For a decade, the brand personality has been a subject of discussion for the researchers of all time. Researchers find this topic very important to study as they perceived it helps to differentiate the personalities of different brands. The first question that comes into mind is what’s a brand personality?
Aaker defines the brand personality as “the set of human characteristics associated with a given brand”. Any human’s personality is affected by the factors associated with human beings such as friends, family and relatives. Similarly a brand personality can be affected by a no of factors i.e. to both related and unrelated products. A brand personality can be conceptualized based on the fact that usually the observers attribute different personality characteristics of people every time they interact.
Jennifer Aaker had developed a framework to determine the brand personality by classifying into five core dimensions, each divided as a set of facet. A brand personality is a crucial important driver to analyze self expressive benefits, the brand customer relationships and the communication of useful benefits. Aaker has operated the brand personality as the human attributes of a brand. By exploring the brand personality on the basis of 114 traits across 37 brands that covers across all product categories.
Whenever a brand strategist has to explore the potential of enhancing a brand personality then they have to face through this basic question of how a brand personality should be. To begin with Aaker’s model is organized into five factors that include 15 traits such as;
• Sincerity (down to earth, honest, wholesome, cheerful)
• Excitement (daring, spirited, imaginative, up to date)
• Competence (reliable, intelligent, successful)
• Sophistication (upper class, charming)
• Ruggedness (outdoorsy, tough)
Each facet is in turn measured by a set of traits. Each trait is measured by using a five point scale (1= not at all descriptive, 5= extremely descriptive) rating .This helps to describe which trait clearly describe the specific brand of interest. Therefore, it provides a thorough checklist as which of these variant or traits would work best?[sky]
Following is the list of traits belonging to each facet:
• Down-to earth (family oriented, small town)
• Honest(sincere, real)
• Wholesome(wholesome, original)
• Cheerful(cheerful, sentimental ,friendly)
• Daring(Daring, trendy, exciting)
• Spirited(Spirited, cool, young)
• Imaginative(imaginative, unique)
• Up to date (up to date ,independent, contemporary)
• Reliable( reliable, hardworking ,secure)
• Intelligent(Intelligent ,technical, corporate)
• Successful(Successful ,leader, confident)
• Upper class( upper class , glamorous, good looking)
• Charming (charming ,feminine ,smooth)
• Outdoorsy (Outdoorsy, masculine, western)
• Tough (tough, rugged)
The Aaker’s brand personality scale is not based merely on a one dimensional concept i.e. it doesn’t only represent one characteristic of a brand rather it has a multi dimensional aspect by placing each brand on a scale with five dimensions. There may be brands that can score high on one dimension and low on all others or a brand can score high on all the five dimensions. For instance, Aaker has identified Hallmark cards for sincerity, MTV for excitement, Wall street Journal for competence and Nike tennis shoes for ruggedness.
This brand personality dimension concept helps the practitioners in a no of ways such as it can help to understand the perceptions and attitude of the consumers towards the brand. This also enables to differentiate the brand from its competitors. Finally, this leads to a sustainable point of differentiation and gives a competitive advantage as a brand is perceived of being vigorous which is hard to emulate.