Assessing the Perceived Personalities of Rocks

Of these three rocks, which would you say is the most ‘confident’ ?


How about the most ‘sincere’ or ‘intelligent’? Just such questions were asked in a recent study by Dr. Mark Avis (Massey University, New Zealand), Dr. Sarah Forbes (University of Birmingham, UK) and Dr. Shelagh Ferguson (University of Otago, New Zealand). Their study examined the (perceived) personalities – specifically the Brand Personalities (BP) – of the three rocks shown above. Experimental results showed that Rock G was the most glamorous and also the most contemporary, whilst rock H was the most sentimental, and rock I was the most independent.

See: ‘The brand personality of rocks: A critical evaluation of a brand personality scale’ Marketing Theory, December 6, 2013.

Background Notes on BP

The concept of ‘Brand Personality’ was developed in 1997 by Jennifer L. Aaker, who is General Atlantic Professor of Marketing, Ormond Family Faculty, Graduate School of Business, Knight Management Center, Stanford University. The professor’s paper ‘Dimensions of Brand Personality ‘ (Journal of Marketing Research, Aug. 1997) suggested that it might be possible to rate a diverse range of commercial product and services (e.g Bic razors, Marlboro cigarettes, Marriot hotels etc.) according to their perceived ‘personality’ traits. (e.g. cheerful, confident, intelligent etc.)

Similar techniques – such as the Young and Rubicam BrandAsset™ Valuator (which is cited in the paper above) are currently widely used in the advertising / marketing industries.