JEL Classification M31
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of Universitas Pembangunan Panca Budi. Medan – Indonesia.
A global market seeks to understand the role of religion as a principal source, in its various forms, such as to choose a Halal product (Mukhtar and Butt, 2012); intention to purchase labelled Halal (Jamal and Sharifuddin, 2014); to manage Halal brands (Ahmad M.F, 2015). Halal brand as an Islamic principle (Alserhan, 2010). A Halal brand offers a substantial value for the product and it delivers a cue to the consumers’ orientation to purchase or to consume the permissible products (Rajagopal et al., 2011). The word Halal has various meanings, and it is possible to use it in conveying the goodness quality of a product. Within religious contexts, the Halal has indicated assurance of a religion authority (Wilson and Liu, 2010). Indeed, Halal is a spiritual obligation for Muslim consumers (Alserhan, 2010) and is necessary to shape consumers’ personality (Ahmad, 2015).
The Muslim population represents a quarter of the world’s population, and it is estimated to continue to increase by 28% until 2020.This condition leads to a significant demand for halal products (Temporal, 2011). Moreover, multinational companies should consider investing in the halal brand or Islamic brand (Alserhan, 2010). Halal brand is a secure container to reduce the uncertainty related to purchasing a product, and more importantly Halal is a source to establishing a powerful relationship with consumers (Borzooei and Asgari, 2013). Halal brand has been associated with human personality traits by several authors (see Ahmad, 2015; Borzooei and Asgari, 2013). Dimensions of brand personality are recognized by Aaker (1997).
Several authors proposed dimensions of brand personality as suitable to explain Halal brands. Brand personality means a chance to attach human characters related to a brand into a consumer’s mind. Thus, the highlighting of brand personality probably assists in synthesizing the understanding between various consumers. Therefore, finding Halal brand personality assists in recognizing the familiarity and confidence of a brand. In addition, brand personality as human characters are difficult to change. Personality combined with the brand may create a solid relationship (Borzooei and Asgari, 2013). Several prior studies have seen various research aspects regarding Halal, for instance: Islamic brand or Halal brand (Alserhan, 2010), Halal cluster (Tieman.M, 2015), Antecedents of Halal brand personality (Ahmad M.F, 2015), Halal certification (Azis and Vui, 2013), Halal-Holistic brand (Aoun, et al., 2015).
Finally, this study focuses on the role of the religious commitment mediating the relationship between brand personality and purchase intention.
The following questions were considered as a basis for this research:
- Is there any effect of brand personality on religious commitment?
- Is there any effect of religious commitment on purchase intention of Halal brand?
- Is there any effect of brand personality on purchase intention of Halal brand?
- Is there any effect of brand personality on purchase intention of Halal brand mediated by religious commitment?
1.3.The Purposes of the Study
The purposes of the study are as follow:
- to investigate the effect of brand personality on religious commitment
- to investigate the effect of religious commitment on purchase intention of Halal brand
- to investigate the effect of brand personality on purchase intention of Halal brand
- to investigate the effect of brand personality on purchase intention of Halal brand mediated by religious commitment.
2. Literature Review
Aaker (1997) developed a model of brand personality that consists of five dimensions i.e. sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and toughness, to measure the properties of brand personality. Although some other models of brand personality have been developed since by the different scholars, nevertheless Aaker’s model (1997) is still more popular and valid for measuring the nature of brand personality (Freling et al., 2011). Moreover, personality provides the opportunity for a brand to fulfill a specific space in consumer’s mind. In Halal context, this concept is related to the level of perception about Halal by consumers. Perception is a self-judgement of consumer regarding a particular product, brand or service (Erdem et al., 2015). Accordingly, the highlighting of brand personality probably assists in integrating perception within various consumers; such as Muslim and non-Muslim. Therefore, finding Halal brand personality was supporting consumers to recognize familiarly and confidence of a brand.
Besides that, brand personality as a human character cannot be easily changed, and the combination of personality with brand may create a solid relationship (Borzooei and Asgari, 2013). Hence, brand personality is closely related to a human characters and increasing in its effect in a long time. Usually, humans tend to be described related to an adjective approach and psychological approach. The way to identify the main features of brand personality were related to the viewpoint of consumers on certain features (Ahmad, 2015). In regards to brand personality, they support consumers created relationship to Halal brand; it mentioned a solid relationship. Temporal (2011) argued brand personality showed how a consumer can acquire and purchase ideally through a brand. Furthermore, brand personality is one of the primary elements of brand strategy (Temporal, 2011). Brand personality creates a difference in the market (Sung and Kim, 2010). For instance, Aaker (1997) describes some examples; brand "Mild Seven" character as feminine, while "IBM" character as ancient.
