The Brand Personality Framework

 

Sincerity

Excitement

Competence

Sophistication

Ruggedness

Down-to-earth

Daring

Reliable

Upper-class

Outdoorsy

Honest

Spirited

Intelligent

Charming

Tough

Wholesome

Imaginative

Successful

Glamorous

Masculine

Cheerful

Up-to-date

Hard-working

Good-looking

Western

Family-oriented

Trendy

Secure

Feminine

Rugged

Small-town

Exciting

Technical

Smooth

 

Sincere

Cool

Corporate

 

 

Real

Young

Leader

 

 

Original

Unique

Confident

 

 

Sentimental

Independent

 

 

 

Friendly

Contemporary

 

 

 

 

Discussions – sometimes rather heated – have been going on during the last 10 to 15 years with respect to Aaker’s framework. Tens of papers on this subject have practically “flooded” the literature in the field. Trying to summarize the main conclusions of both the adepts and opponents of Aaker’s model, there are several significant elements to be mentioned. Thus, the five dimensions retained by Aaker for her proposed framework are generally enough, and at the same time nuanced to allow the analysis of the personality of the broadest possible range of brands for goods and services. At the same time, the 42 facets singled out under the five personality dimensions allow further refinements of brands’ attractiveness, so as to fit the wishes and necessities of large categories of customers, with different levels of revenues and consumption.

On the other hand, Aaker’s model is facing quite a number of criticisms (Malik and Naeem, 2012, pp. I 1992-I 1994). Thus, transferring tale quale the human characteristics on material goods is considered if not wrong, at least debatable. The same is true with the fact that, in selecting the brands to be at the basis of her personality framework, Aaker chose US ones only, thus limiting the framework’s generalizability across product categories. This leads to the fact that Aaker’s brand personality scale is not always suitable for all cultures. Keller and Richey (2006) add to these shortcomings the fact that Aaker’s framework is generally not always applicable to corporate brand personality.

All in all however, Aaker’s model remains the main instrument worldwide for brand personality evaluation. That is why, for a better understanding, it will be illustrated by the case study on the following page.