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Responsible brands vs active brands? An examination of brand personality on brand awareness, brand trust, and brand loyalty

Sebastian Molinillo (University of Málaga, Málaga, Spain)
Arnold Japutra (Tarumanagara University, Jakarta, Indonesia)
Bang Nguyen (East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, P.R. China)
Cheng-Hao Steve Chen (University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 3 April 2017



There is a rise in interest on the topic of consumer-brand relationships (CBRs) among practitioners and academics. Consumers are said to build relationships with brands that have a personality congruent with their own. The purpose of this paper is to investigate two types of brand personality traits, namely, responsible brands and active brands to predict prominent CBR constructs, including brand awareness, brand trust, and brand loyalty.


This study was based on an electronic survey of 339 respondents. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data.


The results show that brand personality positively affects the three CBR constructs. Specifically, the focus is shifted to the two major personality dimensions, responsible and active, respectively. The results indicate that an active brand is a stronger predictor of brand awareness compared to a responsible brand. However, a responsible brand is a stronger predictor of brand trust as well as brand loyalty compared to an active brand. Surprisingly, the results display that active brands lower brand trust and brand loyalty.

Practical implications

This finding informs brand managers that projecting active brand personality leads to higher awareness. However, projecting more responsible brand leads to greater trust and loyalty. The study highlights that having one personality may not be sufficient to develop an enduring CBR, but a brand personality must “evolve” and progress as the relationship develops over time. Such dynamic brand personality may provide a more long-lasting brand strategy and a greater source of competitive advantage.


The present study contributes to the marketing literature in three different ways. First, this study adds to the body of knowledge on the relationship between brand personality and CBR constructs using the new measure of BPS. Second, this study assesses the individual level of the new BPS, particularly responsibility and activity, on the three CBR constructs, and in doing so, the study responds to previous studies’ calls to assess the individual capacity of the brand personality dimensions to get consumer preference or loyalty. Third, the study displays which ones of the two dimensions in the new BPS (i.e. responsible and active) may be better predictors to the three CBR constructs.



Molinillo, S., Japutra, A., Nguyen, B. and Chen, C.-H.S. (2017), "Responsible brands vs active brands? An examination of brand personality on brand awareness, brand trust, and brand loyalty", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 35 No. 2, pp. 166-179.



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