Brand Personalities with Real Personality: Strategies for Individual Brands and Branded Individuals in the Entertainment Industry Dr Stephen Dann Australian National University Bird Jensen Central Queensland University
Place the literature into a bowl, sifting carefully to remove excess theoretical frameworks. Dice the original idea finely to remove the rough edges and unmeasurable variables. Combine with the literature, mixing well until fully referenced. Add the methodology slowly, being sure to embed the theoretical constructs evenly. Pour the mixture into a theoretical model. Place on the backburner for 2 months before adding in the qualitative data analysis. Return to the heat, garnish with reviewer feedback and serve before conference audience.
Brands are sets of differentiating promises that link a product to the consumer through a bundle of identifiable attributes, physical marks, emotional markers and triggers to memories of prior product experience or the assumed experience based on the reputation of the product, provider or service (Ahmed and Zairi, 1999; Agres and Dubitsky, 1997, de Chernatony and Dall’Olmo Riley, 1997). Plummer (2000) identified three core uses for brands - identifiers for attributes, functional characteristics and portrayal of brand personality. Brand personality represents the anthropomorphisation of the brand as a quasi-human entity as perceived by the customer (Keller, 1998; Aaker, 1997; Freling and Forbes, 2005). Much of the contemporary development of brand personality as a marketing concept is attributed to the seminal work of Aaker (1997) who defined brand personality as a set of human characteristics associated with the brand, and refined a scale measurement of brand against five dimensions of sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication and ruggedness. Okazaki (2006) further defined the brand personality concept into functional (factual information) and expressive (emotional) elements. Brand personality is predominantly orientated towards emotive/expressive elements and less linked to the functional components (Low and Lamb, 2000).
Brand personality also ties into the consumption of products to conjure meanings (Seetharaman, Nadzir and Gunalan, 2001; Levy, 1959). This also ties into the congruency of brand association, product preference, brand loyalty and the consumption of products which are congruent with the consumer’s self image, and (Escalas and Bettman, 2005; Kumar, Luthra and Datta, 2006; Seetharaman, Nadzir and Gunalan, 2001). In short, when consumers assign a series of personality traits to a brand they consume, the brand is congruent with the type of person with whom the consumer would want to associate. Aaker (1997) identified over 300 hundred candidate traits, which were further refined into a series, and subseries of clustered brand characteristics. Subsequent research and testing by Okazaki (2006) using the Aaker (1997) scale items has resulted in a shared cluster of three underlying brand characteristics of competence, excitement and sophistication. Okazaki (2006) identifying two further elements of affection and popularity whereas Aaker (1997) includes sincerity and ruggedness. Table 1 outlines the combined component elements of brand personality.
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“ authentic ” is a low priority for manufactured pop music, whereas experience driven lyrical genres such as emo , blues, country and western and roots have a higher reliance on the authenticity of the musician and music product
“ Amongst the ‘ A-list ’ singers, you don’t associate yourself with anyone else on the basis of reputation .”
(Singer, male, 50)
“ I don’t reduce myself to the level of the public. They are paying a lot of money to get entertained , and being entertained isn’t the same thing as talking to somebody over the back fence .” (Singer, male, 45)