Understanding Brand Personality and Its Impact on Consumer Behavior

Personalities define and distinguish an individual’s unique character through their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.  It encompasses an individual’s attitude and opinion, illustrated in interactions that people experience with others and their environment. Personalities define and distinguish an individual’s unique character through their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.  Likewise, individuals or consumers relate to a brand personality – the emotional responses and feelings consumers experience toward a brand or product. 

A brand’s personality is an effective way to connect with consumers and humanize the brand.  According to Jennifer L. Aaker’s Dimensions of Brand Personality, brand personalities consist of five dimensions: Excitement, Sincerity, Ruggedness, Competence, and Sophistication.  Moreover, marketers utilize these five dimensions to identify a brand’s personality traits that precisely resonate with the right consumers connect with consumers on a more profound and relatable level. 

Brand Personality Dimensions

Excitement:
The personality dimension “Excitement” defines brands whose personality traits and facets identify as imaginative, up-to-date, unique, spirited, contemporary, and trendy.  Consumers are attracted to brands with this personality because they are daring, provide an exciting experience, and have the drive to try something new.

Sincerity:
Brand personalities defined as “Sincere” have traits and facets such as down-to-earth, family-oriented, friendly, and honest. Brands with this personality characteristic appeal to consumers because of their genuineness, transparency, and realistic and wholesome nature.

Ruggedness:
Brands that identify with the “Ruggedness” personality dimension demonstrate traits and facets such as outdoorsy, rugged, and tough.  Consumers are drawn to brands with these qualities because they portray strength and power.  

Competence:
Competence defines brands whose personality traits and facets characterized as a leader, reliable, secure, and confident.  Brands with this brand personality appeal to consumers who are committed to quality and meet high standards.

Sophistication:
Brands that identify with the personality dimension “Sophistication” characterized by traits and facets such as upper class, charming and glamourous.  Brands that demonstrate this type of personality appeal to consumers because they illustrate a luxurious lifestyle and create a sense of superiority, classiness, and elegance. 

For instance, Tiffany & Co., established in 1837, is an American luxury jewelry and specialty retailer and one of the world’s most prominent and iconic jewelry brands.  Tiffany & Co. truly defines the brand personality dimension as “Sophistication.” Tiffany & Co. is a successfully recognized brand because it exudes an elegant, timeless, luxurious, sophisticated, and upper-class personality. 

The Tiffany & Co. brand connects and relates with consumers who appeal to a luxurious lifestyle and embrace and desire a sense of superiority and exclusivity.  Moreover, the brand connects with consumers who aspire or dream of becoming, resembling, and possessing the brand’s personality.           

Brand personalities influence a consumer’s behavior towards a brand, and their likelihood to purchase a brand or product is relative to brand personalities that resemble their own or desired personality or character.  Based on Anees Ahmad and K.S. Thyagaraj’s article about the influence of brand personality on consumer behavior, brand personalities influence consumers’ intentions to purchase a brand which can be implied by communicating the brand’s attributes, functional benefits, or product’s valuable and practical benefits to the consumer.  Additionally, brand personalities serve as an expression of the consumer’s personality and reflect and represent their identity.

Brand personalities help consumers expand their personalities or character by forming a relationship with the brand.  Consumers associate with the brand based on their perceived value or meaning of the brand’s personality.  They can benefit from the brand’s personality traits they perceive resemble their own.  Consumers can also benefit from the brand when they do not aspire to become like a brand’s personality.  In other words, consumers can decide to purchase a brand for the opportunity to attain the brand’s personality character traits that they do not currently possess to enhance their personality.

People are attracted to brands they believe have similar qualities or attributes as theirs or brands with personalities they desire to possess.  Brand personalities help marketers cultivate a strong, positive, mutually beneficial relationship between consumers and the brand that influences their behavior and intentions to purchase the brand.  Furthermore, brand personalities affect brand equity, brand loyalty and create meaningful, valuable connections that help businesses achieve success.   

Did you enjoy this post? Learn about consumer behaviors, this post, and more! 

References:
Aaker, Jennifer L. “Dimensions of Brand Personality.” JMR, Journal of Marketing Research 34.3 (1997): 347-57. Web.

Ahmad, Anees, and K. S. Thyagaraj. “Understanding the Influence of Brand Personality on Consumer Behavior.” Journal of Advanced Management Science 3.1 (2015). Web. <http://www.joams.com/uploadfile/2014/0610/20140610105120411.pdf>.

The World of Tiffany. The World of Tiffany | Tiffany & Co. (n.d.). https://www.tiffany.com/world-of-tiffany/.

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