Consumers tend to choose brands that assist in projecting the self-image they desire. Embedding a brand with human characteristics is one way for marketers to satisfy consumers’ symbolic needs. This study examines some factors that drive brand personality perceptions and investigates how these perceptions influence behavioural outcomes. Specifically, this thesis researches the antecedents and outcomes of brand personality perceptions. An extensive review of the literature identified five antecedents that influence consumers’ perceptions of brand personality. These include brand association, hedonic attitudes, personality expression, and valence of feelings. The fifth antecedent, brand awareness, is modelled as driving brand association, indirectly impacting brand personality. These antecedents are hypothesised to drive consumers’ formation of brand personality perceptions, which in turn affect important outcomes, namely brand engagement, brand attitude, and behavioural intentions. While prior research has addressed the measurement of brand personality, few studies have examined the factors driving its perception by consumers and no prior study has examined these antecedents in conjunction with the behavioural outcomes. Further, this thesis contributes to understanding brand personality perceptions through an extension that examines the moderating effect of self-expression, self-congruency, consumer individualist/collectivist orientation, and product category on the relationships in the research model. No prior study has examined the effect of these factors in moderating brand personality perceptions. Analysis of a national online survey of 609 individuals found that brand awareness is separate from but strongly linked to brand association, and later affects consumer perceptions of brand personality. Hedonic attitude, personality expression, and positive feelings also affect consumers’ brand personality perceptions, with positive feelings having the strongest effect of all the antecedents. Negative feelings did not influence brand personality perceptions. Perceptions of brand personality affect consumers’ willingness to engage with a brand, their attitude towards the brand, and behavioural intentions including intention to repeat purchase and remain a loyal customer of the brand. Positive feelings affect consumer brand attitude indirectly via brand personality perceptions, but negative feelings have a direct effect on brand attitude. The moderating variables of self-expression, self-congruency, individualist/collectivist orientation, and product category were also examined in this thesis. Self-expression does not have a strong effect on the relationships in the model. Self-congruency and individualist/collectivist orientation, on the other hand, did have more of an effect on the model relationships. Moderating effects were also tested across different product categories(clothing, perfume and watches) to establish some generalisability of the model. While minor variations occurred, the model is generally robust across product categories. This research contributes to our understanding of brand personality. It provides new depth to brand personality theory and also has significance for brand managers.
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