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Extending service brands into products versus services: Multilevel analyses of key success drivers

Christina Sichtmann (Department of Business Administration, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria)
Klaus Schoefer (Department of Marketing, Business School, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, UK)
Markus Blut (Business School, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, UK)
Charles Jurgen Kemp (Department of Marketing, Business School, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 13 February 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide an empirical investigation into extension category effects on service brand extensions, both to other services (service–service extensions) and to products (service–product extensions), and the extension category’s influence on brand/consumer-level success drivers, as well as the perceived quality of the extension.

Design/methodology/approach

This study included an empirical testing of a conceptual framework using a hierarchical linear modeling approach and testing of hypotheses with a multilevel regression analysis. The data set consisted of 216 respondents reporting on both product and service extensions. Data were collected on three levels, namely, consumer level, parent brand level and extension level.

Findings

The findings indicate a general and consistent extension category-dependent effect that moderates the importance of brand extension success drivers. The influence of parent brand reliance and perceived parent brand quality were found to have stronger effects, whereas parent brand conviction was weaker in the context of service-to-service extensions.

Research limitations/implications

The study focuses on two brands with four extensions. Further research could replicate the study with a broader range of brands and extensions.

Practical implications

The study provides guidance to service managers to enhance consumers’ extension evaluations through better-positioned communication efforts when extending to different categories.

Originality/value

The study is one of the first empirical investigations into category-extension effects and its moderating role regarding brand and consumer level success drivers. Sparse research has been dedicated to a real-world occurrence of services extending between extension categories; this study thus furthers service brand research in terms of brand management decisions.

Keywords

Citation

Sichtmann, C., Schoefer, K., Blut, M. and Kemp, C.J. (2017), "Extending service brands into products versus services: Multilevel analyses of key success drivers", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 51 No. 1, pp. 200-218. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-08-2013-0460

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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