Overstretching the Corporate Brand: How to Guide the Brand Image When Extending the Brand?
Abstract: Purpose: This paper aims to research how large corporations with diverse brand portfolios navigate their brand image and how they can avoid the brand overstretching issue. Design/methodology/approach: The methodology of this study implied qualitative case study analysis of three international brands imposed to the risk of brand overstretching, supported by the customer survey, as well as proposed theoretical framework based on the literature review secondary data. Findings: The research outlines brand authenticity as a major mediator of brand image sustenance during brand extensions. Correspondingly, the study proposes a four-element framework for the analysis of brand extension fit, including brand similarity, brand associations, brand authenticity, and brand image. Hence, a positive relationship between brand similarity and brand associations as well as between brand authenticity and parent brand image was identified, while there were no effects of brand authenticity maintenance on daughter brand image. Research limitations/implications: Paper implications are based on three case studies and customer surveys of approximately 40 respondents, which makes the applicability of the research limited. Certainly, future research requires testing the proposed framework on a larger sample of companies, customer surveys, and business representatives' involvement. Practical implications: Corporate executives and brand managers are given a tool for the brand extension strategy alignment to avoid brand overstretching during the acquisition process and ameliorate brand image through comprehensive brand portfolio management activities. Originality/value: The paper is remarkable for the primary focus on brand overstretching and formulating the tool to align brand extension fit to avoid the brand overstretching phenomenon. Keywords: Brand Extension Strategy, Brand Overstretching, Brand Portfolio Management, Brand Authenticity, Brand Image Paper type: Research paper
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