Abstract This research was conducted to (i) identify brand personality dimensions of a laptop computer amongst computer science students; (ii) examine significant differences in the brand personality dimensions of the laptop according to the students’ background of gender, brand owned, year of study and programs; and (iii) examine the relationship between perceived brand personality of the laptop and its quality rating. The measurement of brand personality was based on the Aaker’s Brand Personality Scale.
A total of 268 questionnaires were gathered from computer science students in a Malaysian public university using Stratified Random Sampling method.
Confirmatory factor analysis was employed to validate the measurement. The findings revealed that sincerity was ‘the human characteristic’ that users of the laptop associated themselves with the brand. Ruggedness was a brand personality that nonusers associated themselves with the laptop. Significant means differences were observed in the brand personality dimensions of the laptop according to the students’ gender, present year of study and academic program.
For users of the laptop, sincerity and modern of the brand personality dimensions were positively correlated with the brand quality rating.
For non-users, a positive correlation existed between ruggedness, diligent and modern of the brand personality with the brand quality rating. Several implications were drawn based on the results of the research to enhance branding strategies of the laptop and for future researches. Keywords: Brand Personality, Brand Personality Scale, Laptop Computer Copyright ? 2
A number of researchers have examined the success and failure of a brand. However, one area of branding strategy that has been largely overlooked by researchers is brand personality.
When consumers view a brand as having human characteristics, the brand is said to have a personality. For instance, brands such as Harley Davidson (Ruggedness), Nike (Excitement), Hallmark (Sincerity), Wall Street Journal (Competence) and Tiffany (Sophistication) have all been found to have strong brand personalities. Yet, what kind of personality traits would a laptop computer brand have?
The laptop computer industry in Malaysia is facing competitive challenges among 30 different laptop computer brands from around the world such as Acer, Lenovo, Dell, HP, Compaq, Twin Head and such more. With the fast going researches and developments, this competition becomes trickier for laptop computer manufacturers where all of them try to create different identity as the reason to become outstanding in the market. This is vital because all strong laptop brands (e. g. Dell, Acer, and HP) possess outstanding quality, services and at the same time granting the promises they gave to the consumers.
Brand personality becomes compulsory to create better communication with their customers through their identity. Due to the aggressive competition between laptop computer’s company, brand personality helps them to build their own personality and image in order to become salient-kill in the eyes of the consumers. A well established brand personality will influence consumers’ brand preference and patronage and develops stronger emotional ties, trust, and loyalty with the brand. Thus, the purpose of this research is to determine the brand personality of a laptop computer among students of computer science in a public university in Malaysia.
Specifically, in the first objective, we looked to see if this laptop computer brand have a brand personality and the second objective is to identify how this personality differs according to the demographic background of its users and users of other brands. Lastly, in the third objective we investigated the relationship between the laptop computer brand’s perceived personality and its perceived quality ratings. What is brand personality? As defined by Aaker (1997), brand personality refers to the set of human characteristics associated with a brand.
Aaker assumes that the brands are the same with the human personality or character, and the brand personality is created when a consumer attached his or her personality-like character to a specific brand. According to Hawkins, et al (2001), brand personality can be considered as “what type of person the brand would be if it were human and what it would do and like”. Copyright ? 2012 Society of Interdisciplinary Business Research (www. sibresearch. org) Rev. Integr. Bus. Econ. Res. Vol 1(1) 2. 2 116 Brand as a person/symbolic use As suggested by Aaker (1997), brand personality is created in the perspective of brand as a person.
It has the same concept with Hawkins, Best, and Coney (2001) where they assume that the brand to be a human and every human has his own personality. Beyond such expectations, consumers often invest brands’ identities with human personality attributes, and this in turn leads to the symbolic use of the brand (Hawkins et al. , 2001). According to Aaker (1996), by assuming the brand as a person, it can create a self-expressive benefit that becomes a vehicle for the customer to express his or her own personality. For example, Apple notebook users might identify themselves as casual, young, anti-corporate and creative.
Therefore, a brand have a personality when users value beyond its functional utility and consumers will use brands as symbolic devices to explain and express their own particular personality (de Chernatony and McWilliam, 1990). 2. 3 Aaker’s Brand Personality Scale In order to measure brand personality, Aaker (1997) had established a 42-item scale by eliminating redundancy from trait list optioned from three sources – personality scales from psychologists, personality scales used by marketers (academics and practitioners), and original qualitative researches.