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A study on brand personality orientation for lee jeans

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  • 1. A Survey on Lee’s Brand Personality Orientation to its Brand Loyalty Arijit Basu.* PGDM. Regional College Of Management, Bhubaneswar. ABSTRACT Although a considerable amount of research in personality psychology has been done to conceptualize human personality. There seems to be lack of studies to clearly establish the relationship between the brand personality dimensions and brand loyalty. The examination of brand personality will advance the research in marketing, especially the growing area of brand-consumer relationship. In this empirical study, an attempt is made to understand the relationship between brand personality dimensions and brand loyalty. The conceptual model proposed in this study examines the determinants of brand loyalty with respect to brand personality dimensions such as sincerity, competence and ruggedness and an important brand-consumer relationship variable for a popular clothing brand in India. INTRODUCTION Brand differentiation is now becoming an important tactic for combating competition in the hostile marketplace. A viable solution for establishing the distinctiveness of a brand is through brand personality. Attaching personalities to brands contributes to a differentiating brand identity, which can make brands more desirable to the consumer. Jennifer Aaker developed a specialized brand personality scale, the five dimensions of the scale being sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness. To examine how the relationship between brand and human personality may drive preference, Aaker (1997) indicates that two types of brand personality scales can be used. The first type is ad hoc scales, typically composed of a set of traits ranging from 20 to 300 in number. However, though useful, these scales tend not to be theoretical in nature often having been developed for the purposes of a specific research study. As a result, key traits may be missing from such scales. Furthermore, the traits that are selected often are chosen arbitrarily, which casts doubt upon the scales’ reliability and validity. The second type of brand personality scales are those that are more theoretical in nature, but are based on human personality scales that have not been validated in the context of brands (e.g., Bellenger et al., 1976; Dolich, 1969 as cited in Aaker, 1997). Some dimensions (or factors) of human personality may be mirrored in brands whilst others might not. As a result, the validity of such brand personality scales often is questionable, leading researchers to argue that “if unequivocal results are to emerge (in the literature on the symbolic used of brands) consumer behaviour researchers must develop their own definitions and design their own instruments to measure the personality variables that go into the purchase decision” (italics in original, Kassarjian 1971). It was against this setting that Aaker (1997) developed a brand personality scale by isolating these distinct dimensions, further treating brand personality as a ‘unidimensional construct’ and demonstrating how different types of brand personalities can be distinguished. This has resulted in the perception that there are multiple ways in which the brand personality 1
  • 2. construct can influence a consumer’s preference, and has provided investigators with tools so that these may be better understood Research in the area of brand personality has indirectly rather superficially suggested about the outcome of specific brand personality with respect to brand loyalty. There seems to be lack of studies to clearly establish the relationship between the brand personality dimensions and brand loyalty, and its relative importance. In this empirical study, an attempt is made to understand the relationship between brand personality dimensions and brand loyalty. A popular clothing brand in India is examined to test the impact of its brand personality dimensions on brand loyalty. The study is expected to be of significance to both academicians and practitioners. from the practicener`s perspective, this study emphasizes the marketers to understand brand personality dimensions in the relationship perspective and develop the long term relationship with consumer through image differentiation Sampling Method The population for this study consisted of all the households in Bhubaneswar City. The sample for the study was selected from the population by systematic sampling method. Determination of Sample Size A pilot study was conducted among 50 Lee brand users and the standard deviation of the items was found to be 0.376. Hence the sample size was determined to be 189*. Model Development and Hypothesis This section discusses the proposed conceptual model of brand loyalty with respect to brand personality dimensions sincerity, excitement, competence and ruggedness and a consumer-based relationship variable, namely, relationship length. It also highlights the rationale for the proposed model and indicates the resulting hypotheses. Model of Brand Loyalty Figure 1 presents the proposed conceptual, model of determinants of brand loyalty. The brand personality traits – sincerity, excitement, competence and ruggedness with which the customer relates himself – impact brand loyalty. The relationship characteristics such as length of relationship (period which customer has been associated with the brand) enhance brand loyalty. Sincerity It can be defined as down to earth, family-oriented and genuine. The relationship might be similar to one that exists with a well-liked and respected member of family. If an individual feels the brand to be like a member of family, he/she will be committed to the relationship. Hence, Hypothesis 1 (H1) is: Sincerity brand personality dimension will lead to brand loyalty. 2
