Brand Personification

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Brand personification is a Projective Technique that asks people to think about brands as if they were people and to describe how the brands would think and feel. For example:

If these three brands were at a party, what would they be saying to each other?

Brand personification questions are followed up by questions designed to understand the personification: Why do you say that?

Alternative versions of this method ask for the brand to be described as a person, animal, car, celebrity or house. Some researchers ask respondents to create collages of photos to represent the brand, or, present people with a set of photos and ask which photo shows a person most likely to buy the brand.

Some researchers use versions of the question where respondents are shown photos of the same or a similar-looking person with different hairstyles and clothes (e.g., one as a yuppie, one has a housewife), and these photos are believed to represent archetypal personality types. There is no published evidence to suggest that these methods work, but it is unclear if this is because they do not work, or because the researchers who use these questioning methods wish to protect their intellectual property.