Brand Identity Prism

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Analyzing the identity of a brand. Explanation of Brand Identity Prism of Jean-NoŽl Kapferer. ('92)


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Brand Identity Prism Kapferer

An obvious benefit of using a human being for a metaphor for a brand is that it becomes much more easy, especially for non-experts, to understand and discuss what a brand stands for. Consumers easily perceive brands as if they would have personality traits.


What is the Brand Identity Prism? Description

According to Jean-NoŽl Kapferer, brand personality should be just one key facet of brand identity.

Jennifer Aaker deserves credit for having revitalized the human metaphor for a brand, but she is causing conceptual confusion by merging a number of dimensions of brand identity into brand personality. Kapferer recommends to revitalize to the original terminology of brand identity as the overall brand descriptor.

Origin of the Brand Identity Prism. History

To understand Kapferer's model it is useful to read a bit of history:

Already in 1958, Martineau used the word "brand personality" to refer to the non-material dimensions that make a shop special: its character.

In the 60s and 70s there was a growing dissatisfaction with equating the product and the brand. A typical example of that was the term "Unique Selling Proposition" or USP from Rosser Reeves.

In 1982, Sťguela, a VP of an adverting agency, recommended that all brands be described along three facets:

  1. Physical. What does the product do and how well does it perform?
  2. Character. Brand personality facet.
  3. Style. Operational elements for adverting and communication.

In the late 80s, Ted Bates introduced the term "Unique Selling Personality". As a consequence, in the famous 'copy strategy' - the essential single sheet which summarizes the advertising strategy as related to copy - it became widespread to see a new item to be filled by account executives: brand personality.

Analogously to the use of the term "personality" in psychology, on the research side, the brand identity frameworks always quoted brand personality as a dimension of brand identity - namely those traits of human personality that can be attributed to the brand. Among the other dimensions are:

  • Brand inner values (cultural facet)
  • Brand relationship facet (its style of behavior, of conduct)
  • Brand-reflected consumer facet
  • Brand physical facet (its material distinguishing traits)

Book: Jean-NoŽl Kapferer - The New Strategic Brand Management: Creating and Sustaining ... -

Brand Identity Prism Forum (6 topics) Help
  Top-10 Naming Blunders For a Company, Product or Brand
Here's a list of errors you should avoid when choosing a name for your brand, product or company:
1. Using your family name. Unless your name is unique and memorable, it contains minimal promotional...
  Brand Identity Strategy
Branding is the discipline of setting apart, distinguishing a company/product from the rest of the world, thereby establishing a brand with specific attributes just like a distinct personality.
Key in this is positioning: what the brand s...
  Using the Brand Image for Recruiting and Selecting People
Dear all, I need some tips and literature on how you can use the brand image in the selection / recruitment process. I appreciate your reactions....
  Developing an Advertising Campaign
It is important to make a creative brief, a Kapferer model and a funnel for the development of an advertising campaign....
  How to apply the Kapferer Model in a Product and Service Dimension
How will the Kapferer model fit or how will it explain a product (tangible) and a service (intangiable)? Example?...
  Significance of Kapferer Model for Developing an Advertising Campaign
What is the significance / importance of Kapferer's model in the development of an advertising campaign?...

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