Journal of Brand Management

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 513–524 | Cite as

Rebranding mergers: How attitudes influence consumer choices?

  • Joana César Machado
  • Paulo de Lencastre
  • Leonor Vacas de Carvalho
  • Patrício Costa
Original Article

Abstract

In the context of a merger or an acquisition, the management of corporate identity – in particular of corporate brand names and logos – assumes a critical role. The purpose of this article is to provide a better understanding of the corporate brand redeployment decision, considering the reactions of one important stakeholder group – consumers. This study develops a typology of the various corporate identity structures that could be assumed in the context of a brand merger, and analyses how consumers’ attitudes towards the corporate brands influences their preferences regarding the different branding strategies. Results suggest that the preference for a monolithic redeployment strategy, suggested in previous studies, is only clearly supported when one of the partners in the merger is a weak partner. When the merger involves two familiar brands, there is a tendency among consumers to combine elements of both brands’ identity. Finally, it is concluded that the affective and behavioural dimension of attitude towards the brand has a significant influence on consumers’ preferences.

Keywords

brand brand identity signs brand attitude mergers and acquisitions corporate brand name logo changes 

References

  1. Aaker, D.A. and Joachimsthaler, E. (2000) The brand relationship spectrum: The key to the brand architecture challenge. California Management Review 42 (4): 8–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Balmer, J.M.T. and Dinnie, K. (1999) Corporate identity and corporate communications: The antidote to merger madness. Corporate Communications 4 (4): 182–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berry, L.L. (2000) Cultivating service brand equity. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 28 (1): 128–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chaudury, A. and Holbrook, M.B. (2001) The chain of effects from brand trust and brand affect to brand performance: The role of brand loyalty. Journal of Marketing 65 (2): 81–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chisnal, P. (1995) Consumer Behaviour, 3rd edn. London: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  6. Cohen, J.B. and Reed, A. (2006) A multiple pathway anchoring and adjustment model of attitude generation and recruitment. Journal of Consumer Research 33 (1): 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. de Chernatony, L. and Segal-Horn, S. (2003) The criteria for successful services brands. European Journal of Marketing 37 (7/8): 1095–1118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Devlin, J.F. and McKechnie, S. (2008) Consumer perceptions of brand architecture in services. European Journal of Marketing 42 (5/6): 654–666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Engel, J.F., Blackwell, R.D. and Miniard, P.W. (1995) Consumer Behaviour. Fort Worth, TX: The Dryden Press.Google Scholar
  10. Ettenson, R. and Knowles, J. (2006) Merging the brands and branding the merger. Sloan Management Review 47 (4): 39–49.Google Scholar
  11. Grossman, R.P. and Till, B.D. (1998) The persistence of classically conditioned brand attitudes. Journal of Advertising 27 (1): 23–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Henderson, P.W. and Cote, J.A. (1998) Guidelines for selecting and modifying logos. Journal of Marketing 62 (April): 14–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Henderson, P.W., Cote, J.A., Leong, S.M. and Schmitt, B. (2003) Building strong brands in Asia: Selecting the visual elements of image to maximize brand strength. International Journal of Marketing Research 20 (4): 297–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Holden, S.J.S. and Vanhuele, M. (1999) Know the name, forget the exposure: Brand familiarity versus memory of exposure context. Psychology & Marketing 16 (6): 479–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jaju, A., Joiner, C. and Reddy, S. (2006) Consumer evaluations of corporate brand redeployments. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 34 (2): 206–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Janiszewski, C. and Meyvis, T. (2001) Effects of brand logo complexity, repetition and spacing on processing fluency and judgement. Journal of Consumer Research 28 (1): 18–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Keller, K.-L. (1993) Conceptualizing, measuring and managing customer-based brand equity. Journal of Marketing 57 (January): 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Keller, K.-L. (1999) Managing brands for the long run: Brand reinforcement and revitalization strategies. California Management Review 41 (3): 101–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Keller, K.-L. (2002) Branding and Brand Equity. Cambridge, MA: Marketing Science Institute.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kim, J., Allen, C.T. and Kardes, F.R. (1996) An investigation of the mediational mechanisms underlying attitudinal conditioning. Journal of Marketing Research 33 (3): 318–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kim, H. and John, D.R. (2008) Consumer response to brand extensions: Construal level as moderator of the importance of perceived fit. Journal of Consumer Psychology 18: 116–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Klink, R.R. (2001) Creating meaningful new brand names: A study of semantics and sound symbolism. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice 9 (2): 27–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Klink, R.R. (2003) Creating meaningful new brand names: The relationship between brand name and brand mark. Marketing Letters 14 (3): 143–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kohli, C.S., Suri, R. and Thakor, M. (2002) Creating effective logos: Insight from theory and practice. Business Horizons, (May–June): 58–64.Google Scholar
