This article was first posted on Penn Olson on 3 October, 2010.
A company’s brand image comes from the marketing communications effort to create favourable, unique associations about the brand. The best marketers would know the most persuasive way to appeal to consumers is through the heart, not the mind. Even if there had been a better mash-up phone produced in China, we would still rather pick Apple’s phone any day – but why do we do that?
Folks at ScienceBlog have discovered that carrying Victoria’s Secret can make consumer feel glamorous. That proves how successful Victoria’s Secret is at branding. This shouldn’t be surprising, should it? Just do an image search on Google and notice all you can find are the sexy VS angels, and not even the products.
“Certain brands have personalities that can actually change the way some people feel about themselves,” according to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research.
In one study, they asked female shoppers in a local mall to carry a shopping bag for an hour during their shopping trip where they were allowed to use either a Victoria’s Secret shopping bag or a plain pink shopping bag. At the end of the session, shoppers were asked to rate themselves on a list of personality traits and the shoppers who carried the Victoria’s Secret bag perceived themselves as more feminine, glamorous, and good-looking than shoppers who carried the plain ones. I say the answer lies in the association with self-indulgence, the beautiful models and sex appeal.
Another interesting discovery was how the participants had different beliefs about their personalities. “Consumers most affected by their experience with Victoria’s Secret held certain beliefs about their personalities,” the authors write. “They believe their personal qualities are fixed and cannot be improved by their own efforts at self-improvement. Therefore, they look for ways to signal their positive qualities through other means, such as brands.” People who were not affected by carrying the Victoria’s Secret bag believed that their personal qualities were more flexible and could change for the better by their efforts to improve themselves.
Similarly, other studies found out that some people felt more intelligent and more like leaders when they carried a pen with a logo of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).