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The Big Five and Brand Personality: Investigating the Impact of Consumer Personality on Preferences Towards Particular Brand Personality

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The Big Five and Brand Personality: Investigating the Impact of Consumer Personality on Preferences Towards Particular Brand Personality

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The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between consumer personality and brand personality as measured by constructs reflecting The Big Five dimensions in the context of fashion products. The findings of the study show that some dimensions of The Big Five constructs are significantly related to preferences on particular dimensions of brand personality. It was found that consumers who exhibit a Conscientious personality demonstrate preferences towards ‘Trusted’ brands. In contrast, those who are Extrovert in nature are motivated by ‘Sociable’ brands. Findings related to gender reveal that male and female consumers differ in how they express their personality when it comes to brand personality. Male respondents who are dominant on the Neuroticism dimension prefer ‘Trusted’ brand while ‘Trusted’ brand is preferred by females who are dominant on the Conscientiousness dimension. The results of this study will inform brand managers about how to tailor specific marketing strategies such that brand personalities communicated to consumers are congruent with their personalities.
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© 2007 PALGRAVE MACMILLAN LTD 1350-23IX $30.00 BRAND MANAGEMENT, 1–14 2007 1
www.palgrave-journals.com/bm
Yelena Tsarenko
Department of Marketing,
Monash University,
S 7.18, Chisholm Tower,
26 Sir John Monash Drive,
P.O. Box 197, Caulfi eld East VIC
3145, Australia
Tel: + 61 3 9903 2354
Fax: + 61 3 9903 1558
E-mail: yelena.tsarenko@buseco.
monash.edu.au
The Big Five and brand
personality: Investigating the
impact of consumer personality
on preferences towards particular
brand personality
Received (in revised form): 28th March, 2007
RIZA CASIDY MULYANEGARA
is currently a PhD researcher in the Department of Marketing at Monash University. He is actively involved in
research and teaching activities at the university. His current research topic is in the area of non-profi t services
marketing. He is investigating the barriers to and antecedents of consumer participation in nonprofi t organisations
with churches as the research context.
YELENA TSARENKO
graduated from the Kiev International University of Civil Aviation in Ukraine with a Bachelor (Hons) in Economics.
After completing a PhD in Economics, she worked as a lecturer and later as an associate professor in the areas of
Marketing and International Economics at the Kiev International University of Civil Aviation. She joined Monash
University in 2000. She conducts research in the areas of consumer psychology and services marketing and has
published in leading international marketing journals, including The Journal of Marketing Management and The Journal
of Services Marketing .
ALASTAIR ANDERSON
is a sessional academic in the Department of Marketing at Monash University. In addition to teaching, he is also
actively involved in the research activities of the department. He has a particular interest in the area of research
methodology and management.
Abstract
The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between consumer personality and
brand personality as measured by constructs refl ecting The Big Five dimensions in the
context of fashion products. The fi ndings of the study show that some dimensions of
The Big Five constructs are signifi cantly related to preferences on particular dimensions
of brand personality. It was found that consumers who exhibit a Conscientious personality
demonstrate preferences towards Trusted brands. In contrast, those who are
Extrovert in nature are motivated by Sociable brands. Findings related to gender
reveal that male and female consumers differ in how they express their personality
when it comes to brand personality. Male respondents who are dominant on the
Neuroticism dimension prefer Trusted brand while Trusted brand is preferred
by females who are dominant on the Conscientiousness dimension. The results of
this study will inform brand managers about how to tailor specifi c marketing strategies
such that brand personalities communicated to consumers are congruent with their
personalities.
Journal of Brand Management advance online publication, 8 June 2007;
doi: 10.1057/palgrave.bm.2550093
Keywords
personality ; brand
personality ; the Big Five ;
fashion
Keywords
personality ; brand
personality ; the Big Five ;
fashion
MULYANEGARA, TSARENKO AND ANDERSON
© 2007 PALGRAVE MACMILLAN LTD 1350-23IX $30.00 BRAND MANAGEMENT, 1–14 2007
2
INTRODUCTION
Personality research as it relates to marketing
is both an enigma and a thorny area of
research for marketing scholars. A perusal of
any basic text in psychology shows that
personality research has been a cornerstone
of psychology since the early 20th century.
1
One of the most widely used approaches
to the study of personality traits is the Big
Five Model. The model s capacity in helping
to explain human behaviour has attracted
the interest of researchers from other disci-
plines, including sociology, management and
marketing. Management scholars have
attempted to link employee personality to
job satisfaction and leadership.
2,3 Researchers
in marketing have explored the impact of
consumer personality on perception, prefer-
ences and behaviour.
4,5 The results of studies
have, however, been mixed. Although
attempts to demonstrate the link between
consumer personality and behaviour have
not yielded many meaningful results,
6 other
methods founded on personal values and
demographics have been more effi cacious.
