In an increasingly borderless world in which brands can be as powerful as currency, stretching brands that already have strong equity has become an ever more important avenue for growth. However, many attempts at brand stretch fail in the marketplace.
How firms and their brands can avoid pitfalls and best manage brand extensions globally is addressed in a recent paper by Rohini Ahluwalia, professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing Research.
Over 80 percent of new products are categorized as brand extensions, emphasizing the importance of their success. Ahluwalia’s findings identify an important segmentation variable for marketers to consider when launching brand extensions. “Stretching a brand makes it important to target an audience that will be able to process and understand the relationship of the brand to the new product,” says Ahluwalia. “Getting it right the first time is crucial, because early success with a target audience can help with future extensions. And the broader a brand gets, the easier it is to stretch next time.”
Individuals can be categorized into one of the two types of self-views: relational or independent. Her findings reveal that buyers with a more relational or connected--to--others self-view (e.g., females, Asian Americans, Hispanics and those hailing from Eastern nations) are more open to accepting brand stretches than those associated with an independent self-view (e.g., males, Caucasians and Westerners). Knowing target customers’ self-view type could be key to managing a new product launch.
But why? Ahluwalia explains, “Consumers whose self-view stresses connectedness are predisposed to finding more relationships between objects-such as a parent brand and its extension-than people with a more independent self-view. They uncover more similarities and synergies, making them more receptive to a brand stretch. For instance, a relational individual may easily see how Jeep’s reputation for durability and a smooth ride would also make sense for a stroller.” For shoppers with an independent self-view, who tend to be more analytical, these ties might not be as obvious.
Ahluwalia also reveals an important limiting factor to the extent to which a brand can stretch. While the effect is observed for moderate levels of brand stretch (e.g., Jeep strollers or Godiva ice cream), it is less likely to emerge when the extension stretches the brand further (e.g., Hooter’s Airlines or a Johnson & Johnson noodle product). In these cases, even those with a relational self-view find it difficult to uncover clear connections.
Ahluwalia has, however, found ways that a company can increase the chances of success with relational consumers, even for far-reaching brand stretches. “There are some specific techniques that might help remove these road blocks. For instance, advertising copy strategies like using a question headline, pun or metaphors will engage and motivate those with a relational self-view to focus and elaborate on the connection,” advises Ahluwalia. “When this audience is challenged to think about the relationship of the product to the brand, they are even more likely to understand and accept the brand stretch.”
What does this mean for marketers? “Know your target audience,” Ahluwalia prescribes. “Your customers who relate to an interdependent or relational self-view-like Asian, Hispanic, or female markets-are more likely to accept brand extensions than other people, especially if you capture their attention and get them to think about the brand-product connection.” With the proper preparation and a well-aimed stretch campaign, marketers can find themselves steering an increasingly elastic-and profitable-brand.
Patty Mattern | EurekAlert!
Blockchain Set to Transform the Financial Services Market
28.09.2016 | HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management
Paper or plastic?
08.07.2016 | University of Toronto
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.10.2016 | Process Engineering