Article

The effect of brand identity-cognitive style fit and social influence on consumer-based brand equity

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Abstract

Purpose Brand identities have a dual nature that appeals to the head (rational appeal) and to the heart (emotional appeal) of their consumers. Furthermore, consumers can process information in a predominately analytic or intuitive cognitive style (CS) manner. This study aims to analyze the influence of brand identity-cognitive style (BI-CS) fit on the perceived value of a brand. It also analyzes how different forms of social influence affect the perceived value of the brand. Design/methodology/approach Using a two-step experimental design, Step 1 examines the effect that BI-CS fit has on consumer-based brand equity (CBBE); Step 2 evaluates the effect that the three elements of social influence–compliance, identification and internalization–have on CBBE. Findings Both the BI-CS fit, and the identification and internalization forms of social influence have a significant and positive effect over the perceived value of the brand. A rational brand identity is given a higher perceived brand value by analytic CS consumers than intuitive CS consumers. Conversely, an emotional brand identity is given a higher perceived brand value by intuitive CS consumers than analytic CS consumers. However, whether the brand identity is more emotional or rational is less important than the values and beliefs that the brand communicates to create social influence. Research limitations/implications This study contributes to the branding literature by introducing the CS concept to better understand the influence of emotional and rational brand identities on consumers with either rational or intuitive cognitive thinking styles and reinforce the importance of the brand duality concept. Practical implications The results demonstrate the importance of brand duality and show how firms could present emotional or rational brand identities depending on their consumers’ CS to increase the effectiveness of their messaging to build stronger brand images that increase the perceived value of the brand. These findings could have important implications for market segmentation. Originality/value Brand identities can be emotional or rational, and this creates more or less value depending on the consumers’ CS, but what is more important is that consumers internalize the brand’s message or identify with what the brand represents. Although this has been discussed in prior literature, the original contribution of this paper is tying all these concepts together.

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Customer engagement marketing—defined as a firm’s deliberate effort to motivate, empower, and measure customer contributions to marketing functions—marks a shift in marketing research and business practice. After defining and differentiating engagement marketing, the authors present a typology of its two primary forms and offer tenets that link specific strategic elements to customer outcomes and thereby firm performance, theorizing that the effectiveness of engagement marketing arises from the establishment of psychological ownership and self-transformation. The authors provide evidence in support of the derived tenets through case illustrations, as well as a quasi-experimental field test of the central tenet of engagement marketing.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of Millennials’ perceived ability to influence a brand and how this perception about the brand impacts the consumers’ desire to engage in co-creation. Additionally, the paper examines the effects of perceived influence on attitude toward the ad and purchase intention. Design/methodology/approach Two studies were developed. In the first study, Millennial consumers identify technology brands they feel they are able to influence and not able to influence. Using the results from Study 1, Study 2, a 2 × 2 between subjects factorial design, is used to test the impact that perceived brand influence has on co-creation, attitude toward the ad and purchase intention. Findings The results of this paper offer new insight into consumer co-creation. Instead of co-creation being a constant that a brand can rely on, managers must now consider the attributions that consumers have about the brand. If a brand is perceived as being unable to be influenced, then not only will consumers not engage in co-creation but attitude toward that ad and purchase intention will also decrease. Research limitations/implications This paper focuses exclusively on Millennial consumers. While this segment of the population is large and important, validating the results with a national generalizable sample could shed additional insight into the power of the ability to influence on co-creation. The survey was created to mimic an online social media platform that a consumer interacts with on a regular basis. To further verify the test results, additional platforms for co-creation, including company websites and retail settings, could be tested. Practical implications If a brand wishes to engage Millennial consumers with active co-creation, then the perception of the brand is important for success. Brand managers must create a perception of the brand that is open to engagement with consumers – which allows for consumers to give input and help to shape the brand. Consumers should become comfortable with the idea of the brand asking for, accepting and implementing feedback from customers. Originality/value This paper is the first of its kind to combine attribution theory, theory of reasoned action and co-creation to measure the perceptions that consumers have about a brand. The results of this paper provide valuable insight to the limits and conditions in which co-creation will occur.