7
In recent decades, personality research in
marketing has focused on the validity of
self-congruity theory in relation to different
types of purchase behaviour and product
contexts. The connection between person-
ality and purchase behaviour was fi rst intro-
duced by Dolich
8 who suggested that
consumers prefer to buy products and brands
that best refl ect their personality. His theory
which lacked empirical support has gener-
ated mixed results in other studies. Some
researchers
9,10 support the theory whereas
other researchers
11 13 found little empirical
evidence to confi rm the relationship between
personality and behaviour.
While the validity of self-congruity
theory has been extensively researched,
there is a dearth of empirical research
which addresses the specifi c question of
whether there is a signifi cant relationship
between consumer personality and brand
personality. The research question is
therefore: Do consumers exhibit a prefer-
ence for brands that are congruent with
their personality. Shank and Langmeyer
14
stated that most personality research in
marketing focuses on the impact of
personality on product usage, decision
process, brand loyalty, innovative buying
behaviour and responsiveness to adver-
tising rather than brand personality per se .
Moreover, from a methodological perspec-
tive, marketing researchers have been crit-
icised for their tendency to develop their
own constructs rather than using estab-
lished psychological constructs when meas-
uring consumer personality variables.
15
While some scholars
16,17 have strongly
supported the validity of self-congruity
theory, empirical support for the relation-
ship between personality and product
choice in general is required. The aim of
the study reported here was to contribute
to the knowledge through an investiga-
tion of the relationship between the
personality of consumers and their prefer-
ence for brands to which they can relate
because of their disposition. Advancing
knowledge in this area is of value to
marketing academics and practitioners.
Research in marketing can uncover new
facets of consumer behaviour such that
managers can align their brand strategies
with the needs of their target market.
Understanding that brands possess unique
characteristics that can be related to The
Big Five is an aid to positioning and
advertising strategies.
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Consumer personality: ‘ The Big Five ’
Personality can be defi ned as the intrinsic
organisation of an individual s mental world
that is stable over time and consistent over
© 2007 PALGRAVE MACMILLAN LTD 1350-23IX $30.00 BRAND MANAGEMENT, 1–14 2007 3
THE BIG FIVE AND BRAND PERSONALITY
situations .
18 The history of psychology
shows that researchers have attempted to
develop a universal and systematic person-
ality framework to explain individual
differences. The quest for a systematic
approach began in 1884 when Galton
attempted to categorise personality-related
words based on a standard English diction-
ary. Galton s work was then followed by
Thurstone, who conducted a factor analysis
of 60 personality terms and came up with
ve common factors.
19 Although Cattell
embraced Thurstone s method he
derived a more complex set of personality
variables, now known as the 16 Cattell
Personality Factors (PF).
20 Other
researchers, including Fiske and Digman,
21
conducted follow-up studies by analysing
Cattell s 16 Factors and found out that
only fi ve factors were proven to be
replicable across different contexts. Sub-
sequent research has confi rmed the
reliability and generalisability of these
Thurstone s fi ve factors in different
cultural and research settings. These fi nd-
ings were embryonic in terms of the
evolution of The Big Five Model. Today,
The Big Five model of McCrae and
Table 1 The Big Five model
Traits (low score) Global domain scales Traits (high score)
Neuroticism (N)
Calm, relaxed, unemotional, hardy,
secure and self-satisfi ed
Assesses adjustment versus
emotional instability. Identifi es
individuals prone to psychological
distress, unrealistic ideas, excessive
cravings or urges and maladaptive
coping responses.
Worrying, nervous, emotional,
insecure, inadequate and
hypochondriacal
Extroversion (E)
Reserved, sober, aloof,
task-oriented,
retiring and quiet
Assesses quantity and intensity of
interpersonal interaction, activity
level, need for stimulation and
capacity for joy.
Sociable, active, talkative,
person-oriented, optimistic,
fun-loving and affectionate
Openness (O)
Conventional, down to earth,
narrow interests, unartistic and
unanalytical
Assesses proactive seeking and
appreciation of experience for
its own sake; toleration for and
exploration of the unfamiliar.
Curious, broad interests,
creative, original, imaginative and
untraditional
Agreeableness (A)
Cynical, rude, suspicious,
uncooperative, vengeful, ruthless,
irritable and manipulative
Assesses the quality of one’s
interpersonal orientation along a
continuum from compassion to
antagonism in thoughts, feelings
and actions.
Soft-hearted, good-natured, trusting,
helpful, forgiving, gullible and
straightforward
Conscientiousness (C)
Aimless, unreliable, lazy, careless,
lax, negligent, weak-willed and
hedonistic
Assesses the individual’s degree
of organisation, persistence
and motivation in goal-directed
behaviour. Contrasts dependable,
fastidious people with those who
are lackadaisical and sloppy.
Organised, reliable, hard-working,
self-disciplined, punctual, scrupulous,
neat, ambitious and persevering
MULYANEGARA, TSARENKO AND ANDERSON
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Costa
22 (see Table 1 ) is regarded as one of
the primary benchmark in the trait theory
of personality.
