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The Importance of the Context in Brand Extension: How Pictures and Comparisons Shift Consumers’ Focus from Fit to Quality

Journal of Marketing Research, April, Vol. 49, 206-217.

13 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2008 Last revised: 2 Oct 2013

Tom Meyvis

New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing

Kelly Goldsmith

Vanderbilt University - Marketing

Ravi Dhar

Yale School of Management - International Center for Finance

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

It is well established that consumers’ evaluations of brand extensions depend on the quality of the parent brand and the fit between that brand and the extension category. We propose that the relative importance of these two factors is influenced by two key features of a typical shopping environment: the presence of visual information and the availability of comparison brands. In particular, we demonstrate that adding pictures and enabling brand comparisons shifts consumers’ preference from extensions of better fitting brands to extensions of higher quality brands. We propose that this occurs because pictures and brand comparisons create a more concrete representation of the extension, which in turn increases the importance of parent brand quality relative to brand-extension fit. We provide support for this underlying mechanism and discuss the practical implications of our findings.

Keywords: Branding, brand extensions, consumer mindsets, choice

JEL Classification: D81, M31

Suggested Citation

Meyvis, Tom and Goldsmith, Kelly and Dhar, Ravi, The Importance of the Context in Brand Extension: How Pictures and Comparisons Shift Consumers’ Focus from Fit to Quality (2012). Journal of Marketing Research, April, Vol. 49, 206-217.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1094589

Tom Meyvis (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing ( email )

Henry Kaufman Ctr
44 W 4 St.
New York, NY
United States

Kelly Goldsmith

Vanderbilt University - Marketing ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Ravi Dhar

Yale School of Management - International Center for Finance ( email )

Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States

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