Business Administration Faculty Publications

Title

The Brand Personality Scale: An Application for Restaurants

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1999

Journal Title

Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly

Volume

40

Issue

3

First Page

48

Last Page

55

DOI

10.1177/001088049904000319

Abstract

A study of a convenience sample of 247 students at Cornell's School of Hotel Administration measured the extent to which respondents differentiated among the personalities of nine restaurants in three segments (quick service, casual dining, and upscale). The study was based on Jennifer L. Aaker's brand-personality scale, which posits five overall personality dimensions comprising 42 traits. The overall dimensions are competence, sincerity, excitement, sophistication, and ruggedness. Respondents rated each of the nine restaurants on Aaker's 42 traits. On balance, the students did not perceive large differences among the restaurants' overall personalities, although certain restaurants were seen as distinctive on individual dimensions. For instance, McDonald's was seen as being more competent and exciting than either Burger King or Wendy's. Chili's was rated as the most rugged of the three casual-dining restaurants, while TGI Friday's was considered to be more exciting than Chili's or Applebee's. Ironically, the students reported the least personality differentiation among the upscale restaurants (all local establishments), even though the chef's or owner's personality usually informs such restaurants. Overall, upscale restaurants were perceived to be more sophisticated than the casual-dining or QSR outlets, while the casual-dining restaurants were seen as more sincere.

Keywords

Marketing, restaurants