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Academic Journal of Research in Business & Accounting
Vol. 1, No. 2, September 2013,
21-28 ISSN: 2311-326X
The role of brand personality on consumer behavior and
challenges of branding in Iran
Mona Khalkhali Rad 1*and Mahsa Yousefi Sanjabad 2
Abstract
he customer loyalty is one of the components that the relation oriented marketing of nowadays has a significant emphasis on it. The trademark of a company is one of the factors that play a role in the formation of this loyalty. Hence this study examined the relationship between c ustomer loyalty and the determinants of the trademarks and investigated the role of the brand personality on consumer behavior a nd mentioned the challenges of branding in Iran. To choose a product, a valid brand is one of the customer desirables. The value of the brand is a name, phrase, design, symbol or a combination of these Abstrelements which determines the identity of a service organization and distinguishes it from its other competitors and is judged by reason, logic, senses and feelings of the customers. Brand is a mental and spiritual motion that should settle in the minds of consumers, customers, shareholders, employees and users. Brands have a social nature and a successful brand is the one that members of the society have a sense of belonging and ownership toward it and consider that brand of their own. In many markets, brand creates an especial identity for a product, and links them to a specific group of the community, in the world of today and with the spread of information each move and decision-making of the organization is assessed by its brand. Keywords: Brand Value, Branding, Consumer Behavior


1* Corresponding author: M.Sc. Student of Business Administration, Islamic Azad University, Rasht Branch, Mona.rad@hotmail.com 2 M.Sc. Student of Business Administration, Islamic Azad University, Rasht Branch, m_usefii@yahoo.com Khalkhali Rad and Yousefi Sanjabad
Introduction
Brand management is considered an area with a growing importance in marketing management
nowadays, especially when organizations direct their attempts toward transmission of intangible and
sophisticated message. How to provide and expand a better understanding of the relationship between
structures like brand and customer loyalty is one of the most important issues that brand managers are
faced with nowadays, especially that many factors have been raised in the marketing management
literature which have an impact on customer loyalty. The concept of marketing implies the belief that
industry is the process of customer satisfaction, not the process of production of goods. An industry
begins with the customers and their needs, not by the royalty, raw material or the sales skills. An
organization is able to survive only when it can meet customer needs and demands with a correct and
comprehensive understanding of its opposite party (customer), which this shows the importance of the
study of customer behavior. A valid brand is one of the customer desirables for choosing a product. In
many markets, brand creates an especial identity for a product, and links them to a specific group of
the community. From a psychology point of view, these kinds of goods create dignity and confidence
for the customer, in addition to the apparent usage. Hence customer is prepared to pay a different price
for it. Moreover top brand in the subconscious means a better quality of the product for the customer.
By buying a brand product the customer believes that he has received a valuable thing in return for his
money. The fact is that the brand plays a role in making of added value for an organization just like
the capital or technology and raw materials. The customer and the organization both take advantage of
the benefits of the brand. When the consumer experiences a brand once, he feels more comfortable
with it and the tendency for using the product rises. Investigations suggest that the cost of keeping a
loyal customer is less than the cost of attracting a new customer. The brands and their strength in
industrial marketing will be more important especially where the customer sensitivity is enormous and
the flexibility is low, which the smallest carelessness results in loss of all the marketing efforts.
Therefore it is essential for companies to assess the role of their brands in the formation of customer
loyalty for growth and expansion of their presence in the market so that to define their marketing
strategies for establishment of a powerful brand in the market and in competition with the rivals in
order to attract loyal customers. So in this regard, this study was carried out with the intention of
investigating the role of the brands in the formation of loyalty in the customers of office machines.
The value of the brand and its identification
The value of the brand is a name, phrase, design, symbol or a combination of these elements which
determines the identity of a service organization and distinguishes it from its other competitors and is
judged by reason, logic, senses and feelings of the customers. Also creating a sense of convenience
and comfort is planned as the role of a brand, because the brand determines the personality, lifestyle,
ideals and behavior of the customers. Actually the brand determines the source and the reference of
the product manufacturer (commodity/service), allocates the responsibilities to the product
manufacturer, creates commitment and reduces the costs of searching as well as representing the
quality of the product (Jalalzade and Ekhtiari, 2009). Brand or "name, word, sign, symbol, design or a
combination of these which is used with the aim to identify the commodities and services of a seller or
a group of sellers and to distinguish them from the competitors" provides commitment to consistency
and quality. Experiences has demonstrated that a powerful brand is considered an important tool in the
implementation of marketing objectives for improvement of brand loyalty, fine prices based on the
brand and the profit margins, increasing the flow of new products to the market, more shareholders
and enhancement of shareholders' profits and obvious, valuable and stable distinction and also
simplification of customers' decision makings, reducing customer risks and further determination of
their expectations (Didier and Lombart, 2010). The importance and necessity of conducting the
research is because of the importance of brand in the marketing strategies of companies and its role in
the attraction, retention and support of the customers. The trademarks have an important and strategic
role in gaining competitive advantage and corporate strategic management decisions. Customers'
loyalty to the brands is a suitable criterion to evaluate the long-term effects of marketing decisions.
