This study aims to examine how brands attempt to extend their customer set not through the typical route of adding brands, but through the strategic extension or enlargement of their target customer set. Building on theories from both reference group perceptions and brand identification, this research explores the impact of strategic customer extensions on current target market consumers.
Two scenario-based experiments explore strategic customer extensions for a packaged goods brand and a well-known retail brand. The analysis involves both analysis of variance and SEM methods.
Current target market consumers’ evaluations of strategic customer extensions are informed by reference group perceptions relating to the proposed customer extension. When current target market consumers perceive strategic customer extensions as potentially attracting a dissociative reference group, consumers have weaker evaluations and brand identification measures and, subsequently, weaker future intentions towards the brand.
The brand identification literature is augmented by incorporating theories from the reference group literature to demonstrate how to reference group perceptions drive a current target market consumers’ evaluations of strategic customer extensions to affect the strength of the identification that current target market consumers have with a brand. Brand identification is also demonstrated as mediator customer evaluations and subsequent intentions towards the brand.
Preiksaitis, K.D. and Dacin, P.A. (2020), "Consumer responses to strategic customer extensions", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 244-261. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-08-2019-2515
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