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ABSTRACT

Current discussions of brand personality refer to a personified brand image, that is, a brand image that can possess any attributes of consumers, rather than brand personality. From a conceptual and methodological critique of the literature, this paper applies the definition of personality to brand personality, and tests the idea using a peer-rating methodology that focuses on each individual's perception of a brand (the brand × subject structure). The results reveal that consumers reflect their personalities by the brands they use, but the relationship between brand choice and symbolic dimensions (i.e., extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, and openness to experience) is much stronger than the relationship with functional dimensions (i.e., conscientiousness). Moreover, the pattern of this relationship remains consistent across symbolic and utilitarian products, which implies that consumers choose brands with similar personalities to theirs across various products. The study concludes that an abridged personality scale, based on the Big Five, can be applied to both brands and consumers. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.