Don’t put all your green eggs in one basket: Examining environmentally friendly sub-branding strategies

Jayoung Koo, Barbara Loken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Although marketers are increasingly developing strategies to promote environmentally-friendly images for their brands, little is known about green brand architecture strategies. The current study examines two sub-branding strategies and finds that when green products are dispersed across several sub-brands (vs. concentrated within one sub-brand), consumers are more likely to infer that the overall parent brand is environmentally friendly. The sincerity of the company’s sustainability efforts is found to mediate the effects of the sub-branding strategy on consumers’ eco-friendly beliefs of the parent brand. Specifically, consumers associate dispersed strategy (vs. concentrated strategy) with intrinsic motive (vs. extrinsic motive) of the company’s sustainability policy. As a result, dispersed strategy instead of concentrated strategy promotes spillover effects of sustainability to the parent brand, demonstrating the impact of brand structure on spillover to the parent brand equity. Managerial implications are discussed related to the automobile company’s sub-branding strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-176
Number of pages13
JournalBusiness Ethics, Environment and Responsibility
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • brands
  • categorization
  • green branding
  • stereotype
  • sub-brands
  • sustainability


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