Brand and category design consistency in brand

Topics: Brand management, Branding, Brand equity Pages: 42 (9814 words) Published: January 3, 2014
Brand and category design consistency in brand
Yi Sheng Goh
Institute of Creative Industries Design, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, and

Veena Chattaraman and Sandra Forsythe
Department of Consumer Affairs, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA Abstract
Purpose – This study aims to investigate the influence of two critical brand extension design components – brand design consistency and category design consistency – on the formation of consumers’ product attitudes and purchase intentions. It also aims to examine the underlying mechanism for attitude formation towards new brand extensions using processing fluency theory and the moderation of brand strength. Design/methodology/approach – A 2 (brand design consistency: high vs low) £ 2 (category design consistency: high vs low) £ 2 (brand strength: strong vs weak) £ 2 (processing fluency: conceptual vs perceptual) between subjects experiment with 642 participants was used to test the proposed hypotheses and model.

Findings – Results obtained from SEM and ANCOVA demonstrate that both brand and category design consistencies assert significant effects on new product attitude in brand extensions; however, the relative effect of category design consistency is greater. Further, the effect of category design consistency varies as a function of brand strength, and is stronger for weak brands than for strong brands. Practical implications – Brand managers should maintain consistency of extension product design with both the parent brand and the new product category, and prioritize the latter for weak brands.

Originality/value – This study integrates brand extension and aesthetics research on prototypicality to formulate and test important research questions, previously unexamined. Further, realistically-rendered product images, allowing both conceptual and perceptual processing, were used in the experiment to provide a better imitation of real product choices – an approach different from most extant brand extension studies, which utilize verbal stimuli.

Keywords Design consistency, Perceived fit, Brand strength, Processing fluency, Brand extensions, Brands, Consumer behaviour Paper type Research paper

of the most critical decisions in brand extension – the tradeoff between brand image and product image: if Gap wants to extend to lingerie, should it maintain Gap’s brand image of simple and comfortable or should it go for typical lingerie

image of sexy and lacy? In this research, the former is termed brand design consistency (BDC), or the extent to which the
design of an extension product is congruent with the parent
brand image. The latter is termed category design consistency (CDC), or the degree to which the design of an extension
product is prototypical of its category exemplar.
Prior research on similar constructs is based on verbal
descriptions of brands and their extensions. However, a design has both form and concept (i.e. abstract meaning). The same
concept can be presented in various forms. By the same token, a single concept of a brand (e.g. natural) can be translated into different designs that exhibit the concept. For example, the concept of natural can be manifested through soft fabric, green product appearance or even a matte finish. The current study utilizes visual stimuli in construct manipulations to offer a new and significant perspective on these critical factors by

emphasizing the perceptual nature of these constructs.
The overarching purpose of this study is to systematically
examine the impact of BDC and CDC on consumers’
attitudes and purchase intentions toward brand extensions,
and to provide insight on the underlying mechanism for these effects using processing fluency theory. In addition, this study examines brand strength as a potential moderator to address
the differential effects that BDC and CDC assert on strong
versus weak brands.

An executive summary for managers and executive
readers can be found at...

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