As shown in Table 1 personality is
described by emotional, cognitive and
behavioural elements which are idiosyn-
cratic. Each dimension consists of a set
of correlated traits which are represented
as bipolar traits (eg worrying-calm, etc).
While individuals can exhibit all fi ve
dimensions they may score quite highly
on one or several dimensions and lower
on others.
23
In the literature on branding, discussions
about the application of brand preference
constructs across different product catego-
ries
24 have been limited to the relationship
between consumers and brands,
25 and the
stability of brand preference across different
categories.
26 Therefore a gap in the litera-
ture was found concerning how consumers
in respect of The Big Five personality
dimensions exhibit preferences towards
brands that refl ect their personality. To
address this gap, the work of Costa and
McCrae
27 was used in the development of
the instrument for this study.
Brand personality
Brand personality is a set of characteristics
that describe a brand.
28 Brand managers
are interested in promoting a brand
personality which attracts consumers
attention such that they may form a pref-
erence for a brand. Consumer preferences
are a pivotal concept in marketing as they
underpin customer choice among alter-
natives. Blackwell
29 defi nes preferences as
attitudes toward one object in relation to
another . A preference may be trans-
formed into a motivation which ulti-
mately fi nds expression in a specifi c
behaviour. Despite the utility of this
concept it should, however, be noted that
consumer preferences alone are not the
only factor implicated in a purchase deci-
sion. Factors such as price and in-store
promotion can moderate a purchase deci-
sion despite a consumers preference for a
particular brand.
30
The premise of the research reported
here is that if stability is a characteristic
of personality then likewise the presenta-
tion of a consistent brand image with
which consumers are comfortable will
promote brand preference and may
contribute to brand loyalty so long as
instrumental needs are met. This is essen-
tially the argument put by Aaker
31 who
stated that:
the greater the congruity between the
human characteristics that consistently and
distinctively describe an individual s actual
or ideal self and those that describe a brand,
the greater the preference for the brand.
Aaker and Fournier
32 argued that a brand
can function as a character, partner and
person. Thus the premise of the research
is to examine the extent to which
consumers use brand personality as a
vehicle to express their personality. Based
on this premise, brand personality scales
used in this study have been constructed
which are refl ective of The Big Five
Model. This is consistent with the research
aim which was to explore the relationship
between consumer personality and brand
personality. An expectation of the research
was that each consumer personality
dimension would be aligned with at
least one brand personality construct.
The brand personality scale was constructed
by identifying descriptors of traits from
The Big Five model that could be attrib-
uted to brand. It was found that some
elements such as worried and anxious
could not be directly related to brand.
Thus only those descriptors that were
transferable were embedded in the scale.
Aaker
33 conducted a study to measure the
© 2007 PALGRAVE MACMILLAN LTD 1350-23IX $30.00 BRAND MANAGEMENT, 1–14 2007 5
THE BIG FIVE AND BRAND PERSONALITY
generalisation of Big Five model across
brand and resolved fi ve different dimen-
sions which are Sincerity, Excitement,
Competence, Sophistication and Rugged-
ness. Only three of the brand personality
dimensions (Sincerity, Excitement and
Competence) were, however, found to
correlate directly with the personality
dimensions (Agreeableness, Extroversion
and Conscientiousness). None of them
correlated directly with Neuroticism and
Openness to Experience. In the research
reported here some elements of Aaker s
brand personality dimensions (Friendly,
Cool, Reliable) were also used in the
construction of the scales used to measure
brand personality. Table 2 shows those
descriptors that were used to construct
the brand personality scale.
It was expected that respondents who
were dominant on a particular dimension
of The Big Five would prefer a brand
personality which refl ects that dimension
or is close to it. Thus the following
hypotheses are proposed:
H
1a : There is a signifi cant relationship
between consumers who have a high score
on Extroversion and (i) Exciting Brand
(ii) Sociable Brand
H
1b : There is a signifi cant relationship
between consumers who have a high
score on Conscientiousness dimen-
sion and Trusted Brand.
H
1c : There is a signifi cant relationship
between consumers who have a high
score on Openness to Experience and
(i) Sociable Brand (ii) Exciting Brand
(iii) Emotive Brand
H
1d : There is a signifi cant relationship
between consumers who have a high
score on Agreeableness and Sincere
Brand.
It was expected that those who had a high
score on Neuroticism would prefer brands
that may reduce their level of anxiety,
hence:
H
1e : There is a signifi cant relationship
between consumers who have a high
score on Neuroticism and Trusted
Brand.
The youth market
The research context for the study was
the youth market. Because of their age
this segment of the population was
expected to be motivated to express their
personality through fashion products and
clothing in particular.
