Jeep

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Jeep

  1. 1. Jeep is not just a mere vehicle- it is much more than that. It is an expression of a personalstatement, an experience, a style statement, a symbolic representation of an extrovert, rugged andadventurous lifestyle and a representation of bold attitudes. When one visualizes a Jeep, onewould think of a strong vehicle that is capable of going anywhere and doing anything- clearlyexpressing rugged and outdoorsy individuality and personal freedom. Rugged because of itsoutlook and also because of its history- the use of this mighty vehicle in the World War II andduring the post war, and freedom because of its ability to travel across the harshest of the harshlandscapes and thus the myriads of places that can be explored with this vehicle. It is all thecombination of this that makes the Jeep experience so much fun. One of the many themes ofJeep commercials is “Have fun out there”. A key value of Jeep is patriotism and the Jeep history.Ever since their grand entry into the US market, Jeep vehicles captured the attention andadmiration of people everywhere. They served their country in the war in Europe and the Pacific,and led an amazing life, helping to defeat the Axis powers and bring peace to the world. Warcorrespondent Ernie Pyle characterized the Jeep vehicle in this way. "Its as faithful as a dog, asstrong as a mule and agile as a goat." All this, had further enhanced the value of a Jeep as amacho, tough brand.Jeep cutomers can also express themselves by wearing Jeep clothing. Just like the brand itself,the clothes represent strong and a nimble taste. Wearing Jeep’s garments means not tocompromise when you go straight down your way. The experience of driving a Jeep, or even theassociations that comes from wearing Jeep clothing is a way of expressing ones own personality.Thus, consumers seek Jeep as it is a personality that is congruent with his/her own. However,those may also buy Jeep because it is thier sought-after/aspirational personality. This processfollows from the idea that consumers use a brands personality to help define both for themselvesand for others, their sense of self.In this paper, Jeep will be used as an example to explore the concept of Brand Personality and itsdimensions, with references to the video. Brand Personality refers to the set of humancharacteristics associated with a given brand. Thus it includes such characteristics such as age,gender, and socioeconomic class as well as such classic human personality traits such as warmth,concern and sentimentality. Thus brand personality, like human personality is both distinctive andenduring. Further, customers often interact with brands as if they were people, especially when thebarnds are attached such meaning products such as clothes or cars. the same vocabulary used todescribe a person, can be used to describe a brand personality. In particular, a brand can bedescribed by demographics, (age, gender, social class, and race), lifestyle (activities, interests, andopinions) or human personality traits ( such as extroversion, agreeableness, and dependability).A recent study developed and tested the Brand Personality Scale (BPS), a compact set of traitsdesigned to both measure and structure brand personality Five Personality Factors (termed the BigFive)- Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication and Ruggedness- emerged as the mainfactors that can be used to categorize a brands personality. Each of the Big Five Factors has beendivided into faces to provide texture and descriptive insight regarding the nature and structure ofthe Big Five. The fifteen facets are given descriptive names as shown in Appendix I. A video hasbeen used to disscet the brand personality of Jeep.The video used to delineate the personality of Jeep demonstrates the different kinds of Jeep thatare moving through the most difficult landscapes, not through the mundane long winding roads,across mountains and hills and splashing through the water. The people component comes a littlelater to show the amount of fun that entails in driving a Jeep. Jeep shows the possibility of takingthe people to places that could have never been imagined otherwise. Crossing the mostoutrageous terrains and moving with so much power, takes them to new heights of excitement andfun. Each turn and motion of the mighty vehicle leads to an adrenaline rush, taking them to placesthat have never been explored before, helping to create the greatest times if their lives, that is onlypossible through the different sub-brands namely Wrangler, Commander and son, that is, the line-up of the Master Brand- Jeep. Thus the apt tag line, “Your greatest times, Our greatest line up”.
  2. 2. Like a person, a brand can also have a complex personality that ranges across the Big Five. Usingthe Brand Personality Scale, Jeep can thus be said to be high on Excitement and Ruggedness. Incase of Excitement, it has emphasized on Daring (being exciting and off-beat), Spirited ( beinglively, outgoing and adventurous) and Up-To-Date (being aggressive). Whereas in case ofRuggedness, it has emphasized both on Outdoorsy (being masculine, Western, active and athletic)and Tough ( being rugged, strong and no-nonsense).Another way of defining a brand personality is through archetypes. Archetypes because if onestudies religions, myths and legends from different cultures and times one will discover that theycontain roughly the same cast of characters. There are distinctive creators, rulers, heroes, virgins,explorers, lovers and at least one that portrays the common man. It is these characters which arecalled the archetypes. The modern archetype theory was launched by Carl Jung. He analyzed andsorted archetypes, and claimed that they possess cross-cultural communication skills because, hesaid, they reflect our collective subconscious. In the archetypes we recognize our own impulses,needs, fears and desires. Archetypes, according to Jung, are hardwired in us all. All brands can becategorized into one of the 12 prime archetypes, namely – The Caregiver, The Every Man, TheLover, The Ruler, The Creator, The Innocent, The Jester, The Rebel, The Magician, The Sage, TheExplorer and The Champion.Taking Carl Jungs theory into account, Jeep has the archetype of The Explorer. TheExplorer/Seeker/Wanderer leaves the known to discover and explore the unknown. This innerrugged individual braves loneliness and isolation to seek out new paths. Often oppositional, thisiconoclastic archetype helps us discover our uniqueness, our perspectives, and our callings. Justlike the video portrayed, Jeep leaves the known places, seeks unknown paths and territories toclimb to the top and reach new