The Influence of Product-brand Fit and Product-category Fit on Product Attitude and Purchase Intention: The Role of Brand Strength and Processing Fluency
Type of Degreedissertation
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Brand extension is a common branding strategy employed by many companies to apply an established strong brand name to a newly developed product in the hope of transferring the affect associated with the strong brand image to the new product. However, brand extension may not always result in favorable outcomes for the parent brand. This study investigates the influence of two critical components of brand extension strategy, product-brand fit (i.e. the extent to which a product design is congruent with the brand image) and product-category fit (i.e. the degree to which a product is prototypical of a product category) on the formation of consumers’ product attitudes and purchase intentions. The study importantly examines the underlying mechanisms for attitude formation toward new products through the mediation of processing fluency (including conceptual fluency and perceptual fluency) and the moderation of brand strength. ANCOVA and SEM were used to test the hypotheses. Results show that product-brand fit and product-category fit exert positive effects on extension product attitude, which in turn, positively influence purchase intention for the extension product. The measures of processing fluency did not mediate the impacts of product-brand fit and product-category fit on extension product attitude in the current study. Results also show that the influence of product-category fit on extension product attitude is greater for weak brand than for strong brand. The study offers important theoretical, methodological, and marketing insights. Limitation and suggestions for future research are also discussed.