Brand Personality: offline versus online

The importance of branding has increased in recent decades due to the ever- growing flow of information and advertising, both offline and online. An important part of branding is the brand personality which is a way to differentiate the company (and its brands) from its competitors, as well as strengthen the customers’ brand loyalty. Human personality characteristics can be transferred to a brand, which then creates a brand personality. The brand personality is important for all kinds of companies and thus the purpose of this thesis is to provide a better understanding of how consumers perceive the offline and online brand personality of Sony Ericsson. The research questions focus on comparing both the offline and online brand personalities to see if there are any similarities and/or differences between them.

A review of the literature regarding offline and online brand personality was conducted, resulting in a conceptual framework. Using this framework as a guide, a qualitative, case study methodology was utilized, using interviews from consumers to obtain data.

The findings of the study show that the offline and online brand personalities of Sony Ericsson differ from each other. There seems to be a better fit between offline brand personality attributes and the brand offline (i.e. the phone), and the online personality attributes seemed to fit better with the online brand (i.e. the website). Overall, the offline brand personality is clearer and more positive than the online brand personality.

Author: Andreasson, Lars; Streling, Moa

Source: Luleå University of Technology

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