Two Roads to Updating Brand Personality Impressions

Two Roads to Updating Brand Personality Impressions

By
Gita Venkataramani Johar, Jaideep Sengupta, Jennifer Aaker
Journal of Marketing Research.
2005, Vol. 42, Issue 4, Pages 458-469

This research examines the dynamic process of inference updating. The authors present a framework that delineates two mechanisms that guide the updating of personality trait inferences about brands. The results of three experiments show that chronics (those for whom the trait is accessible) update their initial inferences on the basis of the trait implications of new information. Notably, nonchronics (those for whom the trait is not accessible) also update their initial inferences, but they do so on the basis of the evaluative implications of new information. The framework adds to the inference-making literature by uncovering two distinct paths of inference updating and by emphasizing the moderating role of trait accessibility. The findings have direct implications for marketers attempting to understand the construction of brand personality, and they emphasize the constantly evolving nature of brand perceptions and the notion that both the consumer and the marketer have important roles to play in this process.