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Brand equity is an essential concept in marketing academia and practice. The term came into use during the late 1980s, and the importance of conceptualizing, measuring and managing brand equity has grown rapidly in the eyes of practitioners and academics alike. Despite the importance of the concept, and the need for brand equity measures, the literature lacks an empirically based consumer-perceived brand equity scale. This article develops a brand equity conceptualization and scale determined by dimensions that consumers perceive. This consumer-perceived consumer-based brand equity scale is made up of four dimensions: quality, preference, social influence and sustainability. This new robust scale contributes to the theoretical understanding of consumer-based brand equity measurement, and assists brand managers in measuring brand equity and understanding how consumers value brands in order to develop successful brand strategies.
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Purpose – This research examines how consumers’ perceptions of innovativeness affect an important brand performance metric: consumer brand loyalty. Specifically, the mediating role of perceived quality in this relationship is explained using signaling theory. Design/methodology/approach – The conceptual model was tested in two empirical studies for three global consumer electronics brands in two product categories. Data were collected using a mall-intercept approach from consumers at a major shopping precinct in a metropolitan city. The data were analyzed using structural equation modelling. Findings – The results provide compelling evidence for the proposed mediation relationship. Study 1 shows that perceived quality fully transmits the impact of brand innovativeness on to brand loyalty. Study 2 confirms this mediation relationship. Practical implications –The results can help product managers in their brand management and promotion of new products. Originality/value – Emerging research on consumer-level effects of innovativeness provides conflicting advice regarding how consumers’ perceptions of brand innovativeness affect intangible assets such as loyalty toward the brand. The present research reconciles contradictory findings in the literature by uncovering a different route through which consumer perceptions of brand innovativeness affect a key brand performance metric: brand loyalty. Specifically, the present study fills an important knowledge gap in the innovativeness literature and deepens our understanding of the relationship between brand innovativeness and brand loyalty by empirically examining and confirming the role of an hereto overlooked intervening variable, perceived quality. Key words: Brand innovativeness; Perceived quality; Brand loyalty; Customer satisfaction; Product innovation; Signaling theory; Brand equity; New products
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Why are some brands more elastic than others? Prior research shows that consumers are more accepting of extensions into distant product categories for brands with prestige concepts (Rolex) than for brands with functional concepts (Timex). In this article, the authors examine consumers’ style of thinking—analytic versus holistic thinking—to better understand the elasticity of prestige versus functional brands. For functional brands, the authors find that holistic thinkers provide more favorable responses to distant extensions than analytic thinkers; however, for prestige brands, holistic and analytic thinkers respond equally favorably. Thus, analytic thinkers are identified as the roadblocks for functional brands launching distant brand extensions. To meet this challenge, the authors offer several strategies, including (1) using a subbrand (Excer wallets by Toyota) instead of a direct brand (Toyota wallets) to reduce analytic thinking; (2) using elaborational communications, which address potentially problematic features of the extension, to reduce analytic thinking; and (3) matching extension information with the consumer's style of thinking, which increases the persuasiveness of ad messages.
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Purpose In response to consumer and society demands for firms to be socially responsible, brands have been taking a strategic approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) by integrating socially responsible activities into their brands’ core value propositions to strengthen brand equity. Thus, from a brand building perspective, this paper aims to investigate the immediate effect that brand CSR communications have on the change in brand awareness, perceived quality and loyalty, to provide a deeper understanding of how each dimension affects the overall change in brand equity. Design/methodology/approach With evidence from an experiment conducted in three different countries (Australia, United States and Spain), based on an actual brand CSR program, this paper explores the different immediate effects of change in brand awareness, perceived brand quality and brand loyalty, after the exposure to a CSR message, on the overall immediate change in value that consumers give to a brand. Furthermore, it examines the role of brand-cause fit and the influence that differences in cultural, economic and political environments have on this effect. Findings The change in brand loyalty due to CSR communication is the key dimension driving the immediate positive change in overall brand equity. In addition, change in brand awareness has an inverted U-shape relationship with change in overall brand equity, whereas the change in perceived brand quality does not have an influence. Finally, the results indicate that this immediate effect holds regardless of the level of brand-cause fit, but is greater in countries where firms are expected to participate and CSR reporting is not mandatory, making such practices be seen as voluntary. Practical implications The findings of this study offer research implications for academics, and practical considerations for brand managers, interested in how to rapidly generate changes in consumer perception by leveraging CSR activities for brand building in global settings. Specifically, it indicates that when the aim is to quickly build brand equity, the goal of communicating CSR activities must be to increase the level of attachment that consumers have to the brand since loyalty is the main driver of the immediate change in overall brand equity. Originality/value Although many scholars have demonstrated the impact of CSR on various consumer behavior outcomes (e.g., brand attitude, purchase intention, loyalty), from a brand build perspective the implications of the immediate effect of a brand communication of CSR practices on consumer-based brand equity remain less clear. This study addresses this gap to gain a deeper understanding of how to rapidly generate changes in consumer perception to build strong brands while leveraging CSR practices.
