Polish Journal of Management Studies
 ISSN 2081-7452
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Abstracts > Vol 6

Upadhyaya M.  

Abstract: This paper is an attempt to study the effectiveness of projective techniques in exploring the brand image of ego-sensitive brands, possessing minimal functional differentiation. The paper examines four finest perfume brands. Two metaphor based personification methods-mood-boards and job-sorting are employed to study the association that the participants have with the brands. Both the methods are open ended assignments to decipher how participants think or feel about the research object in question. The study analyses the congruent validity of the two methods and differences in their ability to personify the chosen brands of deu. Both the methods yielded almost similar outcomes, thereby reiterating that the two methods possess congruent validity. The latter part of the paper analyses the brand personality characteristics that were connected to the celebrities and jobs thus connected, as identified in the mood-boards and job-sorting exercise respectively. SWOCC Brand Personality Scale, which is a further elaboration of Aakers brand personality research, was used to provide a list of the personality characteristics. The study however faces a limitation of the failure of the translation from the projective results into personality scores dimensions. This raises a serious concern if it is at all possible to validly translate overall projective data into analytical scores and if it is so then what would be the ideal procedure to do this.

Keywords: projective techniques, various techniques


The Brands exercise an overwhelming influence on consumers. Consumers use a mix of both rational and emotional considerations in eventually deciding on the brand to purchase. A lot of consumer choices are governed by the right side of the brain, that has too little to do with reasons and logic but too much to do with feelings and emotions. We all purchase products from time to time based on how they make us feel from a strictly functional or utilitarian standpoint.  Effective branding should thus appeal to both the right and left sides of the brain. This emotional consideration is what the marketers need to identify, explore and develop. This necessitates a rigorous investigation on the emotional aspects of a brand-Brand Image and Brand Personality.

Qualitative research is the most appropriate technique for uncovering the feelings, attitudes, emotions and motivations associated with the purchase of brands. Quantitative research, using pre-structured questionnaires fails to capture the entire gamut of reasons and intentions-to-buy. A still more complicating fact is the inability of respondents to express their views on image or personality of a certain brand using a standard vocabulary on a structured scale. Projective techniques help to overcome this problem inherent with the use of quantitative research.

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The paper attempts to use two different personification methods-mood-boards and job-sorting to investigate and compare the image of four deu brands.  Also intended was to analyze the similarities and differences in the results of the two personification techniques used in the context of brand image research.  The results were evaluated using two criteria:

1. the similarity or convergence between the two methods; and
2. the discriminating value of the two methods

The results were analyzed on two levels. On the level of holistic analysis, the two methods yielded largely similar outcomes, which clearly pronounced the differences in image between the four brands. The differences have some face validity too, as they very well reflect the differences in the advertising strategies of the four chosen brands. Referring to the next level of analysis at the personality dimensions level, the results of the two methods are quite approximate but less sensitive to the differences between the four brands. Despite this limitation, the paper highlights the practical implication of projective research techniques, especially personification, for brand image research. The participants for both the studies provided meaningful and sharp insights which could not have been generated with ease using traditionally accepted methodologies using questionnaires or interviews.
The research proposes a serious limitation of projective techniques by highlighting a serious difference between the two methods on the annoyance dimension. A plausible explanation for this appears to be the specific stimulus domain used for the study. This needs to be explored further as it can pose a serious threat to the validity of projective techniques. The second concern is about the holistic interpretation of results. Its not at all difficult to analyze the types of celebrities associated with the brand or count how frequently certain jobs are associated with the brand, but translating these holistic interpretations into judgments on the brand image appear to be a big leap. The third concern is the failure of the translation from the projective results into personality scores dimensions. This raises a serious question if it is at all possible to validly translate overall projective data into analytical scores and if it is so then what would be the ideal procedure to do this.
These concerns call for a systematic research attention for projective research techniques. It needs to be explored as to what extent these techniques and other possible measurement techniques produce comparable results. And are there aspects of brand image that can only or better be deciphered using projective techniques. It is indeed a highly creative research approach but more has to be learnt about its inherent strengths, weaknesses and limitations.


Streszczenie: Niniejszy artykuł jest próbą zbadania skuteczności technik projekcyjnych w badaniu wizerunku marek tzw. wrażliwych, posiadających minimum funkcjonalnego zróżnicowania. Dokument ten bada cztery najlepsze marki perfum. Dwie metody, oparte na metodzie personifikacji i sortowania pracy, zostały wykorzystane do badania uczestników będących markami.  Obie metody są jednostronnie otwarte w celu przypisania i rozszyfrowania jak uczestnicy myślą o badanym obiekcie lub jakie mają uczucia względem niego. Obie metody dały prawie podobne wyniki, tym samym potwierdzając, że obie metody posiadają istotną zgodność. Ostatnia część artykułu analizuje cechy osobowości marki, które są łączone z gwiazdami i miejscami pracy, identyfikowane z wykorzystaniem tablicy inspiracji i rodzaju pracy.

Słowa kluczowe
: wizerunek marki, osobowość marki, techniki, badania projektowe, tablica inspiracji


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