The Role of Implicit Theories in Brand Extendibility
38 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2007
Date Written: June 2007
People often associate human characteristics with brands such that the notion of brand personality has become part of marketing's vernacular. This research documents how implicit theories regarding one's own personality traits (whether they are fixed or malleable) affect inferences about the malleability of a brand's traits. In study 1, we document how consumers who believe traits are malleable (incremental theorists) are more likely to be accepting of brand repositioning and brand extensions than consumers who believe these traits are fixed (entity theorists). In study 2, we examine the process underlying how people utilize implicit theories and show that differences in acceptability of brand extension are due to the effect of implicit theories on the strength of trait judgment and not differences in the number of brand associations generated. In study 3, we examine how implicit theories of the self affect internal trait consistency and the consequences of violating people's implicit theories.
Keywords: brand personality, incremental theory, entity theory
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