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Recent research has identified two factors that influence consumer perceptions of a brand extension: brand affect and the similarity between the original and extension product categories. However, surprisingly little attention has been paid to other associations specific to the brand itself. The authors perform three experiments to explore the relative importance of these associations. The experiments reveal that brand-specific associations may dominate the effects of brand affect and category similarity, particularly when consumer knowledge of the brands is high. The authors conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for managerial decision making and the process by which consumers evaluate brand extensions.
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Past research has examined the effect of level of involvement (high vs. low) on subjects’ reactions to persuasive communications. The authors suggest that high involvement can be differentiated into two types (cognitive vs. affective). By manipulating involvement level and type (low involvement, cognitive involvement, affective involvement), they show that the three different forms of involvement have different effects on how brand attitudes are formed. They also examine how music, as a peripheral persuasion cue, affects the process of brand attitude formation. The results indicate that the effect of music on brand attitude depends on the type and level of involvement. Music had a facilitative effect on brand attitude for subjects in the low involvement condition and a distracting effect for those in the cognitive involvement condition; its effect for those in the affective involvement condition was not clear. Alternative explanations of these results are offered and implications for advertising research are discussed.
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The results of an experiment examining the use of attitude toward the ad and brand-related beliefs in brand attitude formation under two different processing “sets”—brand evaluation and nonbrand evaluation—are reported. Findings suggest that attitude toward the advertisement affects attitude toward the advertised brand as much under a brand evaluation set as under a nonbrand evaluation set.
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Both practitioners and academics understand that consumer loyalty and satisfaction are linked inextricably. They also understand that this relation is asymmetric. Although loyal consumers are most typically satisfied, satisfaction does not universally translate into loyalty. To explain the satisfaction–loyalty conundrum, the author investigates what aspect of the consumer satisfaction response has implications for loyalty and what portion of the loyalty response is due to this satisfaction component. The analysis concludes that satisfaction is a necessary step in loyalty formation but becomes less significant as loyalty begins to set through other mechanisms. These mechanisms, omitted from consideration in current models, include the roles of personal determinism (“fortitude”) and social bonding at the institutional and personal level. When these additional factors are brought into account, ultimate loyalty emerges as a combination of perceived product superiority, personal fortitude, social bonding, and their synergistic effects. As each fails to be attained or is unattainable by individual firms that serve consumer markets, the potential for loyalty erodes. A disquieting conclusion from this analysis is that loyalty cannot be achieved or pursued as a reasonable goal by many providers because of the nature of the product category or consumer disinterest. For some firms, satisfaction is the only feasible goal for which they should strive; thus, satisfaction remains a worthy pursuit among the consumer marketing community. The disparity between the pursuit of satisfaction versus loyalty, as well as the fundamental content of the loyalty response, poses several investigative directions for the next wave of postconsumption research.
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This study was designed to test a methodology for measurement of self-concept and consumer behavior in comparable terms and, therefore, to further substantiate the relationship of self-theory to consumer behavior. The results from this limited study were positive, indicating that consumers of a specific brand of automobiles perceive themselves with self-concepts similar to others who consume that brand and significantly different from owners of a competing brand.
