1.0 IntroductionBrand personality is one of the most important aspects of the brand image for key product brands. Most product brands are often positioned in the market based on certain human personalities or qualities such as competent for instance diligent or intelligent; sophistication for instance glamorous or good looking; excitement for instance cool, trendy or fashionable; ruggedness such as masculinity or tough; or enchanting such as femininity (Bouhlel, 2011). It is the brand personality that sets a brand apart and makes it competitive against others like it in the market. It is also important as it often appeals to consumers who wish to enhance, affirm or express their sense of self or their personalities using the brand personality of the products they use (Park, & Roedder, 2010).
In this sense, a brand personality is imperative for the success of a brand in the market. This paper reviews the theory of brand personality and uses this theory to analyse the brand personalities of Apple, Nokia, Samsung within the electronics industry, evaluate on whether the brands are reflective of their appropriate personalities to attract their target markets, and provide recommendations for one of the products.
In this sense, by understanding the brand personalities of these three brands, then it would be easy to understand how they are competitively placed in the market and how they emotionally appeal to customers they target. 2.0 Literature Review on the theory of Brand PersonalityBrand personality has been defined as “a set of human characteristics associated with a brand” (Mahle & Supphellen, 2011:96). Brand personality is a critical emotional part of a brand image aside from other parts such as brand culture, brand positioning, brand vision, or brand identity which are critical in building a brand image (Sung and Kim (2010:645).
Consumers find it easy to associate brands with their personalities such as tough, charming, honest, cheerful or adventurous. For instance Plummer (cited Kim, Han & Park, 2001:197) analysed how different soft drink personalities impacted the choice of drink to take, noting that characters such toughness or cheerfulness imbued within a soft drink often align with the consumers personalities. Such characters associated with customers have been found to be relatively distinct and enduring (Mahle & Supphellen, 2011:96).
Brand personalities are not only essential to marketers for developing effective tactical marketing campaigns (Blythe, 2007), but are also important to consumers as consumers are able to self express their personalities based on the brand personalities (Aaker, 1999). The view that consumers often use brands to express their personalities have been supported by Escalaa and Bettman (2003) who note that indeed consumers develop a connection between brand images and their self concepts and by using brands that have similar personalities to their seek not only to enhance their personalities and define them within give social contexts but also communicate them.
For instance, a brand personality for a brand such as Rolex has both prestige value and places the wearer of such a product within certain social context: higher class income group. It depicts the personality of the person wearing it classic and glamorous. Indeed Sung and Kim (2010:647) show that an established brand personality is critical as it augments brand trust and loyalty where upon a consumer becomes attached to a brand.
While they noted that some aspects of brand personality related more to trust, or dimensions related more to brand affect and loyalty. In this research, brand personalities such as ruggedness and sincerity related to trust while others such as sophistication and excitement related more to the brand affect.