This study draws on categorisation theory to investigate how consumers make brand personality inferences. Its purpose is to determine the basic category at which consumers make brand personality inferences and whether this level varies for functional and symbolic products. Experimental
results show that the basic level of categorisation for brand personality inferences is the brand level for symbolic products and the product type level for functional products. These findings suggest that managers may have less latitude to adopt diverse personalities for functional than symbolic
products. The study also demonstrates that, in contrast to prior work, future research on brand personality should consider a wider range of sources of personality.