Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Journalism and Mass Communications

First Advisor

Tara Marie Mortensen


Brands have always exuded personality and status to consumers in order to promote a competent impression and induce positive perceptions and behaviors (Griskevicius, et al., 2007). In order for individuals to identify with brands, the brands must become more personable by consciously embodying a specific personality trait. Research has found that when a brand embodies a personality, there is an associated increase in consumer preference and usage (Sirgy, 1982), purchase choices for that brand (Ha & Janda, 2014; Gordon et al., 2016; Guèvremont & Grohmann, 2013; Swaminathan et al., 2009), and consumer preference and brand loyalty (Louis & Lombart, 2010; Mengxia, 2007). The purpose of this study is threefold: first, to examine the relationship between each of Aaker’s (1997) brand personalities – competence, sincerity, excitement, sophistication, and ruggedness – and consumer engagement on social media; second, to explore for the first time brand-consumer reciprocal altruism and its relationship with engagement; and third, to investigate whether reciprocal altruism is related to greater engagement from consumers following the brand on social media.