Brand personality complementarity
: its effects on evaluations of extremely incongruent extensions

  • Mozard Mohtar

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Prior research on brand extension has provided little evidence on enhancing the evaluation of extremely incongruent extension. Adopting the theoretical framework of schema congruity theory, the author posits that evaluations can be improved if brand personality impressions of both parent brand and extension are complementary. The author coins this as the brand personality complementarity (BPC) principle. Prior to examining BPC effect, cultural-specific brand personality scale was developed to identify universal and indigenous brand personality dimensions. The reason is BPC requires a reliable and valid brand personality scale in order to detect its effect. Following successful identification of the cultural-specific brand personality scale, a total of three experimental studies were done to investigate BPC effect. Specifically, one experimental study identified complementary levels amongst brand personality dimensions, whereas two experimental studies investigated the moderating effect of BPC. Findings from the scale development study reveal that Malaysian brand personality (MBP) scale is a second higher-order factor reflected by first higher-order factors of sophistication, youth, competence, and sincerity. Most importantly, findings from the experimental studies revealed; 1) different BPC levels amongst all possible pairs of MBP dimensions, 2) significant interaction effect of brand extension congruity x BPC, and 3) significant mediation effect of complementarity resolution. Specific findings indicated that when iv text-based stimuli were used to form brand personality impression, even low BPC level improves the evaluations of extremely incongruent extension. However, when visualbased stimuli were used, low BPC level worsen the extension evaluation compared those of the control condition (i.e. without brand personality impression). Implications for both academician and practitioner are discussed.
Date of Award7 Oct 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aston University
SupervisorJohn M Rudd (Supervisor) & Heiner Evanschitzky (Supervisor)


  • brand personality complementarity
  • schema congruity theory
  • brand extension
  • brand personality
  • scale development
  • Malaysia

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