Asymmetric brand alliances: When joint promotions with strong brands hurt

Rajiv Vaidyanathan, Praveen Aggarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Research on brand alliances has generally shown favorable outcomes for partnering brands among comparably strong brands. Recently, some retailers have offered promotions that pair a strong brand with a weak brand, with the goal of helping the weak brand. What is unique about these promotions is that the strength of the alliance integration is very low. The present research was designed to address the question of whether such asymmetric brand alliances—bundling a weak brand with a strong brand as part of a joint sales promotion—can benefit the weak brand through a transfer of positive associations from the strong brand. We show that not only do such partnerships fail to help the weak brand, they can actually hurt the weak brand by increasing the salience of the brand contrast in consumers’ decision-making process. We also show that alliance integration moderates the transference of the association's effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-228
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Business Research
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank Gina Grensing for her editorial assistance.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • Alliance integration
  • Asymmetric brand alliance
  • Brand alliances
  • Brand strength
  • Joint sales promotion


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