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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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In this review, the term product will refer to a product, service or group of products and services.

A brand is a name, term, symbol, sign or design (or a combination of them) which identifies the goods and/or services of a seller – distinguishing them from competitors (AMA, n.d; Keller, 2003; Ghodeswar, 2008). Aaker (1997) defined brand awareness as “the ability of a potential buyer to recognize or recall that a brand is a member of a certain product category”. The stronger the image and identity of the brand, the quicker and easier it is for consumers to recall the brand, the higher the brand equity.

Brand awareness can be measured by regarding the strength of the brand in memory, shown by the consumers ability to recall and identify the brand under different conditions (Ross et al., 2008). Brand awareness consists of brand recognition and recall (Aaker, 1997), with the ability to identify prior exposure to the brand name/logo/livery or product (Ross et al., 2008). Brand awareness plays an important role in consumer decision making according to Ross et al., (2008); stating it is crucial that when a consumer thinks of a brand category (e.g. football/soccer), a specific brand is identified (e.g. Leeds United). However, sports teams in a regional marker do not often encounter strong competition as they are the core product, but this is not the case in F1.

Keller (2003) suggested that consumer knowledge relates to the perceptive representation of the brand through brand identity. The stronger the image and identity of the brand, the quicker and easier it is for consumers to recall the brand, the higher the brand equity (Smith, 2004). A successful brand is one which a consumer can perceive unique, relevant values which match their requirements and needs due to an identifiable product (Keller, 2003; Ghodeswar, 2008). The harder a brand works at its branding and imagery; the more awareness is created. McDonalds and Coca Cola are two brands that have been very successful at creating awareness, from the shape of the McDonalds arches or the shape of the bottle, it is recognizable across the world – regardless of what language it is written in. By having a distinguishing feature, whether it is tangible, rational, or functional, it prevents competitors from attempting to provide a product that appears identical (Ghodeswar, 2008); while still signalling to the consumer the origin of the product and relating to the performance of the brand in a competitive setting (Ghodeswar, 2008).

Aaker (1997) defined brand personality (BP) as "the set of human characteristics or traits that consumers attribute to a brand.” (Donahay & Rosenberger III, 2007; Avis, 2012).  A brand with a well-established brand personality can experience increased preference, and usage by consumers (Sirgy, 1982; Siguaw et al, 1999). A well-established brand can also expect trust and loyalty from the consumers, but also emotional ties to the brand (Sirgy, 1982; Siguaw et al, 1999; Donahay & Rosenberger III, 2007). As with the brand requiring a distinguishing feature in terms of brand identity to be distinguished from another, the same applies for brand personality (Kang et al. 2016). A brands personality should be constant, distinctive, desirable and hardy in order to stand out against competition.

Aaker created two scales to measure brand personality, one is considered to be framework, which became central to development of theory and research methods, which would capture the key dimensions of brand personality (Avis, 2012). The first type of scales created were composed of 20 to 300 personality traits, but it was atheoretical in nature, and altered to suit the purposes of a specific type. Doubts are cast when this scale is used as it may miss key traits when being altered, often because they are chosen randomly – reducing the reliability and validity of the scale (Aaker, 1997). The second set of scales which became a framework, are more theoretical in nature, but they are based on human personality traits. The reliability of the second scale is accepted, but the validity is questioned. The framework was proposed as a universal way to measure brand personality, based off human personality traits (Siguaw et al., 1999; Dees et al., 2010; Kang et al. 2016).

The framework (also known as the brand personality five factor model [BPFFE]) has five dimensions on the brand personality scale by Aaker (1997) (Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication and Ruggedness), each made of a number of individual personality traits (Donahay & Rosenberger III, 2007) (Appendix A). A more up to date lexicon called HEXACO for the same role or identifying brand personality traits, this one looks at Honesty/humility, emotionality, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientious and open to experience (Kang et al. 2016). One may consider HEXACO as a complicated, albeit modern version of the BPFFE.

Brands are also given demographic characteristics, stemming from the consumers imagery, or other branding associations. An example given by Aaker (1997), is that Apple is considered to be young and IBM is considered to be older – this was done by brand association in terms of how recent the brand entered the market.

