Just like human beings, a brand soon assumes a personality. It is a set of characteristics associated with a brand. Drawing analogy with human personality, brand personality is unique, distinctive and enduring and provides the brand a differentiation from competitive offerings. It is built by the overall experience of the consumer with the brand , which inturn is affected by the expected value from the brand. There are many forces that act to construct a brand personality.
Just like personality of a person are influenced by multiple forces associated with him like family, friends, education, traditional values, culture, education etc; brand personality is also created by interaction of multiple forces. Fig. 1. 1 highlights the primary forces that create brand personality. The various forces working on building brand personality are- 1. Product class: These can be the primary drivers of brand personality. For e. g. athletic shoes tend to be young, lively, adventurous, rugged, outdoorsy etc. 2.
Product related characteristics: Product attributes and marketing mix can strongly affect its perception in the minds of the consumer. For e. g. a high priced brand is wealthy, stylish and maybe even snobbish. 3. User Imagery: User imagery in the form of people who use the brand or those portrayed in advertisements can be a powerful driver of brand personality. They can arouse need recognition in the consumer and also lead to certain expectation being formed from the brand. 4. Sponsorships: Activities such as events sponsored by brands influence their personality.
Consumer memory could be impacted by the event the brand sponsored and hence can impact brand personality. For e. g. Pond’s is associated with femineity and has been a traditional sponsor of Femina Miss India. 5. Age: How long the brand has been in the market can impact its personality. For e. g. Apple is considered to be a young brand while IBM is considered to be old fashioned and traditional. 6. Symbol: The symbol can have strong external association and could strongly impact recall value of the brand. For e. g. Apple’s bitten apple, Nike’s swoosh. Brand personality is of immense importance for any marketer.
It enriches marketer’s understanding of how the consumer perceives the brand and the attitude of the consumer towards the product offering. This inturn can help the marketer to tailor his/her marketing strategy to appeal to the consumer psyche and to provide the consumer with a product in line with consumer’s expectations. All communications about the product offering are structured in line with the brand personality. The marketing campaign, tagline, brand colour, logo, brand ambassador are all designed and conceptualized keeping the brand personality as guideline.
Most importantly, brand personality helps a marketer differentiate his/her product offering in the market place and create its own niche. For e. g. while Coke is considered to be a drink for all age groups, Pepsi is associated with youth and Gen X. Brand personality helps create a brand equity which can be leveraged to build a long term relation with the consumer. In consumer Behaviour Literature there exist three models that summarize how brand personality can create brand equity- 1. The Self Expression model- The basic premise of this model for some consumers the brand becomes the vehicle to express a part of their self-identity.
This self identity could be their actual self or the ideal self they aspire to be. For e. g. cars, cosmetics, apparels lend themselves to personality expression because their use occurs in social context with relatively high involvement. 2. The Relationship Basis model- Some people may never aspire to have a certain personality trait but may wish to consume a brand that symbolises those traits. For e. g. a dependable, conservative personality might seem been boring and undesirable for self personality but might be desired from the banking or insurance company the consumer associates with. . Functional Benefit Representation Model- A brand personality may also play an indirect role by impacting consumer perception about the brand attributes and the functional benefits associated with it. Various Traits of Brand Personality Just like human beings develop different personality traits, brands can also take various forms. Let us discuss, with examples, various forms of personality some famous brands have assumed. Apple -“Without the brand, Apple would be dead”- Marketer Marc Globe 1. Product design: “Apple’s design is people-driven. Apple tries to develop long term relationship with its users and has built a community around Brand Apple. So much so, the users themselves feel that they are part of the brand. 2. Logo: Apple abandoned the old rainbow-hued Apple logo in favour of a minimalist monochrome one, gave its computers a funky, colourful look, and streamlined the messages in its advertising. Apple is seen as friendly, unpretentious, innovative, irreverent and young. There are many strategies Apple has adopted to build and maintain its brand personality- 3.
Culture: Apple projects a humanistic corporate culture and a strong corporate ethic, characterized by volunteerism, support of good causes or involvement in the community. Its founding ethos was power to the people through technology, and it remains committed to computers in education. AXE- The Axe Effect Brand Personality: Seduction, naughty, masculinity, individuality, unconventionality. A Unilever brand, the product has an iconic status in whichever market it has entered. Axe employs supreme strategy in segmenting, targeting and positioning its product, one that it has replicated across geographies with great success. . Launch strategy: HUL launched AXE with an unconventional low promotion- high pricing strategy, thus creating a niche market for the product. It was carefully positioned and targeted the urban male between the ages of 15-25 years. 2. Underlying Message: The biggest strength of the brand is the sublimal implications of its underlying message. Axe Users are high on confidence and for them; it is always girls who make the first move. 3. Advertising: The AXE advertisements show very ordinary or even skinny men getting assaulted by beautiful women. The marketing mix employed by Axe is often termed ‘Adventurous Marketing’.