  • 3. Excitement Excitement means spirited, young, up-to-date and outgoing personality. If an individual feels himself/ herself having a spirited, young, up-to-date, and outgoing personality, he/she would like to associate with such brand that provides these personality characteristics. Although ‘excitement’ personality relates to youth, it does not mean that only young people would like such brands. Old people would also have such personality and continuously buy such a brand. Hence, Hypothesis 2 (H2) is: Excitement brand personality dimension will lead to brand loyalty. Competence It manifests the expertise power of the individuals’ personality. If an individual is competent, people rely on him/her on the basis of his/her competence. Hence, Hypothesis 3 (H3) is: Competence brand personality dimension will lead to brand loyalty. Ruggedness ‘Ruggedness’ means athletic and outdoorsy personality. This personality dimension manifests in an individual who can withstand any situation. If an individual thinks himself/herself having a rugged personality and if there is a brand that manifests such a personality, the individual would be willing to buy it regularly. Hence, Hypothesis 4 (H4) is: Ruggedness brand personality dimension will lead to brand loyalty. Relationship Length Loyalty grows over time, as the customer gets familiar with the product. The customer would have got positive experiences with the product, which might also be the reason why the customer buys the product again. If the customer’s relationship length is higher, it shows that the customer is loyal. Hence, length of relationship will also have impact on brand loyalty. Hence, Hypothesis 5 (H5) is: Relationship Length will increase brand loyalty. Figure 1 : Conceptual Model of Brand Loyalty with respect to Brand Personality Sincerity Excitement Brand Loyalty Competence Ruggedness Relationship length 3
  • 4. METHDOLOGY This section presents the methodology used to test the model and the research hypotheses presented in the previous section. The measurements of the variables, the sampling, the data collection method and the methods of statistical analysis are discussed here. Measurement of the Variables The majority of the constructs were measured using multiple items, where the respondents were asked to indicate their agreement on a scale of 1 (Strongly disagree) to 5 (Strongly agree). Brand Personality Aaker (1997) measured brand personality on five dimensions and 42 traits scale. The five dimensions were sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness. In this study, only four dimensions, namely sincerity, excitement, competence and relationship length are included to suit the nature of the brand name. Demographics and General Information The basic demographic information such as age, gender, marital status, size of family and income were also included in the questionnaire. Sample and Data Collection Method A survey was carried out to test the model and research hypotheses. Brand name of a popular fabric company was used. Since in India the chosen company’s customers are the typical urban customers, the respondents selected for this study were customers from Bhubaneswar city. A total sample size of 350 was planned to enable the statistical analyses required for this study and convenience sampling sampling method was used for data collection. Sample Characteristics A total of 189 respondents from Bhubaneswar city were contacted for the study. The demographic characterisitics of the respondents were shown in Table 2. As many as 93.70% of respondents were males. The respondents are well distributed among all age groups. If we consider educations level, out of total samples 1.10% of population belongs to Matriculate, College level 21.20%, higher education 20.10% and Professional is 57.70% which is high out of total sample. Out of total population majority is unmarried i.e 83.10% and married is, 16.90%. The family size with less than five was dominant with 86.20%. More than half of the respondents had an annual income of above Rs 1, 00,000. 4
  • 5. Table 2 : Characteristics of Respondents Frequency Percent Gender Male 177 93.70 Female 12 6.30 Age 18 - 25 141 74.60 26 - 32 27 14.30 33 - 40 16 8.50 41 and above 5 2.60 Education Matriculate 2 1.10 College level 40 21.20 Higher education 38 20.10 Professional education 109 57.70 Marital Status Married 32 16.90 Single 157 83.10 Family Size 0-5 163 86.20 6-9 23 12.20 10 & above 3 1.60 Monthly Income Less than Rs 10000 28 14.80 Rs 10000 - 15000 48 25.40 15000 - 20000 52 27.50 More than 25000 61 32.30 Validity and Reliability Assessment Reliability Analysis The reliability of each scale was assed via ‘item to total correlation ( a method used to understand the reliability of a particular measure wherein the responses of individual item in the measure and the sum total of the responses of all the items in the same measure are tested for correlation) and Cronbach coefficient alpha.. The results of the reliability analysis are provided in Table 3. All the items of every measure except ruggedness used in this study exceeded the cut-off point of 0.3. In Ruggedness measure all the item fall below the cut off point 0.3, the measure i.e frequent washing gives –ve value which indicates it is not reliable or does not have any influence on ruggedness. 5