"Brand loyalty" is one of the important concepts in marketing. This concept plays an important role in
creating long-term benefits for the company, because loyal customers do not need extensive promotional efforts, they are gladly willing to pay more to obtain benefits and quality of their favorite brand. Additionally, customer loyalty also has a competitive edge in the brands market. Especially in Academic Journal of Research in Business & Accounting
Vol. 1, No. 2, September 2013
the industrial markets customers who are loyal to brands can guarantee survival of a company or bring
it to destruction. Therefore branding with an emphasis on building loyalty helps the companies to
stabilize themselves for the future from the viewpoint of strategy and to compete effectively with
global giants who have conquered the world markets. Therefore it is essential for the companies to be
aware of the role of their brand in building loyalty in customers for growth and expansion of their
presence in the market and to examine what aspects of the brands causes the consolidation of this
loyalty to the trademarks.
David Aaker emphasizes on the quality of the process of building a brand in his book (Building Strong
Brands) with a focus on the concept of identification (identity) of the brand. In other words, he
believes that the identification of the brand is the foundation for building a strong brand. Aaker has
stated that the identification of the brand is a unique set of the brand associations which the brand
strategist desires to create, preserve and keep them. He has introduced four approaches to the
identification of the brand as follows:
1.Brand as a product: This perspective includes aspects such as product features, quality and the
territory of the product or products related to a particular brand. The other aspects include the use of
the appropriate situation which occurs at the right time when the company tries to control a particular
applied situation, users, which implies the localization of a brand with a certain type of users and the
relationship between the brand and its country of origin, which will establish credibility for the brand.
2.Brand as an organization: This perspective mostly focuses on the features of the organization and
includes innovation and attention of the organization to the customers. This perspective also has a
local aspect against the global aspect and the issue that the organization has a global identity or tries to
join the local markets depends on the choice of the organization. Local strategy can lead to a better
understanding of the customers' needs by building a relationship with them, while a global strategy
refers to the longevity and stability of the brand and ensures its future.
3.Brand as a person: This perspective includes the personality aspect of the brand. A set of human
characteristics associated with the brand is called brand personality. These characteristics may include
gender, age, interest and attention of the individual, etc.
4.Brand as a symbol: Aaker believes that a strong symbol could be the basis for the identification and
identity of the brand and increases the power to detect or the brand remembrance rate among the
customers. In his opinion visual and objective practices like illustration by showing a meaningful
brand can be the most effective way to create a symbol for the brand (Kazemi Rad, 2009).
Public perception of the brand
Public perceptions of the brand are resulted from the general perception about the brand which is
created based on an overall view and image of the brand. Based on this definition, two aspects of
brand awareness and brand image reflect the public perception of the brand. Brand awareness and
brand image play an important role in the decision-making of the consumer because the brand
awareness affects the formation and robustness of the brand representations in a region. Also
increasing brand awareness and brand image can enhance the marketing communications effectively,
because when a consumer is inclined to a brand appropriately and desirably and has a favorable
background to it, may respond to advertising positively and therefore less extensive and obvious
advertising is required in order to achieve the goals. Brand awareness is understood by brand
recognition and brand recall. Brand recognition relates to the consumer's ability to discriminate the
brand correctly and properly between the rival's brands and brand recall refers to the consumer's
ability to recover or the birth of the brand correctly from his memory. Brand image is associated with
the prestige and reputation of a brand. High levels of brand awareness and brand image leads to
positive perception of the brand. Companies often develop their brands for introduction of new
products, but this can endanger brand image and is very high risk (Doaei and Hassanzadeh, 2010). As
investigations have also shown, brand development affects the brand image; also in brand
development, brand positivism affects the customer's evaluation of the brand and thus its development
and leads to the success of brand development (brand positivism means that the brand is recognized as
a brand who is seeking the customer's satisfaction and profit). In addition, competitive conditions in
the market and the rivals' strategies on their own brands affect the brand positivism and thus the
success of brand development. A research was conducted on the use of the new names and the names derived from the current brand of the company's products by Alavert and colleagues (2009). They Khalkhali Rad and Yousefi Sanjabad
concluded that the use of the derived names is accepted quicker and easier by the customers and are
more successful if the current brand is successful and customers have a good and positive perception
of it. Also using these names which are derived from the brand instead of using the current brand, do
not cause a serious harm to the original brand if the new product is faced with a problem.
