Consumers tend to assign various descriptive “personality – like” traits or characteristics to different brands in a wide variety of product categories. This is one of the most effective use of the concept of personality in marketing applications. Consumers have consistent patterns that guide their decisions to all brands or consumption situations.
Brand Personality is a portion of the brand’s overall image, understood perhaps by many consumers but more attractive to some consumers than to others. We can define brand personality as the communication goals related to the attributes inherent in a product as well as the profile of the perceptions received by consumers about specific brands.
Brands basically have three dimensions:
(1) Physical attributes – such as color, price, ingredients, and so forth.
(2) Functional attributes – this means how the brand is functioning or we can say the consequences of using a brand.
(3) Brands characterization – this means brands personality as perceived by consumers. Brands may be characterized as modern or old – fashioned, or lively or exotic, just the same way as people are characterized.
The brand or product personalities can further be understood by focusing on the emotional responses that are evoked among consumers. This means consumers buy products but want more than the functional or tangible attributes provided by the product. Along with functional attributes they want good experience, good emotional response from using the product. These are also called as “hedonic” benefits.
Consumers not only ascribe personality traits to products or services, they also tend to associate personality factors with specific colors. For example, yellow is associated with “novelty” and black means “sophistication. Therefore, brands wishing to create a sophisticated personal or a premium image use labelling or packaging that is primarily black.
In some cases, various products or even brands are associated with a specific color with personality – like connotations. For instance, Coco- cola is associated with red, which connotes excitement. Mc Donalds logo is of yellow and red.
Personal Values i.e. Self Concept or Self Images
Why do some people make their consumption decisions differently than others. Personality can be one reason and another can be personal values. Personal values answer the question, “Is this product for me”? These are particularly important in the need-recognition stage of consumer decision making. Values are also used by consumers while evaluating brands as “Is this brand for me?
Values are basically “ends” people seek in their lives. Marketing often provides the “means” to reach these ends. Rokeach has defined values as an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end state of existence. Values are relatively stable but not completely static beliefs about what a person should do. Values are concerned with the goals and the ways of behaving to obtain goals.
Self Concept theory says that individuals have a concept of self based on who they are that means actual self. And also the concept of who they think they would like to be that is the ideal self. Consumers are asked to describe how they see themselves or how they would like to see themselves on attributes like:-
Self-Concept means the desire to attain self – consistency and the desire to enhance one’s self – esteem. Attaining self consistency means that individuals will act in accordance with their concept of actual self. According to the marketer actual self means consumers purchases are influenced by the image they have of themselves.
They buy products which they perceive as similar to their self- concept. For example – beer, cigarettes, soap, toothpaste, car, clothes etc. all are purchased keeping in mind his/her self concept. Ideal self s concept is related to one’s self – esteem.
According to the marketer, a person who is dissatisfied with oneself will try and purchase products that could enhance their self esteem. For example, a woman who would like to be confident, efficient, modern may buy a different type of perfume or shop at different stores than a woman who would like to be more warm and attractive.
It is not always like this that our self image influences the products we choose but also the products we choose frequently influences our self – image. The products purchased with symbolic (badge) value say something about us and also what we feel about ourselves. Extended self in simple terms means, we are what we wear, and we are what we use, this is also known as symbolic interactionism.
This means it emphasizes the interaction between individuals and the symbols in their environment. This shows that consumers buy products for their symbolic value in enhancing their self concept. For example, products like Rolex watches. Omega watches, Sony CD system, Nike, Reebok shoes, BMW, Hyundai Accent etc., all have symbolic value.
Advertises have understood the symbolic role of products in influencing self-image, therefore, they are using this concept successfully in their ads. Life style Concept
Life Style Concept:
Lifestyle can be defined as patterns in which people live and spend time and money. It is one of the most popular concepts in marketing for understanding consumer behaviour and is more comprehensive and more useful than either personality or values. Marketers try to relate the product to lifestyle, often through advertising, to the everyday experiences of the target market.
Life style can also be defined as a mode of living that is identified by how people spend their time (activities), what they consider important in their environment (interests) and what they think of themselves and the world around them (opinions).
This means lifestyles reflect a person’s activities, interests and opinions (AIO’s). People use constructs such as lifestyles to construe the events happening around them and to interpret, conceptualize and predict events as well as to reconcile their values with events.
Values are enduring but lifestyles change more rapidly. Some of the advertisers for making the ad effective, track trends in lifestyles of key target markets and reflect those lifestyles in their ads.
Psychographic is the quantitative technique used to measure lifestyles and can be used with the large samples needed for definition of market segments. It is a term often used interchangeably with AIO measures that can be explained in the following manner –
An activity is a manifest action such as viewing a medium, shopping in a store, or telling a neighbor about a new service. Although these acts are observable but the reasons for the act cannot be measured directly. An interest in some object, event or topic is the degree of excitement that accompanies both special and continuing attention to it.
An opinion is a verbal or written “explanation” that a person gives in response to stimulus situations in which some “question” is raised. It is used to describe beliefs about the intentions of other people, expectations of future events and appraisals of the rewarding or punishing consequences of alternative courses of action.