The clothes choices made by young
people are closely bound to their self-
concept, and are used both as a means of
self-expression and as a way of judging the
people and situations they face. Evidence
was also found that clothing has a function
in role fulfi lment, making the wearer more
confi dent and capable. Overall, clothing can
be viewed as an essential social tool in the
lives of teenagers.
34
Weale and Kerr
35 emphasise the impor-
tance of fashion for teenagers and young
adults despite their socio-economic
Table 2 Hypothesised brand personality constructs
Brand
personality
Characteristics Corresponding
Big Five
dimension
Emotive brand Emotional and
Idealistic
Neuroticism
Trusted brand Trustful, Reliable
and Persevering
Conscientiousness
Sociable brand Friendly, Creative
and Outgoing
Extroversion
Exciting brand Active,
Adventurous and
Cool
Openness to
Experience
Sincere brand Simple, Caring
and Helpful
Agreeableness
MULYANEGARA, TSARENKO AND ANDERSON
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circumstances. It is argued that young
consumers form their fashion brand
pre ferences between the ages of seven and
ten.
36
It has been found that a person s ratings
on The Big Five factors can change over
time such that Agreeableness and Consci-
entiousness increase, while Extroversion,
Neuroticism and Openness generally
decrease as a person ages.
37 This nding
supported the rationale for recruiting
respondents from the same age group for
the study.
Gender differences
In relation to personality theory, Piacen-
tini and Mailer
38 conclude that there are
signifi cant differences between genders in
their use of fashion brands. Male consumers
tend to express their personality in their
fashion choice whereas female consumers
use fashion brand to relate to others. This
argument is relevant to our study objec-
tive, since brand managers should under-
stand the difference between male and
female consumers in expressing their
personality when it comes to brand
personality.
It seems also that there are differences
between males and females such that
women tend to show higher scores on
Agreeableness and Neuroticism and that
these observed differences are evident in
different cultural contexts.
39 These sex
differences, however, do not of themselves
demonstrate that the sexes are innately
different in personality.
40
Given these arguments a second
hypothesis is proposed as follows:
H
2 : There are signifi cant differences
between males and females in respect
of the personality brand personality
relationship.
METHODOLOGY
The sample
The respondents in the study were 251
undergraduate students (150 females and
101 males) enrolled within the Business
School of one of the leading universities
in Australia. University students were
purposefully chosen as the study partici-
pants in order to be consistent with the
research context (youth market). Most of
the participants were aged between 18 20
(67 per cent) and 21 23 (23 per cent)
years old. There were 168 local and 83
international students and more than 70
per cent of them had been studying in
Australia for at least 24 months. Because
of this and the natural curiosity of this
age group it was reasonable to assume that
international students were familiar with
the Australian setting and with fashion
brands in the marketplace. Sixty-two per
cent of respondents were engaged in part-
time paid work with an average income
of AUD $ 8,000 per annum.
The questionnaire
Since the research required respondents
to disclose information about aspects of
self, anonymity was viewed as important
element in the methodology.
41 Thus an
anonymous self-administered question-
naire was used for data collection. The
questionnaires were distributed to partic-
ipants in two different lecture sessions.
Although participation in the survey was
purely voluntary and no incentives given,
there was a high response rate. Two
hundred and sixty questionnaires were
administered and 251 were completed in
full.
The questionnaire comprised three parts.
Part A included The Big Five personality
scale adapted from Costa and McCrae s
Big Five Trait Factors and Illustrative
© 2007 PALGRAVE MACMILLAN LTD 1350-23IX $30.00 BRAND MANAGEMENT, 1–14 2007 7
THE BIG FIVE AND BRAND PERSONALITY
Scales
42 and shown in Table 1 . Respond-
ents were asked to rank themselves on
a seven-point semantic-differential scale
which contained the adjectives which
related to each of The Big Five dimensions.
Reliability analysis was performed on each
personality dimension yielding Cronbach s
alpha scores greater than 0.5.
Part B comprised brand preference
scales (see Appendix) that were distilled
from the elements of The Big Five model
shown in Table 2 .
Part C of the questionnaire asked
respondents to provide demographic data
including age, income, gender and country
of origin.
RESULTS
Brand personality construct
assessment
Initially exploratory factor analysis was
performed on the scales that had been
constructed to resolve independent dimen-
sions. These dimensions were subjected to
a Confi rmatory Factor Analysis. Only items
with factor loadings above 0.5 were
retained. Subsequently, four dimensions of
brand personality were identifi ed. The
Emotive dimension was eliminated. A reli-
ability analysis was conducted and it was
found that the refi ned scales had Cron-
bach s alpha scores in the range 0.5 0.8.
Consistent with a priori expectations, the
resulting factors were strongly refl ective of
the elements of The Big Five. Table 3 indi-
cates the elements of our refi ned brand
personality scale along with the corre-
sponding Big Five dimension.