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The author presents a conceptual model of brand equity from the perspective of the individual consumer. Customer-based brand equity is defined as the differential effect of brand knowledge on consumer response to the marketing of the brand. A brand is said to have positive (negative) customer-based brand equity when consumers react more (less) favorably to an element of the marketing mix for the brand than they do to the same marketing mix element when it is attributed to a fictitiously named or unnamed version of the product or service. Brand knowledge is conceptualized according to an associative network memory model in terms of two components, brand awareness and brand image (i.e., a set of brand associations). Customer-based brand equity occurs when the consumer is familiar with the brand and holds some favorable, strong, and unique brand associations in memory. Issues in building, measuring, and managing customer-based brand equity are discussed, as well as areas for future research.
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Can CSR and sustainability signals increase corporate brand performance and brand equity? What makes these signals more effective? Although research largely evaluates these questions, this research, using secondary data on 135 different brands across industries and countries, explores foreign and domestic performance, and compares sustainability and CSR signals, providing new perspectives. Further, we uniquely contribute to the dialogue that country origin influences signal effectiveness, using the corporate brand's country of origin sustainability reputation (COSR). Using bivariate analysis and OLS regression to discover these relationships, the exploratory findings provide theoretical and practical implications. For domestic (vs. international) performance, sustainability (vs. both) signals are important, especially for corporate brands from mid-ranked CORS. Interestingly, consumer misbeliefs in sustainability affect domestic performance and brand equity. For equity, consumer perceptions, CSR signals, and sustainability signals contribute to brand equity, and can be more effective for corporate brands from low or mid-ranked COSR.
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Brand addiction is one of the most important ways that consumers engage with brands. Other types of consumer-brand relationships include brand attachment, brand love, brand loyalty, brand passion and brand trust. This study provides an experientially grounded conceptualization and definition of brand addiction that distinguishes it clearly from other forms of consumer-brand relationships; and also from compulsive buying and acquisitive desire. Qualitative data from focus groups and projective-technique-based interviews were used to identify eleven salient properties which, in combination, characterize brand addiction: acquisitiveness; anxiety-irritability, bonding, brand exclusivity, collecting, compulsive urges, financial management versus debt tolerance, dependence, gratification, mental and behavioral preoccupation, and word of mouth. We compare brand addiction with the features of other consumer-brand relationships. The findings suggest that brand addiction is different from other consumer-brand-relationship concepts, and does not necessarily lead to harmful consequences for all brand addicts (unlike many other types of addiction).
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Corporate signals, such as corporate image and corporate reputation, are potentially effective tools to alleviate consumer uncertainty about brands in emerging markets and may therefore enhance product brand equity. However, most studies targeting the effects of corporate signals are set in developed countries and also fail to compare different emerging markets to explore possible moderators to these relationships. We argue that the perceived uncertainty towards brands differs between emerging markets and that this difference is shaped by the institutional background in the country. This, in turn, influences the effectiveness of corporate signals. Using structural equation modelling, the study analyses large consumer samples from China and India. We discover that corporate image is a more effective signal in China than in India. Moreover, we find that corporate reputation mediates the corporate image – product brand equity relationship in emerging markets. Notably, the importance of the mediation depends on the country setting.
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Purpose By outlining the evolution of brand management research over the past 25 years, as reported in the Journal of Product and Brand Management ( JPBM ), this paper aims to analyze the changes in the way branding has been approached in research, highlight the current challenges the discipline faces and suggest future research avenues that will hopefully further enrich brand management knowledge. Design/methodology/approach This paper includes internal historical literature review and commentary. Findings After a thorough analysis of the journal’s content, the contribution that the JPBM has made in the development of brand management knowledge over the past 25 years is highlighted. Eight major shifts in brand management research and thought, and three overarching difficulties and challenges, are identified. Research limitations/implications By solely focusing on the contributions published in the journal, by no means this review is exhaustive and includes all the contributions to the discipline. Its contribution is limited to the analysis of the work, and the evolution of brand management thinking, recorded in the JPBM . Originality/value The paper highlights the evolution of brand management thought and presents imperatives and challenges to guide future research in brand management.
Article
A critical element in the evolution of a fundamental body of knowledge in marketing, as well as for improved marketing practice, is the development of better measures of the variables with which marketers work. In this article an approach is outlined by which this goal can be achieved and portions of the approach are illustrated in terms of a job satisfaction measure.
