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The effects of facial image and cosmetic usage on perceptions of brand personality

Michelle Guthrie (Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, USA)
Hye‐Shin Kim (University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA)
Jaehee Jung (University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 9 May 2008




This paper seeks to examine women's perceptions of brand personality in relation to women's facial image and cosmetic usage. This study seeks to develop a better understanding of how various factors influence perceptions of cosmetic brands.


An electronic survey was administered to a sample of 225 female participants at a mid‐Atlantic university in the USA. The survey included items measuring facial image, cosmetic usage, brand personality, and brand attitude. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine the relationship among variables.


While the brand personality of competence was found to be important across all three brands, consumer perceptions pertaining to the remaining brand personality traits differed. This study found that consumers' facial image influenced the total quantity of cosmetics used but not the variation in quantity in different situations. Results also indicate that a relationship exists between facial image and brand perceptions. Also, it was found that a different group of brand personality traits influenced brand attitude for each cosmetic brand.

Research limitations/implications

By examining how facial image and cosmetic usage determine brand perceptions, companies can improve their marketing strategies to enhance customer satisfaction and increase their customer base. Moreover, by identifying the brand personalities that attract consumers, companies can pin‐point the characteristics customers look for in a product, which in turn can be used to enhance brand image. Further research on different age groups and cultures should be conducted to better understand cosmetic consumers.


This study contributes to the body of knowledge in the area of consumer behavior and cosmetics. From this study, a better understanding of cosmetic consumers is gained and the results provide brand marketers with valuable information.



Guthrie, M., Kim, H. and Jung, J. (2008), "The effects of facial image and cosmetic usage on perceptions of brand personality", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 164-181.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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