Purpose – This study attempts to identify the brand personality dimensions that American firms intend to create in the mind of online consumers by using “forms of online communications” partially based on Ghose and Dou's earlier study. Design/methodology/approach – The operational definitions of brand personality stimuli are adopted from prior research on advertising creative strategies. A content analysis was conducted on 270 web sites created by 64 American brands in the USA, UK, France, Germany and Spain. Findings – A principal component analysis identifies five underlying dimensions of brand personality stimuli: excitement, sophistication, affection, popularity, and competence. The principal forms of online communications consist of stakeholder relations, direct/indirect sales, choice functions, connectedness, orientation, and product positioning. Multiple regression analyses confirm that there are modest but consistent associations between the intended brand personality dimensions and the forms of online communications. Research limitations/implications – The dimensions of brand personality stimuli are intrinsically traceable from the perspective of the creative advertising appeals that multinational corporations (MNCs) attempt to employ on their web sites. Practical implications – This study provides a practical observation relating to whether MNCs are attempting to create a uniform set of brand personality dimensions across global markets. Originality/value – The present study contributes to the literature by its attempt to classify brand personality stimuli in terms of the cognition versus affection framework.
International Marketing Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 1, 2006
Keywords: Creative thinking; Internet; Marketing communications; Brand identity; Multinational companies
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