Neuroscience has revealed the importance of emotion in the human cognitive process. For the first time, a GfK-EMO Scan, a facial expression recognition software developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIs, is used to investigate the long-term effect of advertising on individual attitudes toward driving. The effects of high emotional and low emotional advertising were measured using the GfK-EMO software on 60 participants with a 50/50 male to female ratio. Each participant was subjected to either a high emotional or low emotional safe driving video advertisement. While watching the advertisement, the GfK-EMO facial recognition software recorded the unconscious emotions of participants who were also requested to fill a modified version of the National Survey of Speeding Attitudes and Behavior. A driving attitude score was then computed using this survey directly after the participant had viewed the advertisement and again two weeks later. Noticeable differences in the attitude score were recorded between participants having watched the high emotional advertisement against participants having watched the low emotional advertisement. The high emotional advertisement generated a higher and more durable safe driving attitude score in comparison to the low emotional advertisement.
Article
Purpose Migration shapes our societies, values, markets, consumption and even the notion of self. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of migration in the perception-of-self and if differences in the perception-of-self influence the perception of brands from the immigrants’ home country – which immigrants often use as a cultural anchor. Design/methodology/approach Using Aaker’s (1997) brand personality scale as a measure of brand image, the authors gather data from Mexico City and the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area. Respondents to an interviewer-administered questionnaire were asked to evaluate the brand image of two TV media Mexican brands and their perception-of-self based on Aaker’s 42 brand personality traits. Findings The results of this paper indicate that the perception-of-self is different for Latinos residing in their home country and immigrant Latinos living abroad. Further, these differences in the perception-of-self appear to influence the way immigrants perceive brands from their home country. Practical implications Brands from emerging markets making inroads into developed markets, targeting their country’s diasporas as their first target group, should understand whether people’s perception-of-self differs significantly from their home country counterparts, the direction of such a difference and the effect of such differences on the perceptions of brands from their home country. Originality/value This paper is a contribution to the brand personality, brand image and self literature and presents an innovative approach to analyzing the possible brand image implications of the expansion of multinational companies and immigration.
Article
Purpose This paper aims to develop an understanding of the phenomena of co-creation and how this practice is used in shaping brand identities. This research provides answers to questions on both the consumer and industry sides of co-creation. Design/methodology/approach Two studies are developed. First, a qualitative study is used to gain insight from key decision-makers with responsibility for a brand. Second, a study of millennial consumers is used to develop the antecedents of consumer motivations of co-creation of brand identities. Findings When combined, the outcomes of these studies create a comprehensive framework that encompasses two models of brand identity co-creation. The qualitative study leads to the emergence of two major constructs, which, combined with the consumer study, lead to the development of two models that represent the antecedents of co-creation from a managerial and consumer perspective. Research limitations/implications For Study one, a larger pool of respondents or different data collection method might have led to additional managerial insights. The study two sample was limited to millennials. Although this group of consumers is identified as highly engaged with brands, the study could have benefited from a more general consumer sample. Practical implications The organization framework could help managers gain a deeper understanding for effectively co-creating their brand identities with all stakeholders, in particular consumers. Originality/value This research contributes to theory and practice by analyzing the process of stakeholder brand identity co-creation.
Article
Using an experimental design that measures participants’ actual behavior, this study tests the inclusion of a perceived outgroup in an advertisement for a well-established brand to determine if political orientations interact with an advertisement’s content to predict consumption of that product. The results indicate that an advertisement’s activation of one’s political orientation can either change or reinforce brand loyalty. Specifically, more conservative individuals responded to the presence of Muslim and Arab individuals in a Coca-Cola advertisement by selecting Pepsi products despite their initial preference for Coca-Cola; whereas, more liberal individuals maintained their initial brand loyalty to Coca-Cola.
Article
Previous research has suggested that the nature of cognitive style was incorrectly specified by Allinson and Hayes (1996) when they presented their Cognitive Style Index (CSI) as a unitary conception of the construct. Hodgkinson and Sadler-Smith (2003) presented empirical evidence suggesting that a two-factor model with correlated factors provides a better approximation of responses to the CSI. In their rebuttal, Hayes, Allinson, Hudson, and Keasey (2003) concluded that these authors had failed to present a robust challenge to the construct validity of the CSI. However, their arguments were purely theoretical with no empirical evidence to support this assertion. In this study, we report the findings of a series of confirmatory factor analyses (N = 593) in an attempt to either replicate or refute Hodgkinson and Sadler-Smith's earlier findings. Results suggest that research using the CSI should continue on the basis of its unifactorial structure.
