Effectiveness of Abstract Vs. Concrete Challenge Strategies in Response to the Competitive Threat of Extensions From Mega Brands

Kalpesh Kaushik Desai, State University of New York, Binghamton
Kevin Lane Keller, Dartmouth College
Wayne D. Hoyer, University of Texas, Austin
This research investigates the competitive evaluation of extensions of mega brands (i.e., multi-category brands characterized by a predominance of abstract associations) relative to typical exemplar brands (i.e., a primarily single category brand characterized mainly by concrete attribute associations) that are firmly entrenched in far categories. Using the literatures on brand typicality and the alignment and adjustment model as theoretical underpinnings, this research also tested the efficacy of four abstract and two concrete attribute-based competitive defensive strategies. The findings of three lab experiments employing real brands suggest that exemplar competitor brands hold a slight competitive advantage over mega extensions which none of the abstract strategies could weaken. The only successful defense strategy was when the exemplar competitor brand explicitly provided competitively superior concrete attribute information.
[ to cite ]:
Kalpesh Kaushik Desai, Kevin Lane Keller, and Wayne D. Hoyer (2008) ,"Effectiveness of Abstract Vs. Concrete Challenge Strategies in Response to the Competitive Threat of Extensions From Mega Brands", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 835-836.