The theoretical framework and the research model
As the environmental influences and the marketing efforts can potentially cause a change in the customer behavior, the customer loyalty to the brands is also the result of strategic and favorable marketing activities. Loyalty is a complex concept. Oliver (1999) defines loyalty as: a deep commitment of repurchasing or additional purchasing of a preferred product or service in the future, whereby the replication or similar brand is purchased, despite the fact that the environmental impacts and marketing efforts create a potential for behavior change. From another viewpoint, Baldinger and Robinson believe that the application of loyalty which includes both behavioral and attitudinal components is preferred to p urely behavior-based customer loyalty emphasis, and in this regard Chaudhuri and Holbrook have presented a model of brand loyalty which indicates that the purchase loyalty leads to more share of the market, while attitudinal loyalty provides the conditions for higher pricing of the brand. Several models have been proposed in order to study the customer loyalty in marketing issues so far. For example Zhaohua Deng and colleagues (2010) in an article entitled "Understanding customer satisfaction and loyalty" provide a model in which factors such as trust, service quality, perceived value (functional, emotional, social and financial) and costs of change are introduced as factors affecting the customer satisfaction and loyalty, these aspects can be seen in Figure 1. But these factors are not necessarily affected by the corporate brands. Figure 1: Factors affecting the loyalty. Functional Value (Seyed Javadin and colleagues, 2010)
The relationship between the consumer personality and the brand personality
Consumers often consider human aspects for the brands by granting them personality characteristics, and marketers often create or reinforce these perceptions by positioning the brands. Personality characteristics of the brand provide symbolic meaning or emotional value that can help consumers brand preferences and may be more stable than the functional features. Successful positioning of a brand personality in a product category requires the measurement models which are able to separate the unique personality characteristics of the brand from those characteristics that are common to all brands in that product category. Consumers understand the brand with the aspects that they typically grasp from the personality of the individuals, and they extend it to the brands scope. Academic Journal of Research in Business & Accounting
Vol. 1, No. 2, September 2013
Brand personality aspects are defined as the extension of human personality aspects to the brands domain. The personality characteristics in brands
Personality characteristics of human are specified by multidimensional factors such as individual behavior, appearance, attitude, beliefs and demographic characteristics. According to the attribution
theory, it can be seen that there are five dimensions of stable personality traits, these human
personality dimensions are also known as the "big five" (Batra et al. 1993). The "Big Five" of human
personality dimensions are extroversion/introversion, conformity, consciousness (awareness),
emotional stability and culture. Based on these dimensions of the human personality, Aaker identified
new dimension of the "Big Five" of the brands. These include: sincerity, excitement, competence,
sophistication and ruggedness. This pattern suggests that these brand personality dimensions may act
or influence the consumer priorities in different ways and for different reasons. Sincerity, excitement
and competence demonstrate an inherent part of the human personality while sophistication and
ruggedness are dimensions of the individual desires. Hence, the following proposition is considered as
the brand names familiar to the customers, which is similar to their own personality and indicated the
proximity of the psychological terms and the emotional characteristics. Brands affect the consumer
decisions for purchasing, in any of the above methods or through a combination of them. Association
of the meanings of brand-person can also have more personal nature. Brands can be associated with
the people who are using or have used that particular brand, for example a close friend or a family
member. Also the brands which are received as a gift can be associated with the person, through the
one who they received the gift from. These personal meanings association are applied to give life to
the brand as a live existence (living being) in the minds of the consumers. Products such as golden
credit cards, watches or prestigious items help people to express themselves to others by showing that
they are different and have achieved something. They act as the extensions of the personality, so that
is really a "fantasy", and the key to the management and development of the brand is a clear
understanding of the benefits which the customer is looking for. The researches have shown over and
over again that the real driving force is behind the market leadership of the perceived value, not the
price or the inherent characteristics of the product. As long as a brand offers the customer a superior
perceived value, it will be followed by a good market performance, which will cause the stability
(consistency) of a very important feature of the brand. Hence it is possible that the promotion of
consumer relationships be expressed with the brands which are involved in the lifestyle, gender, age,
educational background, social values and culture.
