Beyond Survival of the Fittest:The Influence of Mindsets on Consumers' Response to Brand Extensions

Tom Meyvis, Leonard Stern School of Business, New York University
Kelly Goldsmith, Yale School of Management, Yale University
Ravi Dhar, Yale School of Management, Yale University
Previous brand extension research has identified the fit between the brand and the extension category as a critical requirement for favorable extension evaluations. We propose that the importance of fit depends on the mindset of the decision maker. When consumers adopt a hypothetical, abstract mindset, they will rely more on general marketplace principles – and consequently will be more sensitive to fit. However, when consumers instead adopt a more concrete, pragmatic mindset, they are more likely to be sensitive to factors that indicate immediate benefits. Accordingly, we observe a preference shift to extensions of lower fit, but higher quality brands when consumers are making choices rather than evaluations and when they can easily visualize the extensions.
[ to cite ]:
Tom Meyvis, Kelly Goldsmith, and Ravi Dhar (2007) ,"Beyond Survival of the Fittest:The Influence of Mindsets on Consumers' Response to Brand Extensions", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 580-582.