Massage therapists are told by marketing experts to “brand” their practices, but what does that really mean? New research from North Carolina State University lays out a system for measuring the appeal of a brand’s personality.

“We developed this means of measuring brand personality appeal so companies can figure out how favorably their brand personality is viewed by consumers, and what they can do to enhance that personality’s appeal to their market,” says David Henard, Ph.D., an associate professor of business management at the university and co-author of a paper describing the study, in a university press release.

The researchers first broke BPA down into three components:

1. Favorability: how positively a brand personality is viewed by consumers.

2. Originality: how distinct the brand personality is from other brands.

3. Clarity: how clearly the brand personality is perceived by consumers.

A brand personality’s appeal is determined according to the interaction of these three variables, the press release noted.

The researchers then used these three variables to establish a measurement system for brand personality appeal.

The system consists of 16 questions that provide information on each of the three brand personality appeal variables. The questions can be applied to any brand personality.

By assessing consumer responses to these 16 questions, a brand personality is graded on its overall favorability, originality and clarity.

The study will run in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.