Product personality and its influence on consumer preference

P.C.M. Govers (Nyenrode University, Breukelen, The Netherlands)
J.P.L. Schoormans (Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Publication date: 1 June 2005



Beyond their functional utility products have a symbolic meaning. Parts of this symbolic meaning are accounted for by concepts like brand personality and product‐user image, which describe the symbolic meaning associated with the brand or product class. However, the physical product also carries symbolic meaning. That part of the symbolic meaning that refers to the physical product itself, and is described with human personality characteristics, is called product personality. The purpose of this article is to show that product personality positively influences consumer preference through a congruence effect.


A two‐phase study was conducted. In the first phase, product‐personality congruence was measured. The second phase was used to establish user‐image congruence.


The results indicate that people prefer products with a product personality that matches their self‐image. Moreover, this positive effect of product‐personality congruence is found to be independent of the user‐image congruence effect.


Previous research has shown that product variants can be designed to have a specific personality. This study has shown that product‐personality congruence has a positive effect on consumer preference.



Govers, P.C.M. and Schoormans, J.P.L. (2005), "Product personality and its influence on consumer preference", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 189-197.

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