Similarly, Halal brand personality represents "purity, excitement, safety, sophistication and righteousness" (Ahmad, 2015). Existence halal brands still facing significant challenges that might not solve without effective branding management (Alserhan, 2010). Consumer perceptions are related to the five dimensions of brand personality differ benefits related to the brand (Maehle et al., 2011). Competency personality is associated with functional benefits and symbolic benefits (Maehle et al., 2011).
Thus, recognition of halal personality asserts on specific benefits of Halal brand. Consumers establish the relationship with various brands on a daily basis. Brand personality is an essential element in consumer decision making, purchase intention, and maintaining a stable relationship with a brand (Louis and Lombart, 2010). Honest brands are considered the high morals, whereas the excited brands offer a chance to experience feelings of excitement (Maehle et al., 2011). Meanwhile, brand in honesty personality and traits can make a much stronger relationship rather than a brand with an impressive personality (Heding et al., 2009). Finally, at the time marketers manage and develop a brand personality, it will inject charisma into their products (Temporal, 2001, Borzooei, M., 2013).
Religion represents the universal values and influence on human behavior, in decision making (Mokhlis, 2009). Other scholars explain religious values are established in an individual’s spiritual experience, a criterion that emotionally affects the purchase orientation (Shah Alam and Hisyam, 2011), in the form of personal morality and social’s ethics in the community (Khraim, 2010). Religious commitment expressed a religiosity aspect to influence consumers’ choice behavior (Mukhtar and Butt, 2012). The model of religiosity reflects on religious beliefs and religious activities.
Religiosity explains the cognitive (intrapersonal) and behavioral (intrapersonal) dimensions (Mokhlis, 2009). The intrapersonal religious dimension is related to religious identities, religious attitudes, values, and beliefs, while the interpersonal religious dimension reflected religious affiliation and religious activities in society (Mokhlis and Spartks, 2007).This is important to understand that consumers on religious commitment and affiliation to their religion, due to indicates that religious doctrines would be effect to their lifestyle, and decision-making process (Mokhlis and Spartks, 2007; Khraim, 2010; Muhammad and Mizerski, 2010).
The most critical point in each industry was concentrating on increasing consumer purchase intentions. In fact, purchase intentions reflects a passion to continuing to using a specific brand (Tariq et al., 2013). In assessing the purchase intentions of Halal brand with an assist to understanding the consumer need and their expectation (Shaari and Arifin, 2010). Intention to purchase is a process to determine and view consumer behavior (Lin and Lin, 2007), and it is related to the willingness to purchase, consume, and high consideration in particular brand (Shah et al., 2012). A previous study indicated that there is a strong relationship between brand personality and purchase intentions (O’Cass and Lim, 2001). Therefore, identifying the Halal brand personality in business is able to increase consumer’ purchase intention, and it can change consumer attitude for those who see Halal as a merely spiritual issue (Borzooei, M., and Asgari, M. 2013).
For this research, the model is designed with ‘brand personality’ as an independent variable with the five core dimensions i.e., sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and toughness. The role of ‘religious commitment’ with two-dimensions of intrapersonal and interpersonal as a mediator, while ‘intention to purchase’ is a dependent variable.
Figure 1. Conceptual Framework
Source: Adapted from Borzooei and Asgari (2013, 2014)
H1: There is a significant and positive effect between brand personality and religious commitment.
H2: There is a significant and positive effect between religious commitment and purchase intention of a Halal brand.
H3: There is a significant and positive effect between brand personality and purchase intention of a Halal brand.
H4: There is a significant and positive effect between brand personality and purchase intention of a Halal brand mediated by religious commitment.
3. Research Methodology
Research design of this study uses a causal research to retaining evidence of a causal relationship. The research used a quantitative approach, which is a research method used to measure the data, usually applied in the form of statistics analysis (Malhotra, 2012).
3.2.Population and Sample
The population of the study included consumers who purchase at several supermarkets in Medan, North Sumatera, in Indonesia that was a combination of all elements that had the information sought by the authors. The sample is a part of the population that was selected to participate in the study (Malhotra, 2012).The sampling method was non-probability sampling with purposive sampling technique in which each member of the sample selected for the study based on certain criteria. In this study, the sample of the population that selected to participate was a number of 120 respondents, who made purchases of a Halal brand (i.e., instant noodle) at several supermarkets in Medan City. The certain criteria of the respondents were: men and women; minimum age were 25 years; living in Medan City, Indonesia.
The respondents are shoppers in certain supermarkets, and they expressed their willingness to fill out the questionnaires. The questionnaire used a Likert scale 5 point, where 1 designed ‘strongly disagree’ and 5 designed ‘strongly agree’ to different statements. The authors used a Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version.19.0 to conduct a quantitative data analysis. The authors used the variables three types of variables, namely independent variable, dependent variable, and a mediator variable, and more specifically: brand personality (X) was used as an independent variable; purchase intention (Y2) was used as an dependent variable; and religious commitment (Y1) was used as an mediator variable.
