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Although a considerable amount of research inpersonality psychology has been done to conceptualize human personality, identify the "Big Five" dimensions, and explore the meaning of each dimension, no parallel research has been conducted in consumer behavior on brand personality. Consequently, an understanding of the symbolic use of brands has been limited in the consumer behavior literature. In this research, the author develops atheoretical framework of the brand personality construct by determining the number and nature of dimensions of brand personality (Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication, and Ruggedness). To measure the five brand personality dimensions, a reliable, valid, and generalizable measurement scale is created. Finally, theoretical and practical implications regarding the symbolic use of brands arediscussed.
measurementscales that tend to be ad hoc (e.g., checklists, photo-sorts, symbolic analogy) or taken directly from personality psychology but not validated in the context of brands(Kassarjian1971). As a result, the theoreticalgeneralizability and implications stemming from the findings in the researchon the symbolic use of brandsare questionable.The objective of this research is to address these limitations by drawingon researchon the "Big Five" humanpersonality structure to develop a theoretical framework of brand personality dimensions (Norman 1963; Tupes and Christal 1958) and a reliable, valid, and generalizablescale that measuresthese dimensions. THEBRANDPERSONALITY CONSTRUCT Brandpersonality is defined formally here as "the set ofhumancharacteristics associatedwith a brand." illustrate, To Absolut vodka personifiedtends to be described as a cool, hip, contemporary25-year old, whereas Stoli's personified tends to be describedas an intellectual, conservative,older man. In contrastto "product-related which tend attributes," to serve a utilitarianfunction for consumers, brandpersonality tends to serve a symbolic orself-expressive function (Keller 1993). It is arguedthatthe symbolic use of brandsis possible because consumersoften imbue brandswith humanpersonality traits (termed animism;e.g., Gilmore 1919). Consumers easily can think about brandsas if they were celebrities or famous historical figures (Rook 1985) and as they relate to one's own self (Foumrnier 1994), which may be due in partto the strategiesused by...