This article extends the scope of investigations into the potential risks of brand and line extension strategies. Here, the authors examine whether extensions can dilute beliefs associated with a strategically important and highly visible product—the flagship product. The results of three experimental investigations indicate that beliefs about flagship products are less vulnerable to dilution than beliefs about the parent brand name in general. The findings suggest that assessments of the impact of brand leveraging strategies should include analysis of the effects on individual products as well as on the family brand name.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
All three authors contributed equally to this project. The authors acknowledge many helpful comments received from participants in research seminars at the University of Minnesota, University of Florida, Ohio State University, Columbia University, University of Arizona, University of Alabama, New York University, University of Washington, and General Mills Inc. They also thank Ivan Ross for an early discussion about this research and John Lynch and Rao Unnava for their detailed comments on a previous version of the article. This project was funded by grants from the McKnight Fund at the Carlson School of Management and the Center for Research in Marketing at the University of Minnesota.
© 1998 American Marketing Association.