This is because the brand portrays women and seduction to give a boost to the male ego. Levi’s- The Original icon Brand personality: Rebellion, rugged, being cool Since Levis came into existence in 1873, it has remained an iconic brand generation after generation. The brand personality of Levi’s is influenced by the following factors- 1. Product: Levis is a leader in product innovation and development, be it the rugged look or the low waist jeans or the slim fit jeans. Levis constantly endeavours to give the brand a contemporary and cool look keeping in pace with the changing consumer preferences. 2.
Advertising: Levis used Bollywood icons like Shahrukh Khan and Bipasha Basu to advertise its brands. The advertisements are daring and the videos captivating. Nike- Just Do It Brand Personality: Athletic and outdoorsy, champion 1. Products: Nike shows passion for its products and athletes and adheres to five brand principles- inspire, innovate, focus, connect and care. 2. Logo: Nike’s famous swoosh creates feelings of movement and speed. , the company uses shades of gray and blue, which gives the brand a casual, unpretentious feeling. Nike, the brand name itself, was once better known in Greek mythology as the goddess of victory.
One of the most valuable brands in terms of brand value, Nike has constantly innovated itself to earn its personality. 3. Endorsements: Nike has successfully collaborated with some of the most celebrated sport stars, be it Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Sachin Tendulkar. Lux Brand Personality: Tender, Caring, feminine, glamorous 1. Promotions: Lux has always used high profile film actresses to endorse the soap. These dream women lured consumers by swearing that it was Lux- a complete beauty package that kept their skin the way it was. Besides this, Lux has sponsored a host of events from the glamour world like Filmfare Awards.
Throughout its history, Lux has maintained its brand personality by linking itself to glamour and style. The following are some of its strategies- 2. Consistent evolution: Lux has always innovated with its product mix, extending the soap cake to shower gels, liquid soaps and moisturizing bars. It has tried new packaging, new colours and new variants to keep consumers excited and competitors at bay. Nokia Brand Personality: Reliable, High Quality, trustworthy, Friendly Nokia is one of the world’s most valuable brands and symbolizes a human side of technology. The slogans ‘ We call this human technology’, ‘only Nokia human technology enables you to get more out of life’ and ‘connecting people’ are a testimony of this fact. 1. Product design: A great deal of thought is given on how the user will experience the brand and the product is modelled accordingly. Nokia has introduced special handsets for the rural market with special features. 2. Positioning: The communication by the company instils in the consumer a sense of trust about the brand. It owns the ‘human’ dimension of communication. Nescafe 1. Products: Nescafe has an entire range of products to suit customer tastes and moods.
Right from a pure black coffee to a frothy, creamy cappuccino, Nescafe has introduced products in every segment. 2. Advertising: Nescafe advertisements are refreshing with stimulating background scores; the award winning ‘Ho shuru Har Din Aise, Nescafe’ is still etched in consumer memory. Brand personality: Refreshing, active, stimulating Pepsi- Spirited, young, up-to-date, outgoing Pepsi has effectively leveraged its advertising campaign to build a young, spirited personality. Here are some of its strategies. 1. Commercials: Pepsi has always used celebrities- film stars, cricketers to advertise its roducts. In India, it has been long associated with the Indian cricket team, given the love for the game in the country.
2. Constant innovation: Pepsi has launched an entire range of products in the market, keeping in mind consumer tastes and preferences. It keeps innovating itself and time and again creates new advertising campaigns, so much so that it launches a new variant of its logo each month now. Wipro- Applying Thought Brand Personality: Caring, vibrant, thoughtful 1. Logo: The corporate logo of Wipro is a colourful rainbow flower. It signifies high vibrancy and high energy. . Driving Values: The key missions identified at Wipro are Value, innovation, service and integrity. The communication ‘Applying Thought’ and ‘thinking about you’ presents Wipro as a caring company. Colgate-Palmolive Brand personality: Trust, Down to earth, realistic 1. Underlying message: ‘The number 1 recommended brand by dentists’ tagline of Colgate very effectively communicates the emphasis of the company on the functional superiority of Colgate. 2. Products: Colgate brands have long been tried and tested in the markets and have built a trust for themselves.
At the same time the brand has increased its product range to include personal care and home care products as well. Colgate has been positioned as a brand that is sincere, wholesome and that offers functional benefits to its users. Here are some other famous brands and the associated brand personality. All in all, it is clear that successful brands work towards creating a brand personality that increase their recall value and equity in the consumer’s mind, thus creating strong brand loyalty. Brand| Personality| IBM| Innovation, Older| Pulsar| Masculine, sensuous, tough|
India today| Trust, Old fashioned| LIC| Trust, competent, old, serious| Moov| Caring, trustworthy| Thums Up| Macho, Rugged, Tough| SBI| Competent, Serious, , Older and Upper-class| Adidas| Young, Lively, Rugged, Outdoorsy, Adventurous| Kodak| Down to earth, family oriented, genuine| Allen Solly| semi-casual| HP| Accomplished, influential, competent| Cadbury| Celebration, sweet| Kind fisher| Class, Status, Superior features, glamour| Ever Ready | Power, Strong, Tough| BMW, Mercedes Benz| Pretentious, wealthy, condescending| Raymond| Class, perfection, Trust|