Branding Online News Providers: Brand Personality and the Image Congruence Effect

Brian T Parker


This study examined online news brand personality and conducted an empirical test of the image congruence hypothesis. A survey of 271 respondents gauged the brand personality of three online news brands (i.e., Google News, Yahoo! News, and CNN online) and respondents’ self-image perceptions to determine if self-brand image congruence relates to predispositions to behave in a favorable manner toward this brand type. Congruence scores served as indicators of the difference between respondents’ actual and ideal self-image and each brand’s personality assessed on five factors: sincerity, competence, sophistication, excitement, and ruggedness. Self-brand personality distance scores served as independent variables in stepwise regressions with brand attitude and likelihood of visiting/using the online brand as the dependent variables. Significant results, although not accounting for much variance, support the proposed relations, indicating that brand personality and image congruence are worthwhile topics of investigation for online news brands.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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