Brand relevance and the effects of product proliferation across product categories

Abstract

Product proliferation may not be an effective strategy for every brand in every product category. Rather, the success of product proliferation may be conditional on previously unconsidered differences across product categories. In particular, brand relevance in category (BRiC), which is closely associated with an array of category-level characteristics, offers a potentially influential contingency. We rely on a survey study (Study 1a) and a lab experiment (Study 1b) to examine individual consumer reactions to product proliferation. These studies show that product proliferation has a stronger impact on customer-based brand equity in high BRiC categories than in low BRiC categories. From a firm perspective, Study 2 explores the effect of product proliferation on brand sales performance using IRI scanner data; it indicates conversely that BRiC has an opposing moderating effect, such that product proliferation has a stronger impact on brand sales in low BRiC categories than in high BRiC categories. Together, these nuanced results have important implications for product line and brand management resource allocation decisions.

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Acknowledgement

This research was supported by a research grant (UCRCA) from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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Correspondence to Yanhui Zhao.

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Appendices

Appendix 1

Table 8 Measures

Appendix 2

Table 9 Study 1b manipulations

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Zhao, Y., Zhang, Y., Wang, J.(. et al. Brand relevance and the effects of product proliferation across product categories. J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-020-00727-1

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Keywords

  • Product proliferation
  • Brand relevance in category
  • Brand sales
  • Customer-based brand equity