IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Consumption Symbols as Carriers of Culture: A Study of Japanese and Spanish Brand Personality Constructs

Listed author(s):
  • Aaker, Jennifer

    (Stanford U)

  • Benet-Martinez, Veronica

    (U of Michigan)

  • Garolera, Jordi

    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Registered author(s):

    This research argues that the meaning embedded in consumption symbols, such as commercial brands, can serve to represent and institutionalize the values and beliefs of a culture. We conducted four studies to examine how the symbolic and expressive attributes associated with commercial brands are structured, and determine the degree to which this structure varies across three cultures. Relying on a combined emic-etic approach, we identified indigenous constructs of `brand personality' (Aaker, 1997) in two non-Anglo cultures (Japan and Spain), and compared these dimensions to those previously found in the United States. The results of Studies 1 and 2 revealed a set of brand personality dimensions common to both Japan and the United States (Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, and Sophistication), as well as culture-specific Japanese (Peacefulness) and American (Ruggedness) dimensions. Studies 3 and 4 extended this set of findings to Spain. Results from these studies also identified brand personality dimensions common to both Spain and the United States (Sincerity, Excitement, and Sophistication), plus non-shared Spanish (Passion) and American (Competence and Ruggedness) dimensions. The meaning of the culturally-common and -specific brand personality dimensions is discussed in the context of cross-cultural research on values and affect, globalization issues, and cultural frame shifting.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 1668r.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Sep 2001
    Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1668r
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5015

    Phone: (650) 723-2146
    Fax: (650)725-6750
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. McCracken, Grant, 1986. " Culture and Consumption: A Theoretical Account of the Structure and Movement of the Cultural Meaning of Consumer Goods," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 71-84, June.
    2. Aaker, Jennifer L & Maheswaran, Durairaj, 1997. " The Effect of Cultural Orientation on Persuasion," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 315-328, December.
    3. Belk, Russell W & Pollay, Richard W, 1985. " Images of Ourselves: The Good Life in Twentieth Century Advertising," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 887-897, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1668r. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.