Brand Relationships: A Personality-Based Approach by ProQuest


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									J. Service Science & Management, 2010, 3, 206-217
doi:10.4236/jssm.2010.32025 Published Online June 2010 (

Brand Relationships: A Personality-Based
Helena M. Nobre1, Kip Becker2, Carlos Brito3
  Instituto Superior de Administração e Gestão (ISAG), Rua do campo Alegre, Portugal; 2Administrative Sciences Department, Bos-
ton University, Boston, USA; 3Universidade do Porto–Faculdade de Economia, R. Dr. Roberto Frias, Portugal.

Received February 21st, 2010; revised April 2nd, 2010; accepted May 8th, 2010.

The authors investigated the relationship between brand personality and brand relationships. The conceptual model
was based on the hypothesis that brand personality may nurture specific consumer-brand relationships and that these
relationships may influence the quality of the ties that consumers develop with brands. An instrument from intimate
interpersonal relationships was used to measure consumer-brand relationships. An SEM analysis conducted on a sam-
ple of 733 consumer-brand relationships, involving nine highly known brands of different product categories, gave
support to the theory. The research offers two significant contributions by: 1) Emphasizing the role of consumer-brand
relationship in understanding multi-brand, symbolic consumption and 2) Offering a holistic perspective in the under-
standing of brand personality.

Keywords: Brand Personality, Brand Relationships, Interpersonal Relationship Theory

1. Introduction                                                     the same constructs of the two Ideals of Relationships:
                                                                    Intimacy-Loyalty and Passion [12]. A review of the con-
Some authors consider brand as a partner in a dyadic                sumer-brand relationship research indicated there was a
relationship with the consumer [1-6]. The relational ap-            need for further investigation in order to understand the
proach may provide a better and broader understanding               type of bonds different consumers establish with distinct
of the phenomena that arises between the customer and               brand personalities, as well as the relevant relationship
the brand. Investigating branding as a variable of con-             patterns that can affect consumer-brand interactions.
sumer loyalty and customer retention may reduce influ-                 Recognizing this research gap, the researchers were
ences resulting from symbolic consumption [7] since                 motivated to develop a conceptual model whose premise
loyalty may be considered as a specific kind of a rela-             was that a brand’s personality has an important role in
tionship [8]. Adopting a relational view of consumption             the establishment of ties with the consumer. The hypot-
is more consistent with the need to develop a more holis-
                                                                    hesis, that brand personality may nurture specific types
tic approach of brand knowledge [9].
                                                                    of consumer-brand relationships and these consumer-
   In 1998, in an innovator approach, Susan Fournier used
                                                                    brand relationships may influence the quality of the ties
the inter-personal relationship metaphor to study con-
sumer-brand relationships. Susan Fournier postulated that           that consumers develop with brands, was constructed to
brand is a partner in a dyadic relationship with the con-           test the model.
sumer highlighting the holistic character of the phen-              2. A Framework for Brand Personality
omena. She concluded that consumer-brand relationships
are a source of self-efficacy, self-esteem and self-identity.       Utilizing a multivariate analysis design, J. Aaker [10] de-
   Building on Fournier’s study, J. Aaker et al. [2] de-            veloped the Brand Personality Scale which is a five-fac-
veloped a conceptual model to explain consumerbrand                 torial model operationalized in terms of human charac-
relationships which was based on t
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