The effect of brand personality on three major communication consequences
(trust, loyalty and commitment to the brand)

How can we increase the customer loyalty? This question is a major challenge for the masters currently and has caused the creation of unlimited research topics for the researcher s. That also raised the double complexity of the conceptualization and operationalization of the concept of loyalty. There are various approaches including behavioral, attitudinal and combined. Behavioral approach will not allow the creation of valid disti nction between the loyalty and other repetitive approaches by itself. In order to be able to consider a customer truly loyal to a particular brand, he should not only have bought that brand frequently but also should have a positive attitude toward it. Creating a relation oriented marketing operation with the customers is one of the ways of motivating a sense of loyalty to the company in them, which Morgan and Hunt define it as a set of activities conducted with the aim of creating, developing and maintaining successful relationships. After this, the company will attempt to maintain the relationships with its customers over time. In order to do so, the company can rely on its brand to become a backup to this relationship. Brands have been the main subject of many researches including concepts of brand identity, brand equity, brand image and eventually brand personality. The brand identity contains all the forming elements of the brand entity. This concept enables companies to determine the meaning and concept , the project and designation of their brands through six levels of the pyramid of brand identity, including physical Khalkhali Rad and Yousefi Sanjabad
dimension, personality, culture, communication, consumer reflection and consumer
subjectivism. In contrast, brand image is a perceptual an d receivable concept. It is the result of
consumers' interpretations of all the signs reflected by the brand (brand name, visual signs,
communication, etc.) and/or external sources. Consequently, the brand identity is before the
brand image. That has an additional impact on the consumer response to the brand which
stretches beyond the product and its characteristics. Articles agree upon the fact that the brand
equity is influenced by the brand image which is a set of meanings that are located in the
consumer's mind about the brand. These meanings can be both functional and abstract. Abstract
meanings are personality inputs that the customer gives to the brand which is one of the
components of the brand image. Brand personality is a concept in the field of re lation oriented
marketing which is defined as all the personality characteristics and traits of the individuals that
are associate with the brand. That helps to better understanding of the development and
maintenance of the relationships between the brands and the customers. Also explains how these
relationships influence the behavior of the consumers. Previous studies on brand personality can
be divided into three separate areas of research: conceptualization and development of the
structure measurement criteria, understanding the impact of congruence and proportionality
between the brand personalities and customers on product selection, impact of the brand
personality on the consumer behavior. The purpose of this study is to present a model that
includes both direct and indirect effects of the personality received from the brand on three
major relational consequences of this structure, reliability, loyalty and commitment to the
brand. Thus, this study clearly lies parallel to the above three fields of resea rch. In addition to
the links between the brand personality and reliability, loyalty and commitment,
interdependence links between these relational consequences will be investigated. Although the
previous researches have focused on the investigation of specific links such as loyalty-brand
personality or reliability-commitment, this study examined all these links simultaneously and
therefore presents an integrated model of relational consequences of the brand personality
(Didier and Lombart, 2010).
Branding challenges of manufacturing companies in Iran
1-Branding complexity: increase in productivity become more than anything that was previously
achieved during the human civilization. The industrialization recipe was abolished throughout the
European and North American countries before entering Iran. In just a few decades industrialization
caused Japan to transform from a feudalist country to a modern industrialized nation that had the
capability to defeat in the war against the principle European power which was Russia. After this
event, industrialization spread throughout Asia during the 80s according to a pattern which is
sometimes mentioned as "flying geese". At the beginning this process caused transformation of Hong
Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan economics. Then expanded in other Asian countries such
as China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. But the rules of this game have changed
dramatically over the past 25 years.
2-Challenges of the market level: Our argument is that there are three marketing factors which are
associated with specific challenges for the manufacturing companies which are now converting to
branding ones. First, developing companies are competing in a complex playing field where they are
faced with rivals that have poor branding skills for decades. This issue makes the market more
obstinate compared to the companies who were the leaders of branding during the twentieth century.
Second, customers' expectations are now higher because we live in a global community where the
customers have the right to choose among a wide range of products from around the world and are no
longer limited to choosing domestically produced goods. It means that attracting customers to a new
product that enters the market takes more time, because there are often many alternatives for it. Third,
the customer experience is becoming the main component of the competition, not only in services
companies but also in commodity manufacturing companies.
