Consumer response to brand extensions: Construal level as a moderator of the importance of perceived fit

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Abstract

One of the most enduring findings from branding research is that consumers evaluate brand extensions on the basis of their perceived fit with the parent brand. In this article, we propose that the importance of perceived fit in extension evaluations is moderated by construal level. We draw upon construal level theory, which posits that individuals can construe stimuli in their environments in terms of abstract and generalized features (high-level construals) or in terms of concrete and contextualized features (low-level construals). Results from three studies confirm that consumers who construe their environment at a higher level place more importance on perceived extension fit in evaluating brand extensions. These consumers evaluate high fit extensions more favorably than moderate fit extensions, consistent with prior research. However, consumers who construe their environment at a lower level do not evaluate high and moderate fit extensions any differently, unless the importance of using fit perceptions is made salient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-126
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008

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