Article
The purpose of this study is to discuss the concepts of brand identity and brand image from a brand extension perspective in the higher education sector. It addresses how consumers identify and transfer the parent university's brand identity into the extended brand image of an international satellite branch, and further explores the underlying causes of the backward reciprocal transfer from the extension to parent brand. The interview results reveal that the identity–image linkage is influenced by consumers' perceived congruence and legitimacy of the brand extension. Other than the impact of functional, symbolic, and self-image congruence between the parent brand and extension, the main factors of extension legitimacy are: regulative legitimacy, brand extension authenticity, desirable values to audiences, and cultural adaptation. The findings also suggest the importance of marketing exposure, exploitation avoidance, and resource transfer in enhancing the reciprocal influence of the extended brand image on the parent brand.
Article
The brand value chain offers a holistic, integrated approach to understanding the value created by brands. According to the model, brand value creation begins with the firm's marketing activity. This influences customers who, in turn, affect how the brand performs in the marketplace and is ultimately valued by the financial community. Three important multipliers moderate the extent of transfer between these value stages: the program quality multiplier, the marketplace conditions multiplier, and the investor sentiment multiplier.
Article
This project revisits the social identity brand equity (SIBE) model developed by Underwood, Bond, and Baer (2001). The model proposes that marketplace characteristics relevant to sports can be used to enhance one's social identification with a team, which is assumed to have a positive influence on a team's customer-based brand equity. The current study has two goals: (a) to provide an empirical assessment of the SIBE model in the context of professional sports and (b) assess the individual influence of the proposed marketplace characteristics on social identification. We report results of a survey of U.S. National Basketball Association fans, which provide partial support for the model. Group experience and venue were found to have the strongest influence on social identification with a team. Considerations for theoretical advancement of the model and practical application for sport brand managers are discussed.
Article
The author presents a conceptual model of brand equity from the perspective of the individual consumer. Customer-based brand equity is defined as the differential effect of brand knowledge on consumer response to the marketing of the brand. A brand is said to have positive (negative) customer-based brand equity when consumers react more (less) favorably to an element of the marketing mix for the brand than they do to the same marketing mix element when it is attributed to a fictitiously named or unnamed version of the product or service. Brand knowledge is conceptualized according to an associative network memory model in terms of two components, brand awareness and brand image (i. e., a set of brand associations). Customer-based brand equity occurs when the consumer is familiar with the brand and holds some favorable, strong, and unique brand associations in memory. Issues in building, measuring, and managing customer-based brand equity are discussed, as well as areas for future research.
Article
Similarities of brand images with self images were tested to determine differences between (a) most preferred and least preferred brands, (b) socially consumed and privately consumed products, and (c) real-self and ideal-self image relationships.
Article
Past research has examined the effect of level of involvement (high vs. low) on subjects' reactions to persuasive communications. The authors suggest that high involvement can be differentiated into two types (cognitive vs. affective). By manipulating involvement level and type (low involvement, cognitive involvement, affective involvement), they show that the three different forms of involvement have different effects on how brand attitudes are formed. They also examine how music, as a peripheral persuasion cue, affects the process of brand attitude formation. The results indicate that the effect of music on brand attitude depends on the type and level of involvement. Music had a facilitative effect on brand attitude for subjects in the low involvement condition and a distracting effect for those in the cognitive involvement condition; its effect for those in the affective involvement condition was not clear. Alternative explanations of these results are offered and implications for advertising research are discussed.
Article
Recent research has identified two factors that influence consumer perceptions of a brand extension: brand affect and the similarity between the original and extension product categories. However, surprisingly little attention has been paid to other associations specific to the brand itself. The authors perform three experiments to explore the relative importance of these associations. The experiments reveal that brand-specific associations may dominate the effects of brand affect and category similarity, particularly when consumer knowledge of the brands is high. The authors conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for managerial decision making and the process by which consumers evaluate brand extensions.