The refi ned model seemed to suggest
two latent factors, that is, Sociable and
Exciting Brand had very high covariance
(0.81). This required a need to check
for the discriminant validity of these
two constructs. A
2 -difference test was
performed to assess whether
2 ( d.f.)
was signifi cant for unconstrained and
constrained models. The unconstrained
model had a
2 = 113.5 and d.f. = 38. The
covariance was constrained to 1 (unit) and
the model had a
2 = 128.1 and d.f. = 39.
The differences was statistically signifi cant
exceeding the threshold (
2 = 14.6 and
d.f. = 1, p < 0.001). This exceeds the
threshold of
2 >3.84, d.f. = 1, p < 0.05 thus
the discriminant validity of the Brand
personality construct was supported.
The four dimensions of Brand person-
ality that were resolved are shown in Table
4 . This table shows the means, square root
of average variance extracted, standard
deviations and inter-correlations of the
constructs operationalised in this study.
The strength of relationship
A regression analysis was conducted to
test the relationships between consumer
personality and brand personality. In order
to test the fi rst hypothesis, the dimensions
of The Big Five were used as the inde-
pendent variables and each Brand person-
ality dimension was used as a dependent
variable in separate equations to test
hypotheses H
1a to H
1e inclusive. The
results are shown in Table 5 .
Table 3 Brand personality dimensions refi ned
Brand
personality
Characteristics Corresponding
Big Five
dimension
Trusted
brand
Trustful, Reliable
and Persevering
Conscientiousness
Sociable
brand
Creative, Friendly
and Outgoing
Neuroticism,
Openness and
Agreeableness
Exciting
brand
Active,
Adventurous and
Cool
Extroversion
Sincere
brand
Simple and Caring Agreeableness
MULYANEGARA, TSARENKO AND ANDERSON
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From the results in Table 5, it can be
seen that the personality dimensions of
Neuroticism ( p < 0.05) and Conscien-
tiousness ( p < 0.01) drive preferences for
a Trusted Brand. Thus support was found
for H
1b and H
1e . The relationship between
a Conscientious personality and Trusted
Brand personality supports the validity of
self-congruity theory in the context of
brand preference. Consistent with our
expectation, respondents who scored high
on Neuroticism and thus may be prone
to anxiety and worry show a preference
for brands with a Trusted personality. That
is, consumers prefer brands which are
relevant to their own personality.
From the table above, it can be seen
that Extroversion and Openness to Expe-
rience infl uence preferences toward
Sociable Brand, lending support to
hypotheses H
1a and H
1c . It is worth noting
that friendly and creative are distinctive
elements of the Sociable Brand ( Table 4 ).
This suggests that respondents who scored
high on Extroversion are very sociable and
prefer Sociable Brand to express their
friendly personality. In contrast, respond-
ents who scored high on Openness to
Experience are very open minded and
creative and also prefer a Sociable Brand.
The results in Table 5 show that no signi-
cant relationship was found between The
Big Five and the Sincere and Exciting brand
personality dimensions. Thus hypothesis
H
1d is not supported. The results presented
above are, however, strongly supportive of
the proposition that consumers are drawn
to brands whose personality is consistent
with their own.
Gender differences
To test the second hypothesis, the data fi le
was split according to gender. Regression
analysis was then conducted on each type
of brand personality again with The Big
Five dimensions as the independent vari-
ables. Whereas previous analysis indicated
that a signifi cant relationship existed only
between personality, Sociable Brand and
Trusted Brand, the gender-based analysis
generated broader results. The relationship
between personality and brand personality
was found to be signifi cant across all brand
personality scales. The following tables
( Table 6a and b ) summarise the results of
the analysis.
Consistent with the previous results,
the adjusted R
2 values demonstrate the
weak predictive capability of the fi tted
equations. There are, however, differences
in terms of the corresponding Big Five
dimension in this gender-split analysis.
As can be seen in the table, each brand
Table 4 Descriptive statistics and inter-correlations
Trusted brand Sociable brand Exciting brand Sincere brand
Trusted brand 0.67
Sociable brand 0.333* 0.51
Exciting brand 0.390* 0.398* 0.55
Sincere brand 0.328* 0.172* 0.252* 0.71
M 4.55 4.64 4.20 4.11
SD 1.10 0.96 1.18 1.19
Figures in the diagonal (in italics) are square root of AVE.
* p < 0.01. Correlation is signifi cant at the 0.01 level.
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THE BIG FIVE AND BRAND PERSONALITY
personality dimension has signifi cant rela-
tionship to at least one Big Five dimen-
sion, whereas previous analysis showed
that signifi cant relationship only exists in
respect of Sociable and Trusted Brand
preferences.
Table 6b summarises the results of
regression analysis for female respondents.
This table shows that there are differ-
ences in terms of the corresponding Big
Five dimensions between male and female
respondents. These differences are summa-
rised in Table 7 .
