Brand Extension Acceptability in Food and Beverage Product Categories

Brand Extension Acceptability in Food and Beverage Product Categories



Brand Extension Acceptability in Food and Beverage Product Categories


Maria Cristiana MARTINI, Giovanna GALLI, Marcello TEDESCHI

Classification JEL



Brand extension is a powerful marketing strategy that allows firms to offer new product categories, taking advantage from the original brand name and its positive associations (Evangeline and Ragel, 2016). It helps firms to launch new products without the risks connected to the introduction of a new brand in the market. Firms have repeatedly adopted this marketing strategy, not always with success (De Chernatony et al., 2003). Moreover, a bad brand extension performance might have negative consequences on the original brand/product, both in terms of brand reputation and market positioning. Indeed, consumers perceived fit, namely the perceived similarity between the core brand product and its extension, has a crucial impact on brand extension acceptability by the market (Aaker and Keller, 1990; Bottomley and Doyle, 1996). Because of the important role of consumers’ judgment, the identification of constructs that might support a good similarity perception can help firms to choose appropriate brand extension strategies. This paper presents an exploratory study focused on three products hypothetically introduced on the market by Coca Cola with the same core brand, in order to investigate the role trust might have to foster consumer perceived brand extension acceptability. The experimental set is based on an energy drink, that can be considered as part of the same product category, chips and a chocolate bar, belonging to food category. For each product, consumers acceptability depends on product category fit and brand level fit, both these last two constructs depending in turn on brand trust (Martini et al., 2016; Tedeschi et al., 2017). The results show that cognitive brand trust can sustain a high product category perceived fit, whereas affective brand trust supports high brand level fit.


Brand trust, Brand extension, Food and beverage, Structural equation models.

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