The alignment of self and brand personality traits : an exploratory analysis

Karampela, Maria and Tregear, Angela (2014) The alignment of self and brand personality traits : an exploratory analysis. In: Academy of Marketing Annual Conference 2014, 2014-07-07 - 2014-07-10, Bournemouth University.

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In attempting to explain brand preferences, self‐brand congruence theory proposes that consumers are drawn to brands with personalities that align with their own traits. Numerous empirical studies have supported this general premise, however the vast majority are based on simple measures of congruence which give no insight into which specific traits are most salient to alignment, and in what ways they are correlated. The present study draws from psychological theories of personality structure and interpersonal attraction to develop propositions about the composition of human and brand personalities (HP and BP, respectively) and possible patterns of alignment, which are then tested via a large‐scale survey at a UK Business School. Respondents rated their own personality traits, and those of their favourite brand, on the same 40 item scale. Factor analysis of the ratings revealed a 5‐factor structure for both HP and BP, although BP ratings exhibited a different composition of traits to factors from the classic human personality model. Canonical correlation analysis was then conducted to examine the patterns of alignment between respondents’ HP and BP ratings. This identified two sets of HP and BP factors which dominated the explanation of alignment in the data. The implications are discussed.