destinations.Carl Pearson brings two more dimensions to Carl Jungs archetype-theory.: Order Vs Change andSelf Focused Vs Group Oriented( Appendix-II). Jeep, being The Explorer is on the lower semi-circle on the right hand side. Jeep focuses more on what is possible to make rather than whatcustomers think they need or want, and brings about more change.Just as the perceived personality of a person is affected by nearly everything associated with thatperson, including his or her neighborhood, friends, activities, clothes, and maneer of interacting, sotoo is a brand personality. Both product related characteristics and Non-Product relatedcharacteristics affect perceptions of a brand personality. Product-related characteristics such asproduct category, package, price and attributes, can be primary drivers of a brand personality. Theproduct category of Jeep as being an off roader vehicle gives it the personality traits ofruggedness, masculine and tough. Non-Product-Related Characteristics such as Sponsorships,Age, Advertising Style, Country of origin, Celebrity Endorsers also affect Brand Personality. Thethirty second advertising commercial, i.e. the video clearly represents Jeep to be Rugged,Outdoorsy, Masucline and Tough as described above. Jeep also does many event sponsorships,such as Jeep Racing through difficult landscapes, that reinforce its offbeat, aggressive andadventurous personality. Finally, Jeep is visibly American, a brand that tells the story of theAmerican soldiers during the World War II.Companies use Brand Personality because it helps enrich the understanding of peoplesperceptions of and attributes toward the brand, contributing to a differentiating brand identity,guiding the communication effort and creating brand equity. The most important of these isenhancing Brand Equity- which can be summarized by three models.The Self-Expression Model:The premise of this model is that for certain groups of customers, some brands become vehicles toexpress part of their self-identity. This self identity can be their actual identity or an ideal self towhich they might aspire. Brands that people like, admire, discuss, buy and use also provide avehicle for self expression. In this aspect, buying a Jeep, is an expression of the lifestyle one hasor wishes to have- a rugged, tough, masculine, outdoorsy and adventurous one. In order to be
  3. 3. effective, the brand personality needs to be desirable and important enough to matter to theperson using the brand. The person should feel better because of an association with the brand-thus a person riding a Jeep should feel more masculine, tough and rugged in contrary to using aLexus, which makes one feel more upscale and sophistacted and snobbish to a certain extent.Brand personality effects might be much larger for visible, involving products like cars an clothes.The Relationship Basis Model:The concept of a relationship between a brand a person (analogous to that between two people)provides a different perspective on how brand personality might work. Jeep has the characteristictraits of Ruggedness: athletic and outdoorsy, compared to that of BMW or Mercedes (Pretentious,wealthy and condescending). When planning an outing, a friend with outdoorsy interests would bewelcome. The brand personality provides depth, feelings and liking to the relationship. BrandEquity is also defined as the friendship relationship between the customer and the brand. FredPosner of Ayer Worldwide has observed that people live in a world characterized by stress,alienation and clutter. Noting that people cope by developing escape mechanisms, and meaningfulfriendships, Posner suggests that brands can provide these roles by being either an aspirationalor a trusted associate.In the context of relationship metaphor, the goal is a high brand relationship quality that has sevendimensions:1) Behavioral Interdependence : The degree to which the actions of the relationship partners areintertwined is indicated by the frequency of, importance of, and involvement in the interaction:  Jeep plays an important part in my life- acting as an escape, and taking me to places I never have before.2) Personal Commitment: The partners are committed to each other.  I feel very loyal to Jeep, and will stay with Jeep through good times and bad.3) Love and Passion:Intense emotional bonds between partners and the inability to tolerateseparation, reflect love and passion that exists.  No other brand can take the place of Jeep.4) Nostalgic Connection: The relationship is based in part of the memory of the good times.  Jeep reminds me the greatest times that I have had and reminds me of the adventures and the timeless moments that I have had.5) Self-concept connection: The partners share common interests, activities and opinions.  Jeep and I are similar in nature: outdoorsy, active, athletic and adventurous6) Intimacy: The consumer will achieve intimacy by knowing details about the brand and its use.  I know a lot about Jeep and the company that makes Jeep; its history and its origin,7)Partner quality: This dimension reflects the evaluation by one partner of the performance andattitude of the other, including the evaluation by the consumer of the brands attitude toward him orher.  Jeep treats me like a valued customer offering me great after-sales service, and loyalty offers and appreciates me.The Functional Benefit Representation Model:A brand personality can also play a more indirect role by being a vehicle for representing andcueing functional benefits and brand attributes. The Jeep personality of a rugged, macho, freedomseeking person suggests that the product is a powerful liberating machine. The product attributeswould be much less convincing without the personality behind them.The symbol:When a visual symbol or image exists that can create and sue the brand personality, the ability ofthe personality to reinforce the brand attributes will be greater. The Jeep logo as it stands currentlyrepresents the front of the vehicle. It consists of two circles representing the headlights and verticalbars representing the grill in the front of the car. The word Jeep runs on top of the logo. The nameJeep itself is a nostalgia as it reminds people of the tough, powerful machine that facilitated thecourageous soldiers during the war and post war.Country of Origin:A country or region of origin can add credibility to an identity. It can also generate a strongpersonality that provides not only a quality cue but also an important point of differentiation that can
  4. 4. lead to effective marketing and communication programs. Jeep is a visibly American brand thatfought off the enemies during the World War II.

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