An example of brand personality given by de Chernatony & Dall'Olmo (1998) is when consumers were asked to personify the Lurpak brand of butter. The descriptions given leaned towards successful but refined and stand-offish, as a parson, lacking friendliness (de Chernatony & Dall'Olmo Riley, 1998). Lurpak took this on-board and change the packaging to include warmth. Following this change consumers described the brand as still being successful, but as a man in his forties to fifties who commanded respect (de Chernatony & Dall'Olmo Riley, 1998). When choosing between brands, the consumers will assess the congruency between the brand personality and the personality, the consumers themselves, wish to project (de Chernatony & Dall'Olmo Riley, 1998; Donahay & Rosenberger III, 2007; Ghodeswar, 2008).

There is occasionally semantic confusion between brand personality, and brand image. Brand Personality is the result of the brands communication, and the image is the consumers perception on the brand personality (de Chernatony & Dall'Olmo Riley, 1998). The brand image conjured by the consumers mind is an accumulation of everything the consumer associates with the brand. With consumers creating their own image of a brand, it forces management to face perceptual filters while confronting and altering negative opinions held by consumers if necessary (de Chernatony & Dall'Olmo Riley, 1998).

Fan identification (sometimes referred to as team identification) has been described as the personal commitment emotional involvement and perceived connections a consumer has with a sports organisation (Gwinner & Eaton, 2003; Donahay & Rosenberger III, 2007; Hickman 2015). Often finding that the teams achievements and failures are experienced as the consumers own (Hickman, 2015). Research has been done on how fan identification positively influences the brand, fans and sponsors (Donovan et al., 2005). Fans that identify strongly with their team are less likely to reduce support for the team or change their loyalty when the teams' performance is below par (Redden & Steiner, 2000; Donahay & Rosenberger III, 2007). Fans who identify strongly with a brand, often take psychological ownership in the entity (Donovan e al., 2005).

Fan identification is related to the fan satisfaction/value with attending or observing the sporting event and future intentions regarding the sport (Hickman, 2015). With sponsorship continuing to be an integral part of a companies' marketing strategy, more money than every is being spent on sponsorship deals (Levine et al., 2004; Donahay & Rosenberger III, 2007). Donahay & Rosenberger III (2007) state that fan identification is linked to sponsor recall, recognition and attitude towards sponsors (as well as a preference for sponsor brands) (Levine et al., 2004; Hickamn, 2015). This resonates with the suggestion that motorsports fan identification may have an effect on the sport-sponsor image transfer process due to the strong loyalty of motorsports fans (Gwinner & Eaton, 2003; Donahay & Rosenberger III, 2007; Hickman, 2015).

Image transfer relates to a brand image being linked to a celebrity through endorsement or linked with a sporting event through sponsorship activities, influencing brand association (Gwinner & Eaton, 1999). Image transfer in sponsorship is a process in which the meanings of one ‘entity' become associated with another ‘entity' (Smith, 2004; Carrillat et al., 2015).

Pre-existing associations held by consumers become linked to the endorsing or sponsoring band, thus the celebrity/event image is transferred to the brand (Gwinner & Eaton, 1999; Smith, 2004; Carrillat et al., 2015).  This can also occur in reverse with the brand image being transferred to the celebrity or event, as is often the case with brands which already have a strong established image relative to the sponsoring brand (Gwinner & Eaton, 1999; Smith, 2004).

As the image is being carried from the celebrity, it carries their attributes and public image to the brand (Smith, 2004); Carrillat et al., 2015). When a scandal occurs involving a celebrity, they often lose their endorsements or sponsorship roles, as the consumers could relate the scandal with the brand. Brand managers would need to consider the congruence between the sporting team/event/sponsor image and the image goals for their brand, and how they wish to be perceived (Hickman, 2015). Gwinner and Eaton (1999) hypothesized that a sporting events image will transfer to a sponsoring brands image when linked through sponsorship (Smith, 2004; Carrillat et al., 2015). Gwinner and Eaton (1999) found the hypothesis to be true with two of three of their proposed measures supporting the hypothesis, indicating that a higher image congruence works effectively in remaining recallable in a consumer's mind.

Brand awareness of brand image development are major commercial objectives in sponsorship (Smith, 2004). However recently, the awareness building effect of sponsorship, receives more attention than the image transfer effect (Smith, 2004).

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