The Aaker Five-Dimensional Model of Brand Personality

Marketing research carried out world-wide constantly reveal that consumers’ perceptions and expectations about brands are not limited to the functional characteristics and advantages of the branded products or services. They very often include what is called the “brand image”, namely non-functional qualities (which also comprise the set of human characteristics, referred to as “brand personality”). That is why consumers refer to the brands by using adjectival descriptors of personality traits, while marketers try to attract more clients by reinforcing their perceptions and consequently by better positioning their own brands vis-à-vis their competitors (Batra, Lenk and Wedel, 2007).

When it comes to adjusting their marketing strategy, the marketers need, among other things, to have a tool for measuring the brand personality. The same is true for their customers in the buying decision-making process. In this respect, the most often used measurement instrument is the one developed by Jennifer Aaker in her 1997 research work with the title “Dimensions of Brand Personality”. In her endeavour – eventually successful – she constructed a five-dimensional framework for describing and measuring the “personality” of a given brand, each dimension being divided into a set of facets.

Aiming at developing broad scales, ”generalizable across product categories” the author based her initial research on 631 respondents rating each of the carefully selected 37 brands with respect to 114 personality  traits. After several rounds of testing and retesting, the results of an analysis relying on 180 respondents, 20 brands and 42 personality traits warranted the stability and reliability of the 42-item framework (scale) of brand personality (Aaker, 1997, p.348).