer management of relationship) is the proceed management of CRM (customer relationship management). Customers do not want to be managed. They are on the initiative platform of this relationship, marketers just offer some produces or services. And only based on this we can make friends with customer and know the real information they need, the real services they want and the real feeling they have.

4. Conclusion

A customer-centred marketing relationship should be build in nowa days. Customers do not want to be restricted or managed, tread them as friends is a smart choice, especially in brand personality area, which has a close relationship with customers.

5. Appendix

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

6. Reference

Kotler, P., Brown, L., Adam, S., Burton, S., and Armstrong, G. 2006. Marketing. 7 Edition. Pearson Education Australia.

David Ogilvy. 1955, [www page] (ND) Retrieve date: 20th Oct 2007. Retrieve from

Yanhui Zhao, 2004, “Creating customer-based brand personality” Ji Lin university, 2004
AMA, “The defines of marketing” [www page] (2004) Retrieve date: 20th Oct 2007. Retrieve from

Dave Larson, 2003, “Build a brand’s personality from a customer up” Marketing strategies, 2003

Keller. K 2006, Strategic brand management. 3rd Edition. Pearson Education Australia.

Heylen, J.P, 1990, “Modeling implicit dynamics: a more systematic approach to data gathering and interpretation”, Proceedings of the ESOMAR Seminar on Qualitative Research, Geneva, pp. 69-87.
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