4. Results and Discussion
Characteristics of respondents
The total distribution of the questionnaire was a number of 126, but six questionnaire were declared invalid, and a total number of 120 surveys were selected, confirmed and continued to examine within the statistical testing process. The demographic section of the questionnaire consisted of questions about the respondents: gender, age, and job occupation. Regarding the demographic details of the respondents, 40.8 percent of the respondents were men, and 59.2 percent of the respondents were women. In terms of age, the majority of the respondents fell in the age group of 36-45 years, which made up a total of 37 percent, followed by respondents in the age group of 26-35 years, which consisted of 34.2 percent; 18.8 percent of the respondents were in the age group upper 46 years; and 10 percent of the respondents were in the age group below 25 years. In addition, with reference to the occupations, the majority of the respondents were private sector employees which added up to 27.5 percent; followed by government employees which added up 20 percent of the total observations; 19.1 percent indicated that they were housewives; 16.7 percent of the respondents indicated that they were self-employees; and the professionals made up 9.2 percent of the respondents; lastly, 7.5 percent of the respondents indicated that they were students.
Validity and Reliability Test
Initial testing conducted on the model of research aimed to observe the convergent validity with examining the loading factor value for each indicator. The factors loading for each indicator are presented in the following table (see Table 1) are greater than 0.5, according to the criteria for a sample size of 120 (Hair et al., 2010, pp.117-118). The results of the validity test showed that the indicators are valid.
Table 1. Loading factor value
|Item||Brand Personality (X)||Religious Commitment (Y1)||Purchase Intention (Y2)|
Source: Data processed using SPSS.19
The study assesses the consistency of the entire scale with Cronbach’s alpha and the overall reliability of each factor. All values yielded alpha coefficients exceeded the values of 0.70 suggested (Hair et.al.,2010). From the result of Cronbach’s alpha and composite reliability, the questionnaire was accepted and admissible. In short, it proved to be reliable (see Table 2).
Table 2. Reliability test
|Variables||Composite reliability||Cronbach’s alpha|
|Brand Personality (X)||.9578||.9445|
|Religious Commitment (Y1)||.9738||.9463|
|Purchase Intention (Y2)||.9429||.9091|
Source: Data processed using SPSS.19
Coefficients of Determination
Based on the results of Table 3, R.Square (R²) for substructural-1 is 0.526. Means the ability of independent variables in explaining the variance of the dependent variable is 52.6 percent. The result indicated there are 47.4 percent (100%-64%) variants dependent variable explained by another factor. The interpretation of it appears that the value of R² is between 0 to 1. Moreover, R.Square (R²) for substructural-2 is 0.423, which means, that the contribution of brand personality and religious commitment on purchase intention is 42.3 percent and the result shown there is 57.7 percent, and is explained by another factor.
Table 3. Model summary
|Model||R||R Square||Adjusted R Square||Std. Error of the Estimate|
Source: Data processed using SPSS.19
The results of testing H1, H2 and H3 are shown in Table 4.
First, for H1, brand personality has a significant and positive effect on religious commitment (β=0.725, sig.< 0.05; 11.440 > 1.96); hence hypothesis (H1) was accept. The findings of the study supported previous results achieved by previous researchers (Shah Alam and Hisham, 2011; Borzooei and Asgari, 2013; Ahmad, 2015).
Second, for H2, religious commitment has a significant and positive effect on purchase intention (β=0.622, sig.< 0.05; 6.097 > 1.96); the result indicated the hypothesis (H2) was accept. The findings support the previous studies (Mokhlis and Spartks, 2007; Shaari and Arifin, 2010; Muhammad and Mizerski, 2010).
Third, for H3, brand personality does not have a significant and positive effect on purchase intention (β=0.039, sig. > 0.05; 0.370 < 1.96); the result showed that hypothesis (H3) was rejected.
Table 4. Output coefficients
|Model||Unstandardized Coefficients||Standardized Coefficients||t||Sig.|
|Brand Personality à Religious Commitment||.232||.020||.725||11.440||.000|
|Religious Commitment à Purchase Intention||.540||.089||.622||6.097||.000|
|Brand Personality à Purchase Intention||.011||.028||.039||.370||.705|
Source: Data processed using SPSS.19
Table 5. ANOVA
|Model||Sum of Squares||df||Mean Square||F||Sig.|
Source: Data processed using SPSS.19
Furthermore, the result of testing H4 is shown in Table 5. Based on the data (see Table 5 ANOVA) F-value was 42.884, and F-table was 3.07 (F-value > 3.07); while significance level < 0.05 or (0.000 < 0.05). Hypothesis (H4) indicated that brand personality has a significant and positive effect on purchase intention mediated by religious commitment. Accordingly, the hypothesis was accepted. The findings of this study supported the result of the previous authors, such as Mukhtar and Butt (2012), Lada (2009).