  25. Kumar, S. and Blomqvist, K.H. (2004) Mergers and acquisitions: Making brand equity a key factor in M&A decision-making. Strategy and Leadership 32 (2): 20–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lencastre, P. and Côrte-Real, A. (2010) One, two, three: A practical brand anatomy. Journal of Brand Management 17 (6): 399–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Levin, I.P. and Levin, A.M. (2000) Modeling the role of brand alliances in the assimilation of product evaluations. Journal of Consumer Psychology 9 (1): 43–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Melewar, T.C. (2001) Measuring visual identity: A multi-construct study. Corporate Communications 6 (1): 36–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Melewar, T.C. and Jenkins, E. (2002) Defining the corporate identity construct. Corporate Reputation Review 5 (1): 76–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Melewar, T.C., Basset, K. and Simões, C. (2006) The role of communication and visual identity in modern organisations. Corporate Communications 11 (2): 138–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Milberg, S.J., Park, C.W. and McCarthy, M.S. (1997) Managing negative feedback effects associated with brand extensions: The impact of alternative branding strategies. Journal of Consumer Psychology 6 (2): 119–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Muzellec, L. and Lambkin, M. (2006) Corporate rebranding: Destroying, transferring or creating brand equity? European Journal of Marketing 40 (7/8): 803–8224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Olins, W. (1990) Corporate Identity, Making Business Strategy Visible through Design. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.Google Scholar
  34. Park, C.W., Jun, S.Y. and Schocker, A.D. (1996) Composite branding alliances: An investigation of extension and feedback effects. Journal of Marketing Research 33 (November): 453–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pham, M.T. and Avnet, T. (2004) Ideals and oughts and the reliance on affect versus substance in persuasion. Journal of Consumer Research 30 (4): 503–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pham, M.T., Cohen, J.B., Pracejus, J.W. and Hughes, G.D. (2004) Affect monitoring and the primacy of feelings in judgement. Journal of Consumer Research 28 (September): 167–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pittard, N., Ewing, M. and Jevons, C. (2007) Aesthetic theory and logo design: Examining consumer response to proportions across cultures. International Marketing Review 24 (4): 457–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rao, A.R. and Ruekert, R.W. (1994) Brand alliances as signals of product quality. Sloan Management Review 36 (1): 87–97.Google Scholar
  39. Rodrigue, C.S. and Biswas, A. (2004) Brand alliance dependency and exclusivity: An empirical investigation. Journal of Product and Brand Management 13 (7): 477–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rosson, P. and Brooks, M.R. (2004) M&As and corporate visual identity: An exploratory study. Corporate Reputation Review 7 (2): 181–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Samu, S., Krishnan, H.S. and Smith, R.E. (1999) Using advertising alliances for new product introduction: Interactions between product complementarity and promotional strategies. Journal of Marketing 63 (1): 57–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Saunders, J. and Guoqun, F. (1997) Dual branding: How corporate names add value. Journal of Product and Brand Management 6 (1): 40–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Schiffman, S.S. and Kanuk, L.L. (1991) Consumer Behavior. Engelwood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  44. Simões, C., Dibb, S. and Fisk, R.P. (2005) Managing corporate identity: An internal perspective. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 33 (2): 153–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Simonin, B.L. and Ruth, J.A. (1998) Is a company known by the company it keeps? Assessing the spillover effects of brand alliances on consumer brand attitudes. Journal of Marketing Research 35 (1): 30–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Spaeth, T. (1999) Powerbrands. Across the Board 36 (2): 23–29.Google Scholar
  47. Stuart, H. and Muzzelec, L. (2004) Corporate makeovers: Can hyena be rebranded? Journal of Brand Management 11 (6): 472–483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Van den Bosch, C. and de Jong, M. (2005) How corporate visual identity supports reputation. Corporate Communications: An International Journal 10 (2): 108–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Van Riel, C.B.M. and Balmer, J.M.T. (1997) Corporate identity: The concept, its measurement and management. European Journal of Marketing 31 (5/6): 340–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Van Riel, C.B.M. and Van den Ban, A. (2001) The added value of corporate logos – An empirical study. European Journal of Marketing 35 (3/4): 428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Washburn, J.H., Till, B.D. and Priluck, R. (2004) Brand alliance and customer-based brand equity effects. Psychology & Marketing 21 (7): 487–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joana César Machado
    • 1
  • Paulo de Lencastre
    • 1
  • Leonor Vacas de Carvalho
    • 1
  • Patrício Costa
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidade Católica – Rua Diogo BotelhoPortoPortugal

Personalised recommendations