The fi ndings above support Piacentini
and Mailer s
43 argument that male and
females are different in the way in which
they express their personality through
fashion brand personality. The results
suggest that male consumers express Extro-
version through Sociable and Exciting
brands. On the other hand, females do not
adequately express their personality in
their brand preferences, since Openness to
Experience and Extroversion personality
traits do not match the personality
elements of Sincere and Sociable Brands.
Table 5 Regression analysis on brand personality and personality dimensions
Dependent
variables
Independent
variables
F R
2 (adj) F sig T
Trusted brand Big Five (Constant) 2.989 21.930 0.046 3.413 0.000
Neuroticism 0.157 5.968 0.015*
Extroversion 0.086 1.628 0.203
Openness to
Experience
0.106 2.631 0.106
Agreeableness 0.035 0.266 0.607
Conscientiousness 0.207 9.205 0.003**
Sociable brand Big Five (Constant) 2.785 25.180 0.063 4.349 0.000
Neuroticism 0.036 0.321 0.571
Extroversion 0.208 9.709 0.002**
Openness to
Experience
0.128 3.924 0.049*
Agreeableness 0.005 0.005 0.942
Conscientiousness 0.033 0.235 0.628
Exciting brand Big Five (Constant) 4.241 36.578 0.003 1.153 0.000
Neuroticism 0.116 3.144 0.077
Extroversion 0.083 1.438 0.232
Openness to
Experience
0.065 0.939 0.333
Agreeableness 0.015 0.049 0.825
Conscientiousness 0.042 0.361 0.548
Sincere brand Big Five (Constant) 3.479 24.691 0.010 1.480 0.000
Neuroticism 0.063 0.920 0.339
Extroversion 0.117 2.890 0.090
Openness to
Experience
0.088 1.740 0.188
Agreeableness 0.131 3.576 0.060
Conscientiousness 0.051 0.531 0.467
* p < 0.05. Relationship is signifi cant at the 0.05 level.
** p < 0.01. Relationship is signifi cant at the 0.01 level.
MULYANEGARA, TSARENKO AND ANDERSON
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Table 6 Regression analysis on consumer personality and brand personality dimensions across gender
Dependent
variables
Independent variables F R
2 (adj) F sig T
(a) Male respondents
Trusted brand Big Five (Constant) 2.746 9.169 0.048 2.003 0.003
Neuroticism 0.277 7.377 0.008**
Extroversion 0.121 1.457 0.230
Openness to Experience 0.08 0.634 0.428
Agreeableness 0.034 0.099 0.754
Conscientiousness 0.133 1.501 0.224
Sociable brand Big Five (Constant) 2.377 6.376 0.032 1.668 0.013
Neuroticism 0.049 0.228 0.634
Extroversion 0.237 5.466 0.021*
Openness to Experience 0.031 0.093 0.761
Agreeableness 0.018 0.029 0.867
Conscientiousness 0.123 1.252 0.266
Exciting brand Big Five (Constant) 4.044 15.524 0.005 1.101 0.000
Neuroticism 0.009 0.007 0.935
Extroversion 0.217 4.465 0.037*
Openness to Experience 0.046 0.197 0.658
Agreeableness 0.128 1.329 0.252
Conscientiousness 0.038 0.118 0.733
Sincere brand Big Five (Constant) 2.223 4.911 0.056 2.192 0.029
Neuroticism 0.114 1.263 0.264
Extroversion 0.067 0.445 0.507
Openness to Experience 0.246 5.954 0.017*
Agreeableness 0.112 1.071 0.303
Conscientiousness 0.162 2.232 0.139
(b) Female respondents
Trusted brand Big Five (Constant) 3.135 11.082 0.032 1.975 0.001
Neuroticism 0.088 1.080 0.300
Extroversion 0.063 0.450 0.503
Openness to Experience 0.12 1.801 0.182
Agreeableness 0.028 0.101 0.751
Conscientiousness 0.244 7.629 0.006**
Sociable brand Big Five (Constant) 3.675 26.523 0.065 3.065 0.000
Neuroticism 0.024 0.084 0.773
Extroversion 0.135 2.146 0.145
Openness to Experience 0.247 7.924 0.006**
Agreeableness 0.034 0.154 0.695
Conscientiousness 0.059 0.460 0.499
Exciting brand Big Five (Constant) 3.377 11.628 0.007 1.211 0.001
Neuroticism 0.117 1.839 0.177
Extroversion 0 0.000 0.999
Openness to Experience 0.082 0.814 0.369
Agreeableness 0.099 1.225 0.270
Conscientiousness 0.009 0.010 0.922
Sincere brand Big Five (Constant) 4.318 18.438 0.017 1.502 0.000
Neuroticism 0.013 0.023 0.878
Extroversion 0.235 6.185 0.014*
Openness to Experience 0.036 0.161 0.689
Agreeableness 0.142 2.503 0.116
Conscientiousness 0.01 0.011 0.915
* p < 0.05. Relationship is signifi cant at the 0.05 level.