Based on results in Table 6, it is shown that the direct effect of brand personality on religious commitment was 72.5 percent. Besides, the direct effect of religious commitment on purchase intention was 62.2 percent. Meanwhile, the direct effect of brand personality on purchase intention was 3.9 percent. However, the indirect effect of brand personality on purchase intention and mediated religious commitment was 45.1 percent. Hence, the total effect of direct and indirect was 48.9 percent.
Table 6. Summary of Direct Effect, Indirect Effect, Total Effect
|Relationships||Direct Effect||Indirect Effect||Sig.||Conclusion|
|Brand Personality à Religious Commitment||.725||.000||.000||accepted|
|Religious Commitment à Purchase Intention||.622||.000||.000||accepted|
|Brand Personality à Purchase Intention||.039||.000||.705||rejected|
|Brand Personality à Religious Commitment à Purchase Intention||.000||(.725 x .622 =.451)||.000||accepted|
|Total Effect||(.039 + .451 = .489)|
Source: Data processed using SPSS.19
The first hypothesis testing indicated there is a significant and positive effect between brand personality and religious commitment. This result supported the study conducted by Shah Alam and Hisham, (2011) which proposed that a brand name was a part of a relative and contextual variables. The findings of their study indicated the relationship between the relative and contextual variable and religiosity had a significant correlation. While the relationship of brand personality and religiosity have recognized the result of a preliminary study by Ahmad (2015) that was suggested that the religious aspect of personality also deserves careful consideration for the factor of Halal Brand Personality namely, "righteousness" dimensions.
Understanding the nature of consumer behavior means that it determines how strong the commitment of consumers is, and they were affiliated with their religion. Religiosity demonstrates their belief systems and adherence to the doctrines of their faith and consumption style and decision-making process (Mokhlis and Spartks, 2007). Brands with genuine personality traits can lead to a stronger relationship with the brand with an attractive personality (Heding et al., 2009). Therefore, finding the appropriate halal brand personality can offer better understandings of consumer perceptions of Halal brands and how they were perceived. Halal brand personality reflects the sincere and a truthful reflection of the human personality and brings peace of mind for consumers (Borzooei and Asgari, 2013).
The second hypothesis found that religious commitment has a significant and positive effect on purchase intention. The results of this study confirm prior research. The finding of this study indicates the religious commitment is significant, and the construct can be used to predict several aspects in shopping orientation (Mokhlis and Spartks, 2007). Nonetheless, in the study, the authors have not discussed the determinant of shopping orientation. The previous scholars explained three factors, i.e., price awareness, quality awareness, also the impulsive buying patterns which consistently related to the religiosity. This study was conducted by Mokhlis and Spartks (2007). Moreover, religious commitment varied to another one. Therefore, the consumer consumption or buying were not only influenced by the religion, however the person’s activities on religious affiliation or religiosity can influence it. Individuals who have a religious commitment are likely to find the best price offer, have an excellent product quality and tend to purchase impulsively.
The finding of the third hypothesis demonstrated brand personality does not have a significant and positive effect on purchase intention of Halal brand. Brand personality and human character do not present a complete analogy. Human personality traits are not only as an absolute element (perceived) but the real element (goal), and it is perceived for people who have it independent. Clearly, the brands have not the personality traits from consumer’ perception who become the target market, but the brand personality is developed by the hypothesis construct of consumers (Ahmad, 2015).
Finally, the result of the fourth hypothesis demonstrated that brand personality has a significant and positive effect on purchase intentions of halal brand mediated religious commitment. The findings were in line with that argued of a prior scholar (Ahmad, 2015; Borzooei, and Asgari, 2013) suggested the religiosity aspects from consumer personality became to consideration factors for determining the halal brand personality dimensions. The most important factors for halal brand personality are safety and purity. The results are consistent with the finding of Ahmad (2015) that indicated dimensions of brand personality conventionally is not always related to the concept of halal brand personality.
This study investigated the conceptualization of brand personality and the effect on purchase intentions of a halal brand also the role of religious commitment. The study found that brand personality has a significant and positive effect on religious commitment. Meanwhile, religious commitment has a significant and positive effect on purchase intentions of the halal brand. However, brand personality does not exhibit a significant and positive effect directly on the purchase intentions of the halal brand.
Furthermore, the study has discovered that brand personality has a significant and positive effect on purchase intentions of the halal brand mediated by religious commitment. We argued this is an indirect effect. The total effect was a sum of the direct effect and the indirect effect. The role of religious commitment has a great contribution between brand personality and purchase intentions of the halal brand. In a future study, we aim to use the dimensions of halal brand personality conducted by Ahmad (2015), namely: righteousness; purity; excitement; safety, and sophistication to describe halal personality traits.
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