Profiling consumers of own brands and national brands using human personality

Susan Whelan, Gary Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traditional methods of market segmentation based on demographic variables have shown mixed results in differentiating between those who are more likely to buy own brand products and those who prefer national brands. Taking advantage of the emerging convergence in human personality research on the Big Five dimensions, we focus on the potential of human personality as a method of identifying different customer segments. Two types of own brands are considered, those labelled with the retailer's corporate name and those labelled with a name independent of the retailer. Two product categories are included, cola as an example of a low-involvement product and cosmetics as an example of a high-involvement product. The personality profiles of buyers of these and the leading national brands in each category are compared. Stepwise regression is used to identify those aspects of shopper personality that predict purchase rates of all products. Individuals who are more 'open to experience' report higher purchases of corporately named products, while individuals who are more 'extrovert' report higher purchases of national brands. Those reporting higher rates of purchase for own brands with independent names tend to be more 'agreeable' and 'extrovert'. The positioning of the three types of brands against the 5 dimensions of human personality is illustrated using correspondence analysis. The clear potential to use human personality to segment and profile markets for own brands and national brands is discussed. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-402
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006


  • Consumer profiles
  • Correspondence analysis
  • Own brands
  • Personality
  • Segmentation


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