** p < 0.01. Relationship is signifi cant at the 0.01 level.
© 2007 PALGRAVE MACMILLAN LTD 1350-23IX $30.00 BRAND MANAGEMENT, 1–14 2007 11
THE BIG FIVE AND BRAND PERSONALITY
However, when it comes to Trusted brand,
it is worth noting that female consumers
express their Conscientiousness character-
istics whereas male consumers who are
scored high in Neuroticism dimension
prefer Trusted brand to reduce their
anxiety. This result indicates that both
male and females prefer brands that refl ect
some aspects of their personality, although
there are differences in the extent of rela-
tionship between dimensions of The Big
Five for each brand personality dimension.
The fi ndings here support the second
hypothesis.
DISCUSSION
While past research has addressed the way
in which personality affects preferences in
different product categories, little effort has
been devoted to examining the signifi -
cance of personality in affecting prefer-
ences for particular brand personalities.
Although many researchers have argued
that consumers use brands as a conduit to
express their personality, there is a lack of
empirical evidence to support the proposi-
tion. This study contributes to this research
gap by assessing whether a signifi cant rela-
tionship exists between consumer person-
ality and brand personality dimensions.
That is, whether consumers who are domi-
nant on particular dimensions of The Big
Five have preferences for brands that are
congruent with their own personality.
Although the results indicate the weak
predictive power of consumer personality
on brand preferences, which supports
Shank and Langmeyer s
44 argument, the
study found some signifi cant relationships
between some of The Big Five dimen-
sions and brand preference type. First, the
results are consistent with Belk s
45 ndings
that consumers use brands to express their
actual personality. It was found that those
who are Conscientious prefer trusted
brands to refl ect their reliable character-
istics, and Extroverts prefer Sociable Brand
to refl ect their outgoing nature. Secondly,
it was found that those who score high
on Neuroticism have preferences towards
Trusted Brands. It is suggested that such
people use Trusted Brands to reduce their
anxiety. Thirdly, consistent with Piacen-
tini and Mailer s
46 argument, the study
found that males and females are different
in terms of their personality brand
personality relationship. The results suggest
that males are more self-expressive in their
brand preferences compared to the female
consumers. These ndings provide useful
insights for brand managers in promoting
brand personalities that are relevant to
their target audience.
RESEARCH CONCLUSIONS AND
LIMITATIONS
Theoretical and managerial
implications
This study has extended the scope of
personality research in marketing by using
psychological theory to understand the
relationship between consumer person-
ality and brand personality. The fi ndings
indicate that personality variables are not
strong enough to be reliable predictors of
brand preferences. Signifi cant ndings on
the relationship between specifi c person-
ality traits and brand preference, however,
Table 7 Gender differences in brand personality
Brand
personality
Corresponding Big Five
personality
Male Female
Trusted brand Neuroticism Conscientiousness
Sociable brand Extroversion Openness to
Experience
Exciting brand Extroversion None
Sincere brand Openness to
Experience
Extroversion
MULYANEGARA, TSARENKO AND ANDERSON
© 2007 PALGRAVE MACMILLAN LTD 1350-23IX $30.00 BRAND MANAGEMENT, 1–14 2007
12
offer useful insights for managers. Person-
ality-based segmentation can be imple-
mented by devising and promoting different
types of brand personalities to target
different customers. For example, posi-
tioning a company s brand as a Trusted
Brand (trustful, reliable and persevering)
may attract people with Neurotic tenden-
cies. On the other hand, positioning a
brand as a Sociable Brand (emotional, crea-
tive and friendly) may attract people who
are Extrovert in nature. Those positioning
their brand as a Sociable Brand, thus
targeting Extrovert consumers, could use
an outgoing sales person or customer
service assistant to offer new products or
services. This may be effective since indi-
viduals who are dominant on Extroversion
are people-oriented and highly sociable.
47
Brand managers should also implement
advertising strategies that emphasise the
personality of their brands. This type of
advertising will enable target consumers to
see the congruence between their own
personality and that of the brand which is
in line with their personality traits.
Gender differences, particularly in respect
to Trusted Brands also have signifi cant impli-
cations for brand managers. Female consumers
prefer a Trusted Brand to express their
Conscientious (reliable) personality. Thus,
brand managers targeting female consumers
should position their brand as a Trusted Brand
to enable consumers to refl ect their reliable
characteristics through the use or consump-
tion of the products that belong to that brand.
On the other hand, for male consumers who
prefer a Trusted Brand to reduce their anxiety,
brand managers can emphasise how their
brand can assist consumers to minimise risks
and reduce tension.
Limitations of the study and future
research direction
The fi ndings presented in this paper are
constrained by a number of limitations. One
limitation is the use of a self-report instru-
ment to measure a respondents personality.
