The role of brand specific associations in brand extensions : the case of the Norwegian food market
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- Master of Science 
Brand specific associations is confirmed to be an important driver for fit in brand extension strategy. Extended consumer packaged goods that include the same brand specific associations as the parent brand are more likely to succeed, and will thus enhance the equity of the parent brand. Previous research in the field of brand specific associations, consumer packaged goods, and brand extensions have however, never made a clear distinction between success criteria for extensions of edible and inedible goods. As consumer packaged goods consumption for edible and inedible goods differ in several ways, we believe it would be valuable for managers to know if they should include different brand specific associations for different product categories when extending. The purpose of this thesis is therefore to advance previous research on brand specific association effects, and hopefully enable managers to introduce extensions with greater chances of success. Two pretests were carried out to find suitable brands and related brand specific associations, in order to create hypothetical brand extensions. The brands chosen were Jarlsberg and Jif, respectively an edible and an inedible product, which are two high equity brands on the Norwegian market. A questionnaire used in the online survey, constructed by pre-established scales from existing literature, was distributed through social media to obtain data. In the main study, fit between the parent brand and the extensions was manipulated to see how using brand specific associations in terms of different sensory attributes for different product categories impact brand extension responses. Three types of brand responses were evaluated: over all brand extension attitude, purchase intention and willingness to recommend. The findings confirmed our hypotheses, that including brand specific associations in terms of a chemical sensory attribute enhances extension responses for edible goods. The findings also confirmed our assumption that including associations in terms of a visual sensory attribute enhances extension responses for inedible goods. The effect was, however, strongest for edible goods, and the overall effect was strongest for attitude across all conditions tested. Managers should thus be aware of what kind of brand specific association they transmit to an extension to optimize extension responses.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Management - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2017