Studies have been conducted to identify whether consumers adopt the personalities of brands. In one study, female shoppers were asked to tote either a Victoria’s Secret shopping bag or a shopping bag with no identifying brand label while they shopped in the mall. Afterward, they were asked to evaluate themselves on various personality traits. Those who carried the Victoria’s Secret bag saw themselves as more beautiful, sophisticated, and womanly than their counterparts who carried the plain bag. Additionally, the research uncovered how fluid or fixed consumers believe their personalities are. Victoria’s Secret bag carriers felt that their personalities were static but brands could contribute to positive aspects of themselves. Plain bag carriers felt that that they had more power in changing themselves through their own efforts rather than relying on brands.
Another study revealed that even after participants were told they did not do well on a math exam, carrying a pen with an MIT emblem on it made them feel smarter and more influential than the control group not carrying the pen.
Because brand personalities are becoming more powerful, a deep emotional connection is being formed. People are striving to become more like the brand that they feel best represents who they are aspiring to be. This is very useful for brand marketers to recognize and may make targeting a specific persona worthwhile.