Pervin and John
48 argue that self-report
instruments in personality measurement
have weaknesses since respondents tend to
report positively about themselves. Although
the survey was anonymous, respondents may
have scored themselves high on all dimen-
sions conventionally perceived as desirable
characteristics . Future research could employ
triangulation by asking signifi cant others to
report on individuals in concert with self-
reports by respondents.
The second limitation of this study is
the development of brand personality
scale based on The Big Five scale, which
was originally created to understand the
human personality. We intentionally
developed our own brand personality
scale rather than adopting the existing one
in order to ensure consistency between
the brand personality and consumer
personality constructs. The issue of con-
sistency is fundamental to the present study
as we wanted to examine the strength of
the relationship between the two constructs.
Although the discussion in the results
section has documented the validity of the
scale, this newly derived brand personality
scale needs further validation and applica-
tion in other product contexts. This is an
avenue for future research.
Finally, the use of undergraduate students
as the study sample is another limitation of
this research. The group was relatively
homogeneous and their incomes were low.
Those on higher incomes might have
different perceptions and place more
importance on evaluating their brand pref-
erences. Older consumers might have
stronger brand loyalty or consider other
factors when it comes to brand preferences
due to their previous experience. Conse-
quently, future research should replicate
this study using a heterogeneous sample.
Future research could investigate whether
© 2007 PALGRAVE MACMILLAN LTD 1350-23IX $30.00 BRAND MANAGEMENT, 1–14 2007 13
THE BIG FIVE AND BRAND PERSONALITY
socio-economic factors moderate the rela-
tionship between personality and brand
personality. Other factors such as marketing
variables, emotional appeal, buyer motives
and cultural infl uences should also be
considered in measuring the relationship
between the two constructs.
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APPENDIX
Refi ned Brand Preference Scale
Measures Factor loadings
Trusted brand (n=3, =0.70)
Reliable brand 0.78
Trustful brand 0.69
Persevering brand 0.62
Sociable brand (n=3, =0.51)
Creative brand 0.70
Friendly brand 0.63
Outgoing brand 0.58
Exciting brand (n=3, =0.58)
Adventurous brand 0.87
Cool brand 0.58
Active brand 0.50
Sincere brand (n=2, =0.65)
Simple brand 0.87
Caring brand 0.77
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The symbolic effect of brands has often been studied via two constructs: self-congruity and brand personality. Though both constructs have received much examination in the past, few, if any, comparisons of the concepts and their measures have been reported. The present study is an effort to fill this void by comparing these constructs conceptually and empirically. Based on a study of Swedish female consumers, it was found that self-congruity and brand personality are empirically discriminant and have positive, independent effects on retail brand attitudes. Thus, the two constructs appear to be complementary to one another. Socially desirable responding (SDR) was evaluated for its effect on measures of self-congruity and brand personality. It was found that SDR tends to moderate the effects of both self-congruity and brand personality on brand attitudes. Importantly, SDR showed signs of having a negative, biasing, effect on the relationship between self-congruity and brand attitudes. As respondents moved from lower to higher levels of SDR, there was less impact of self-congruity on attitudes. Conversely, SDR had a positive, non-biasing, effect on the relationship between brand personality and brand attitudes. As respondents moved from lower to higher levels of SDR, there was more impact of brand personality on brand attitudes. The implications for marketing theory and for measurement of symbolic brand effects are discussed.
Chapter
Publisher Summary The dominant paradigm in current personality psychology is a reinvigorated version of one of the oldest approaches, trait psychology. Personality traits are “dimensions of individual differences in tendencies to show consistent patterns of thoughts, feelings, and actions.” In this context, trait structure refers to the pattern of co-variation among individual traits, usually expressed as dimensions of personality identified in factor analyses. For decades, the field of personality psychology was characterized by competing systems of trait structure; more recently a consensus has developed that most traits can be understood in terms of the dimensions of the Five-Factor Model. The consensus on personality trait structure is not paralleled by consensus on the structure of affects. The chapter discusses a three-dimensional model, defined by pleasure, arousal, and dominance factors in which it is possible to classify such state-descriptive terms as mighty, fascinated, unperturbed, docile, insolent, aghast, uncaring, and bored. More common are two-dimensional systems with axes of pleasure and arousal or positive and negative affect. These two schemes are interpreted as rotational variants—positive affect is midway between pleasure and arousal, whereas negative affect lies between arousal and low pleasure.
Article
Although a considerable amount of research in personality psychology has been done to conceptualize human personality, identify the ''Big Five'' dimensions, and explore the meaning of each dimension, no parallel research has been conducted in consumer behavior on brand personality, Consequently, an understanding of the symbolic use of brands has been limited in the consumer behavior literature. In this research, the author develops a theoretical framework of the brand personality construct by determining the number and nature of dimensions of brand personality (Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication, and Ruggedness). Tc, measure the five brand personality dimensions, a reliable, valid, and generalizable measurement scale is created. Finally, theoretical and practical implications regarding the symbolic use of brands are discussed.