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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What Your Car Says About You?

Cars have personalities in the same way we have personalities. Cars are designed to appeal to particular demographics and seek to emulate the characters of their target market in their design. This is one reason your personal image becomes associated with the type of car you drive and the items you buy. To the outside world, your car becomes an extension of yourself.

There is brand personality and consumer personality. Brand personalities are those values a brand image symbolizes. Brand personalities revolve around personas of excitement, sincerity, ruggedness, competence and sophistication.  When there is mutuality between consumer personality and brand personality the car is said to “suit you."

People with particular personalities are attracted to products with similar personalities (Seimiene, 2012). If you see yourself as a cowboy chances are you will walk past the smart cars and head straight over to the 4X4s. Your idea of fun may look more like “mudding” with Garth Brooks blasting than having a glass of wine with Beethoven playing in the background.

As consumers, most purchased beyond that which is necessary to sustain life are personality driven. If you are a beach going hippie you may just get yourself a VW Bus while if you are seeking status you could option for a sparkling Lamborghini. Of course, if you are more sophisticated with a refined sense of taste there is Mercedes S-Class Sedan with its polished design.

Practicality and finances mitigate this need to enhance our persona. For example, if you are on a budget you might consider your neighbors $500 1990 Ford Escort that leaks oil and has a mammoth dent on the side. An excellent deal if you don’t care about status!

Before you can make appropriate purchases understand what the car says about you. If you are practical and educated, go with a Honda Civic while if you have some money to burn soup up your drive with a Camaro. Keeping your brand image consistent will help others formalize an opinion. The next time you get attracted to this car or that car, stop and ask yourself “why”? You might just find something out about yourself.

Seimiene, E. (2012). Emotional connection of consumer personality traits with brand personality traits: theoretical considerations. Economics & Management, 17 (4).

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