  • 6. Table 3: Reliability Analysis Results Scale Items Item-to- Scale Mean Scale Coefficient total Variance Alpha Correlation Sincerity Quality 0.456 18.02 7.766 0.540 Comfortable 0.428 17.93 7.856 0.549 Durability 0.349 18.06 8.066 0.577 Benefits 0.501 18.18 7.563 0.522 Excitement Style 0.301 9.90 5.995 0.622 Special 0.384 10.71 4.833 0.576 Occasion Feeling 0.502 10.41 4.668 0.481 Feeling Different 0.444 10.71 4.878 0.527 Competency Fashionable 0.449 11.64 2.668 0.610 Reliability 0.480 11.40 3.390 0.594 Affinity 0.444 11.88 2.895 0.606 Faithfulness 0.461 11.50 3.241 0.596 Ruggedness Rough & 0.119 6.35 1.611 0.018 Tough Frequent -0.031 7.56 1.875 0.404 Washing Outdoorsy 0.118 6.47 1.740 -0.111 Brand User feeling 0.460 6.94 2.491 0.528 Loyalty User’s 0.443 6.69 2.865 0.560 Personality Consumer 0.459 7.40 2.251 0.537 Preference Factor Analysis As the first step in examining the validity of each measure, explanatory factor analysis was employed using SPSS17.0. All the items of all the measures were factor analysed together to test convergent and discriminate validity of the measures. The items were subjected to principal component analysis (with Varimax Rotation). The factor loading represented the correlation between the items with the construct (Hair et al, 1992). In component analysis, only the factor having Eigenvalues greater than 1 was considered significant (Hair et al, 1992). A minimum value of 0.50 was used to indicate the loading of any factor. The results of factor analysis are presented in Table 4. 6
  • 7. Table 4: Factor Analysis for Validity Testing 1 2 3 4 Quality 0.619 0.141 -0.424 0.062 Comfortable 0.548 0.155 -0.363 0.383 Durability 0.492 0.177 -0.377 -0.395 Benefits 0.536 0.135 -0.408 -0.160 Style 0.531 0.242 0.537 0.161 Special 0.477 -0.379 0.067 0.503 Occasion Feeling 0.549 -0.500 0.160 -0.032 Feeling 0.550 -0.525 0.062 -0.201 Different Fashionable 0.540 0.395 0.327 0.054 Reliability 0.500 0.420 0.273 0.208 Affinity 0.691 0.176 -0.174 0.029 Faithfulness 0.540 0.363 0.228 -0.413 User Feeling 0.675 -0.162 -0.079 0.024 User’s 0.571 -0.286 0.329 -0.361 Personality Consumer 0.662 -0.234 -0.037 0.142 Preference Eigen Values 4.858 1.461 1.323 1.022 % of Variation 32.387 9.741 8.821 6.811 Cumulative % 32.387 42.128 50.949 57.760 of Variation *Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis **4 Components extracted By factor analysis, the factors are reduced to only four components. The component one leads to affinity and its value is 0.691, component two leads to reliability and its value is 0.420, but its value is below 0.5. Component three leads to style and its value is 0.537. Component four leads to special occasion and its value is 0.503 respectively. These entire four components have Eigen values more than one i.e. 4.858, 1.461, 1.323 and 1.022 respectively. Hypotheses Testing Results All hypotheses were first tested using multiple regression and least squares estimation (Pedhazur, 1982). To test all the hypotheses in the study, a multiple regression was carried out with five independent variables – sincerity, excitement, competency, ruggedness and relationship length and brand loyalty as the dependent variable. The results of the multiple regressions are discussed here. Brand Personality Table 5 provides the results of hypotheses H1, H2, H3, H4 and H5. All these hypotheses were tested using multiple regression with the help of SPSS 17.0. If the company promotes these personalities in their advertisement campaigns, they will lead to loyal customers. There were other factors which were also considered during the study like sincerity, excitement, 7
  • 8. ruggedness and length of relationship, which have positive impact on brand loyalty. All these hypotheses were tested using multiple regressions with the help of SPSS 17.0. Table 5 provides the results of hypotheses H1, H2, H3, H4 and H5. These hypotheses indicate how brand personalities and length of relationship can lead to brand loyalty. Table 5: Results of Hypothesis Testing Hypotheses Independent P Value F Value Hypotheses Variable Supported H1 Sincerity 0.139 1.639 YES H2 Excitement 0.374 1.068 YES H3 Competency 0.007* 3.686 NO H4 Ruggedness 0.648 0.551 YES H5 Length of 0.098 2.130 YES Relationship CONCLUSION: This study examined the factors, which will lead the customers to brand loyalty. A survey was conducted in Bhubaneswar city. The survey was aimed at knowing the Brand personality lead to Brand loyalty of the customers. Trends come and go in the ever-changing world of fashion. Staying in touch with the latest and striving to keep at the forefront is one way of staying ahead in this competitive field. Clothing is one form of self-expression. The brand Personality that a company has plays a very important role and to some extent it also leads to customer loyalty. From this research it is found that the company having a brand image of sincerity, excitement, ruggedness and length of relationship. Thus, a company should think of enhance its sincerity, excitement, ruggedness and length of relationship