Image feedback effects of brand extensions: Evidence from a longitudinal field study
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This paper examines the issue of image feedback effects and potential drivers of these effects by analyzing real-world extensions that have been introduced successfully in the market, using a longitudinal field study. Within the context of typical FMCG extensions, the authors find strong evidence that even for successful extensions, negative image feedback effects can occur, particularly when the perceived quality of the extension fails to meet the quality level of the parent brand. Strong brands tend to be more vulnerable to negative image feedback effects because consumers have a higher reference level for their extensions than for those of weaker brands. The likelihood of negative feedback effects decreases as the level of perceived fit and consumers’ perceptions of the general extendibility of the parent brand increases. But managers cannot, at least in the short run, mitigate negative image feedback effects through increased advertising support. Finally, the findings demonstrate that the feedback effects of a new extension product on parent brand image diminish over time.
KeywordsBrand extensions Image feedback effects Brand name dilution
The authors thank the editor and the two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. The comments of Kevin Lane Keller and John Roberts on previous drafts of this manuscript are also gratefully acknowledged.
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