Comparing Factor Analytical and Circumplex Models of Brand Personality in Brand Positioning

J.E. Bao, Jill Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Competition has never been greater, which means it is more important than ever that organizations assess their brand management strategies, including brand personality management. However, little empirical research addresses the brand personality concept, particularly its role in product evaluation. An exception, which views brand personality as a set of human personality characteristics associated with a brand, has been criticized for its use of a factor analytical approach. An alternative approach posits that the brand represents a relationship partner with which the consumer may choose to engage; it corresponds to the interpersonal circumplex approach to personality modeling. The present study compares these two approaches by developing brand positioning maps and predicting consumer outcomes. The results support the factor approach in a purely quantitative sense, but the circumplex approach offers both a richer qualitative explanation of the findings by encompassing a broad spectrum of traits and a more diagnostic prediction of consumer outcomes. The alternative conceptualization of brand personality contained in these results should be of interest to brand managers. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-949
JournalPsychology & Marketing
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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