personalities in the forefront. Many companies are already promoting these personalities through ad campaigns, which show them as untainted, committed and trustworthy. This image can be promoted by taking some real life examples where people show their commitment and their loyalty to the company. Here competency is another brand personality which we have taken as hypotheses doesn’t lead to brand loyalty of the customers. Ruggedness is another variable which also influence the brand personality. Ruggedness means outdoorsy. This brand personality manifests as today’s customers’ fashion needs and can be built through collections that highlight by bringing new styles, comfort and coolness. The company should think in the way in which it can promote these personalities. At the same time, the company should distinguish these two personalities and the target customers. By doing this, the company can retain all its customers who belong to different groups and whose tastes are totally different. So, the company should be cautious in using these dimensions of brand personality. It said that if a customer has been buying a fabric from a certain company for 25 years, he will be considered a loyal customer of that company. But in this research it was found that relationship length of does not have any impact on customer loyalty. If a customer buys a company fabric for many years, it doesn’t mean that he/she is loyal to the company, it may also be because he/she does not have any other option. 8
  • 9. LIMITATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH: The main objective of this research was to measure the brand personality dimensions of the Lee brand using the Brand Personality Scale suggested by Jennifer Aaker. A validity check of the scale using factor analysis was carried out which indicates that the number of dimensions of brand personality is 4 and that about 10 items of Jennifer Aaker’s Brand Personality Scale are not applicable in the Indian situation. The applicability of this scale to the Indian situation was not checked because it required an exploratory study to identify the dimensions of brand personality in the Indian situation. A study of Japanese and Spanish brand personality constructs revealed that sincerity, excitement, competence, and sophistication are common to both USA and Japan. It also revealed that there were culture-specific Japanese. (Peacefulness) and American (ruggedness) dimensions. The findings in the context of Spain yielded brand personality dimensions common to both Spain and the United States (sincerity, excitement, and sophistication), plus the non-shared Spanish (passion) and American (competence and ruggedness) dimensions. Hence, identifying the Indian brand personality construct can be undertaken by future researchers. Also, this research tried to identify the brand personality in India which implies that researchers can identify brand personality for service, retail, and consumer durable brands. This research was conducted in the largest city in Orissa and therefore future studies can be conducted in other parts of India to improve the reliability of the study. REFERENCES: o Aaker, D A (1996). Building Strong Brands, New York: The Free Press. o Aaker, J (1997). “Dimensions of Brand Personality,” Journal of Marking Research, 34(3), 347-356. o Aaker, Jennifer Lynn; Benet-Martínez, Verónica and Garolera, Jordi (2001). “Consumption Symbols as Carriers of Culture: A Study of Japanese and Spanish Brand Personality Constructs,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(3), 492-508. o Banerjee, Ravi (2004), “ Smiles to Go,” Economic Times (Brand Equity), 15 December, 1. o Belch, G and Belch, A (2001). Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communication Perspective, Fifth Edition, New York: McGraw-Hill. o Bellenger, D N; Steinberg, E and Stanton, W W (1976). “The Congruence of Store Image and Self Image, Journal of Retailing, 52(1), 17–32. o Dolich, Ira J (1969), “Congruence Relationship between Self Image and Product Brands,” Journal of Marketing Research, 6(1), 80-84. o Kassarjian, H H (1971). “Personality and Consumer Behavior: A Review,” Journal of Marketing Research, 84(4), 409–418. o K Abdul Waheed, Neeti Yadav (2007), “A Study on Brand Personality Orientation to 9
  • 10. Brand Loyalty”. o Okazaki, Shintaro (2006). “Excitement or Sophistication? A Preliminary Exploration of Online Brand Personality,” International Marketing Review, 23(3), 279-303. o Rojas-Méndez, José; Erenchun-Podlech, Isabel; Silva-Olave, Elizabeth (2004). “The Ford Brand Personality in Chile,” Corporate Reputation Review, 7(3), 232-251. o Siguaw, Judy A; Mattila, Anna and Austin, Jon R (1999). “The Brand-Personality Scale,” Cornell Hotel & Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 40(3), 48-55. o Su-e Park; Dongsung, Choi; Jinwoo, Kim (2005). “Visualizing E-Brand Personality: Exploratory Studies on Visual Attributes and E-Brand Personalities in Korea,” International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 19(1), 7-34. o Sung, Yongjun and Tinkham, Spencer F (2005). “Brand Personality Structures in the United States and Korea: Common and Culture Specific Factors,”Journal of Consumer Psychology, 15(4), 334- 350. o Supphellen, Magne and Gronhaug, Kjell (2003). “Building Foreign Brand Personalities in Russia: the Moderating Effect of Consumer Ethnocentrism,” International Journal of Advertising, 22(2), 203–226. 10