Brand personality refers to human personality traits which are associated with a brand. While branding a product, especially if it is new, or is being launched in a new market, in depth understanding of the Dimensions of Brand Personality is of utmost importance to the product manager or the brand manager.
Consumers often describe brands (at least in their sub-conscious level of understanding) by using descriptors of personality traits. Marketers attempt to use this consumer behavior to create or reinforce these perceptions by their positioning strategies. Now successfully positioning a product’s ( or a services’ ) personality within a product category requires the application of multiple measurement models.
The dimensions of Brand Personality was first proposed by Aaker (1997) in his famous and highly cited work on the brand personality framework consisting of 5 dimensions of every brand that impacts branding, brand association and brand recollection. Again brand association appears to partially mediate the influence of the competence dimension of brand personality on brand attractiveness.
The 5 main dimensions of this framework are Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication, Ruggedness. Consumers interpret sincere brands as being down-to-earth, honest, wholesome, and cheerful. Consumers perceive exciting brands as being daring, spirited, imaginative, and somewhat with a cutting edge. Consumers perceive Competence from Reliability, intelligence, and success symbols from a brand. A brand that is perceived to be sophisticated is viewed as being charming and with a higher snob value and thus fit for the upper classes. Similarly rugged brands are perceived to have characteristics of being outdoorsy and tough.
Now, since high branding equity tends to develop when consumers have numerous positive and strong associations related to the brand. Brand association, which is defined as “anything linked in memory to a brand” is one of the major components of brand equity. Brand association, which results in high greater brand awareness and greater brand recall has a positive correlation with brand equity because it can represent brand quality and brand commitment. These in turn creates the basic platform for the product (or service) to harness strength to pull consumers, i.e. implement a pull strategy by the marketing manager.
Now recognition of the product or the service uniquely by the potential target segment with a strong association can successfully managed only through careful long-term marketing strategy, which involves advertising, pricing, and product development. No wonder that in current times, millions and billions of dollars are being invested in advertising and other forms of marketing communications in order to create product (or service) awareness and product (or service) association, so as to be able to implement a pull strategy.
Today, with increased focus to creating a unique marketing mix, be it for the marketing mix of products or for the marketing of services, understanding this framework is of utmost importance to managers managing a product or a service or a category of the same, so as to be able to create a rich differentiation.