A brand is “a set of expectation and association evoked from a company or product. A brand is how your key constituents- customers, employees, shareholders etc. experience what you do. ” Some brands are of such great importance to people, that we speak of them as a part of one’s life and identity, being used to express one. Some would say that these brands have their own personality, the brand personality, which can be defined as “the set of human characteristics associated with a given brand”.
Thus, it includes such characteristics as gender, age and socioeconomic class, as well as such classic human personality is both distinctive and enduring. Based on the premise that brand can have the personalities in much the same way as humans, brand personality describe brands in terms of human characteristics. Brand personality is seen as valuable factor in increasing brand engagement and brand attachment, in much the same way as people relate and bid to other people. Much of the work in the area of brand personality is based on translated theories of human personality and using similar measures of personality attributes and factors.
Brand personality refers to the set of human characteristics we associated with the brand. A common way of determining this is to reply on the metaphor: “If the brand was a person, what would he/she be like? ” we then list and group the traits to describe the brand as, for example: caring, approachable and trustworthy. However, there is a lot more we can do. Because many people interact with brands as though they were other people, it is important to understand what a brand personality consists of, and how its characteristics can be used to affect the relationship between the brand and its user.
Knowing and understanding the brand personality gives a good insight into this relationship, and into peoples’ attitudes towards the brand, and is also as important guide to communicating the brand. People’s personalities are determined largely through the value and beliefs they have, and other personality characteristics they develop. An example of value or belief is honesty. Many people believe in being honest in everything they do and say. An example of characteristic is confidence. This is not a belief, but more of a behavior.
There are, of course, many value/beliefs and characteristic that a person may have, but there are some that are particularly likeable. It is these likeable values and characteristics that people are inevitably attracted. Examples of these include dependability, trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, friendliness, caring, and fun-loving. There are about two hundred words that describe personality characteristics, and these can be used for putting personality into brands. To illustrate how people think in personality terms when making judgments about brands, here are the results of consumer research into how people feel about tow companies.
These two companies are actually competitors in a service industry. If you were asked of these two companies you would like to be your fiends, you would probably choose company B, as did 95% of other respondents. It is not surprising that the service level of company B can be better experience for customers than that of company A. it is also easy to conclude that if customers consistently experience these differences between the two companies, then the brand image of company B will be much better than company A.
A further point of interest arising out of this research is that people tend to prefer brands that fit their self-concept. Everyone has views about themselves and how they would like to be seen by others. And they tend to like personalities that are similar to theirs, or to those whom they admire. Thus, creating brands with personalities similar to those of a certain group of consumers will be an effective strategy. The closer the brand personality is to the consumer personality (or one which they admire or aspire to), the greater will be the willingness to buy the brand and deeper the brand loyalty.