When Brands Join Hands: Examining the Reciprocal Effects of Brand Alliance Strategies on Partner Brand Equity

Session Chair: Vanitha Swaminathan, University of Pittsburgh
Discussion Leader: Stijn Van Osselaer, Erasmus University

Special Topics Session

 “When Brands Join Hands: Examining the Reciprocal Effects of Brand Alliance Strategies on Partner Brand Equity”

The Reciprocal Effect of Co-branding: a Counter-Extensions Perspective

Piyush Kumar, Vanderbilt University

A brand that successfully extends from its parent category into a new extension category often faces a counter-extension by a brand from the extension category back into its own parent category.  However, there is little guidance available regarding how brand extension strategies need to be adjusted in order to mitigate the risk to the parent brand from counter-extensions.  This research examines the differential impact of co-branded versus solo-branded extensions on customer evaluation of brand counter-extensions.  It demonstrates that customers evaluate a counter-extension less favorably if the preceding extension by the focal brand is co-branded than if it is solo-branded.  The findings suggest that co-branding may not only improve the attribute profile of a brand’s own extension, it may also help protect the brand against counter-extensions.

Image Reinforcement or Impairment: The Effects of Co-Branding on Attribute Uncertainty

                                    Tansev Geylani, University of Pittsburgh

                           Frenkel Ter Hofstede, University of Texas at Austin

                                      Jeffrey Inman, University of Pittsburgh

We investigate when a brand’s image is reinforced or impaired as a result of co-branding, and which partner is right for a firm that considers co-branding for image reinforcement.  We address these issues by conceptualizing attribute beliefs as two-dimensional constructs: the attribute’s expected value and its uncertainty. We argue that these beliefs are updated after consumers are exposed to a co-branding activity and present a model that describes the updating mechanism. We generate several propositions and test them via an experiment. Our findings indicate that expected values of the attributes may improve as a result of co-branding. Further, our results show that under certain conditions, uncertainty associated with the partner brands increases through the alliance.

The Impact of Ingredient Branding Strategies on Brand Dilution
Vanitha Swaminathan, University of Pittsburgh

                       Srinivas K. Reddy, The University of Georgia

While much research has focused on positive reciprocal effects, this paper examines the negative spillover effects of ingredient branding strategies on the host and the ingredient brands. We demonstrate that successful and unsuccessful ingredient branded products can result in brand dilution. The first study examines how unsuccessful ingredient branded products can impact the host and ingredient attitude. The results suggest that negative information regarding the ingredient branded product weakened host and ingredient attitudes. The second study examines the spillover effects of successful ingredient branded products. Our results demonstrate that even successful ingredient branded products can weaken the equity of the partner brands under certain conditions.
[ to cite ]:
Session Chair: Vanitha Swaminathan and Discussion Leader: Stijn Van Osselaer (2006) ,"When Brands Join Hands: Examining the Reciprocal Effects of Brand Alliance Strategies on Partner Brand Equity", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 43-45.