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A Brand as a Person

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Brand Gender
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Abstract

This chapter explains the process of assigning human personality traits, such as gender, to brands via anthropomorphism and animism. Throughout time, humankind has tried to explain inanimate phenomena through human characteristics, using such phrasings as the majestic mountain, the spirited engine, or the sensitive fragrance. However, such practices go beyond single traits. Complete constructs can also be created through the simultaneous application of several human factors, such as extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness. The development of personality scales begins with looking in the dictionary, a step that should be kept in mind by all researchers and practitioners involved in personality analysis. Aaker (1997) created and evaluated one particular brand personality model with 42 traits loading on five factors. Similarly, Grohmann (2009) created a brand–gender model with 12 traits loading on two obvious factors: femininity and masculinity. This two-dimensional structure enabled categorization into four genders: androgynous, feminine, masculine, and undifferentiated. The positive influence of gender on positive evaluations is justified by the physical attractiveness bias, which argues that “what is beautiful is good.” As has been noted by Freud and others, beauty is connected to (among other things) sex. Thus, the intriguing and simple causal chain of sex–beauty–excellence enables marketers to measure and manage brands by assigning them gendered personalities.

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Correspondence to Theo Lieven .

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Lieven, T. (2018). A Brand as a Person. In: Brand Gender. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-60219-6_1

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