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
The Brand Personality
anthropomorphisation of the brand as a
quasi-human entity as perceived by the customer
(Keller, 1998; Aaker, 1996; Freling and Forbes, 2005)
What if the brand is a human?
One way to find out!
Which was sadly unavailable, so the next best option was theoretical development and a qualitative exploratory study
Recipe for a paper
1 cup of original idea
2 cups of literature
2tbsp of methodology
500g of qualitative data analysis
1 theoretical model, lightly greased and floured
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.
2 cups of literature
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.
Aaker, J (1997) Dimensions of Brand Personality, Journal of Marketing Research, 34 (3) pp 347-356
Agres, S.J. and Dubitsky, T.M. (1996), “Changing needs for brands”, Journal of Advertising Research, January/ February, pp. 21-30.
Ahmed, P K and Zairi, M (1999) Benchmarketing for brand innovation European Journal of Innovation Management 2 (1) 36-48.
Beverland, M (2005) Brand Mangement and the challenge of authenticity, Journal of Product and Brand Mangement, 14(7) 460-461
de Chernatony and Dall’Olmo Riley, F. (1997), “Branding in the service sector”, FT Mastering Management, September, No. 4, pp. 18-22.
de Chernatony, L., and Segal-Horn, S. (2003). The criteria for successful services brands. European Journal of Marketing, 37 (7/8), 1095-1118.
Escalas J E and Bettman, J R (2005) Self-construal, reference groups and brand meaning, Journal of Consumer Research, 32 (3) 378-389
Freling, T. H and Forbes, L (2005) An empirical analysis of the brand personality effect, The Journal of Product and Brand Management 14 (7) 404-413
Keller, K. (1998), Strategic Brand Management: Building, Meaning, and Managing Brand Equity, Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ
Kumar, R, Luthra, A, and Datta, G. (2006) Linkages between Brand Personality and Brand Loyalty: A qualitative study in an emerging marketing in the Indian context, South Asian Journal of Management, 13 (2) pp11-35
Levy, S J (1959) "Symbols for sale", Harvard Business Review, 34 94) 117-24
Low, G. S. and Lamb, C.W. (2000) The measurement and dimensionality of brand associations, Journal of Product and Brand Management, 9 (6) pp 350-368.
Martin, B and McCracken, C (2001) Music marketing: Music consumption imagery in the UK and New Zealand, Journal of Consumer Marketing, 18 (5) 426-436.
Okazaki, S. (2006) Excitement or sophistication? A preliminary exploration of online brand personality, International Marketing Review, 23 (3) 279-303
Plummer, J.T. (2000), “How personality makes a difference?”, Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 40 No. 6, pp. 79-83.
Seetharaman, A. Nadzir, Z A V M and Gunalan, S (2001) A conceptual study on brand valuation, Journal of Product and Brand Management, 10 (4) 243-256.
Shuker, R 2005, Popular music: the key concepts , Routledge, New York, NY
Smith, G and Speed, R. (2005) The impact of brand extension on brand personality in differing country markets: A UK- Australia comparison, Australia and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference, Perth, Dec 4-6
Wong, H. Y., & Merrilees, B. (2005). A brand orientation typology for SMEs: A case research approach. Journal of Product and Brand Management, 14 (3), 155-162.
Components of Brand Personality Okazaki, (2006) only Aaker (1997) only Outdoorsy, tough Ruggedness Down to earth, honest, wholesome, cheerful Sincerity Likeable, glamorous Affection Popular, unique Popularity Rational trustworthy, presitgious upper class Charming Sophistication Sensual, assertive, humorous Daring, spirited, imaginative, up to date Excitement Secure, competitive, beneficial, Reliable, intelligence, successful Competence
Complex combination of the manufactured elements of the marketing communications toolkit to create a set of differentiating promises that reside in the mind of the consumer
(Ahmed and Zairi, 1999; Okazaki, 2006).
“ authentic” brand experiences - Beverland, 2005
“ 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
genre-specific term , being most frequently used in relation to styles such as folk, the blues , and various world musics . It is also often a constituent of populist notions of authenticity ”
(Shuker 2005, p. 236).
(Roots is actually a form of crossover music)
2tbsp of methodology and 500g of qualitative data analysis
Series of personal interviews with musicians
Standard issue method
Open-ended set of interview questions
What matters to the musician
Shared Brand Personality 1: Competence
When we come to touring overseas, we are concerned about getting the right support people in each territory to maintain our act's image and reputation .” (Guitarist, male, 29)
Shared Brand Personality 2: Excitement
dress up to the max, challenge authority and ‘the norm’ in a friendly and funny way, and we use stage antics that get the audience involved in the making of the music , and go far over the edge.”
(Singer-songwriter, male, 25)
Shared Brand Personality 3: Sophistication
“ 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)