3-Challenges of the corporate level: There are three challenges of the corporate level that increase the
costs of changes for new brand producers. First, many of these companies have commercial roots; this
issue is especially true in the family firms' cases. Commercial thinking mostly focuses on high profits and less margins. Second, we are witnessing the increasing reliance on authoritarian management in Academic Journal of Research in Business & Accounting
Vol. 1, No. 2, September 2013
the region. Third, the new brand producers have a great desire to invest in market researches and also
brand and strategy consulting services. This issue makes it harder to acquire the required skills for
success in branding.
The interest in branding

Considering this context, it is not surprising that the executives of a lot of Iranian companies are concerned. Most Iranian managers see branding as an elixir for trapping goods. Moving toward the top of the value chain seems attractive, because it makes the production oriented companies to direct their attention to customer relations and to create price requirements. Companies can improve their meager margins more than being merely a manufacturer and gain a larger share of the produced total value. There are some other reasons for marketing to become the focal point of management. As noted, production meager margins are under constant pressure of reduction. Differentiation opportunities are very limited in lean production which leads to the power based competition between the players where their multinational companies have the ability to play playoff games against each other. This includes domestic players and international players residing in countries where their labor costs are even lower . Domestic insertion of the brand
Domestic brand insertion is essential to ensure the customer's desirable experience. Changing the
mental frame of lean production to brand ownership requires massive changes in organizing. A local
brand is marketed along with the current activities till its insertion changes to a strong determinant of
success. We believe that companies should develop internal value offers in addition to the foreign
offers. This message may need classification depending on the audience. But from the perspective of
an employee we will notice responses to the main question of "what is my benefit in this?" Changes
do not occur easily and very few people enjoy changing. This is why branding should be taken
seriously. We consider creating workshops and conducting parts about the brand behavior useful for
the employees of different levels of the organization. This revives the brand and is rooted in the
everyday activities of the organization employees. The arrangement of the internal studies and
investigations about the brand can be a useful supportive tool for evaluation of changes over time
(Birnik et al, 2010).
Conclusions and Recommendations
In the world of today and with the spread of information, each move and decision-making of the
organization is assessed by its brand, and successes and failures of the organization appear with its
brand. Nowadays, the brand or the trademark is considered the capital of many businesses and the
credibility and value of the brand of a company is many times more valuable than its visible and
evident assets value. On the other hand, brand is a mental and spiritual motion that should settle in the
minds of consumers, customers, shareholders, employees and users. Brands have a social nature and a
successful brand is the one that members of the society have a sense of belonging and ownership
toward it and consider that brand of their own and strive for it in any way. Many times it has been seen
that people become free marketers for the brands unconsciously or to attract others and advertise one
or several particular brands without any material benefit. The research model indicates the variables
which affect the customer loyalty directly and positively. Thus, industrial marketers should focus on
strengthening these factors in the perceptions of the customers. It means that enhancing the production
features, distribution, sales and after sales services will be helpful according to these aspects.
Researchers can assess the role of trademarks of different countries in the formation of customer
loyalty in a particular industry with comparative approach in the subsequent studies. The results of this
work consider the variable effect of the branding country in the formation of customer loyalty.
References
Birnik, Andreas. & Birnik, Anna-Karin. Sheth, Jagdish. 2010. The branding challenges of Asian manufacturing firms.
Business Horizons (2010) 53, 523—532 Khalkhali Rad and Yousefi Sanjabad
Didier, Louis. and Lombart, Cindy. 2010. Impact of brand personality on three major relational consequences (trust, attachment, and commitment to the brand). Journal of Product & Brand Management. 19/2 (2010). 114–130. Jalalzade, Seyed Reza, Ekhtiari, Mahnaz, Brand Value in the Banking Industry, First International Conference on Marketing of Banking Services, Tehran, 2009 Ganji Nia, Hossein, Akhavan Foumani, Samane, (2011), The Role of Brand Personality on Consumer Behavior and Branding Challenges in Asia, www.iaukhodafarin.ac.ir Nasiri Pour, Ashkan, Gohari, Mahmoud Reza, Nafisi, Abolfazl, (2010), The Relationship between Branding and Performance Indicators, Health Management Journal, No. 13 Seyed Javadin, Seyed Reza, Amini, Alireza, Amini, Zahra (2010), Evaluation of the Impact of Brand on the Loyalty of Industrial Customers, Business Administration Perspective, No. 3, row 36, 57-73 Seyed Javadin, Seyed Reza, Shams, Raheel, (2007), The Determinants of Sports Footwear Brand Equity among Youth, Journal of Human and Social Sciences of Management, seventh year, No. twenty five.

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