The effect of product conspicuousness in vertical downscale extensions: a replication

Dall'Olmo Riley, Francesca, Hand, Chris and Singh, Jaywant (2014) The effect of product conspicuousness in vertical downscale extensions: a replication. In: Academy of Marketing (AM) Conference 2014: Marketing Dimensions: People, Places and Spaces; 7-10 Jul 2014, Bournemouth, U.K..


Purpose of the Paper ‐ This study tests the effect of product category conspicuousness on the evaluation of downscale extensions and on the brand image of premium brands. Theoretical background – Dall’Olmo Riley, Pina and Bravo (2013) suggested that, for brands with similar positioning, the evaluation of vertical extensions and the relative feedback effects may vary, depending upon the conspicuousness of the product category to peer assessment. Such suggestion has important implications for downscale extensions of brands at the higher end of prestige/ luxury image. Methodology ‐ This study is a partial replication of Dall’Olmo Riley et al.’s (2013) study, with a modification in one of the product categories. The same experimental method is adopted, with the same two independent variables: price and product category (the more conspicuous cars vs. the less conspicuous mobile phones). The brand concept is held fixed (premium brands). Findings ‐ Results confirm that the image of the car brand is diluted more than the brand image of the phone brand; no differences are found in extension evaluations. Limitations ‐ The paper considers only two brands in two product categories. Practical Implications ‐ Brand managers should consider product conspicuousness when deciding whether or not to introduce a vertical extension for a premium brand. Contribution of Paper ‐ The study contributes to brand extension research by corroborating the importance of product conspicuousness.

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