Gender Dimension of Brand Personality

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Although masculinity and femininity are personality traits relevant to brands, their measurement and contribution to branding theory and practice have not been examined. This article describes the development and validation of a two-dimensional scale measuring masculine and feminine brand personality that is discriminant with regard to existing brand personality dimensions and scales measuring masculinity and femininity as human personality traits. This scale is applied to show that (1) spokespeople in advertising shape masculine and feminine brand personality perceptions; (2) brand personality–self-concept congruence in terms of masculine and feminine brand personality and consumers’ sex role identity positively
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Study 4 establishes the scale’s discriminant validity with regard to the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI; Bem 1974)—a measure of masculinity and femininity as human personality traits (Study 4a)—and the ruggedness and sophistication dimensions of Aaker’s (1997) brand personality scale
Journal of Marketing Research Vol. XLVI (February 2009), 105–119

© 2009, American Marketing Association ISSN: 0022-2437 (print), 1547-7193 (electronic)



JOURNAL OF MARKETING RESEARCH, FEBRUARY 2009 King 1968). At this point, research on how masculinity and femininity fit with the five-factor model supports various relationships between the Big Five and gender dimensions (Lippa and Connelly 1990; Marusic and Bratko 1998; Ramanaiah and Detwiler 1992; Whitley and Gridley 1993), but because of their complex nature (Digman 1990), these relationships are still being investigated. In summary, there is a precedence for the investigation of masculinity and femininity beyond the Big Five. Second, a consideration of gender dimensions of brand personality arises from consumers’ need to express themselves along multiple dimensions (Aaker 1997). The marketing literature suggests that the need to express masculinity and femininity through brand choice (e.g., Dolich 1969) is based on the notion that gender is part of consumers’ self-concept (Freimuth and Hornstein 1982). Consumers draw on masculine and feminine personality traits associated with a
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