Normative Versus Comparative Fit: Prototype-Based and Exemplar-Based Brand Extension Evaluation

Huifang Mao, Indiana University
H. Shanker Krishnan, Indiana University
EXTENDED ABSTRACT - The purpose of this article is to enrich the conceptualization of Aextension fit@ in brand extension literature and to explore the information processing underlying extension evaluations. Well documented in brand extension research is the role of Afit@ between the core brand and the new product in extension evaluations (e.g. Aaker and Keller 1990). This article questions the unidimensional conceptualization of the fit construct, and proposes two distinctive fitsCnormative fit (the typicality of the extension to the brand category) and comparative fit (the similarity between the existing product and the new product). Related with either normative or comparative fit, brand extension evaluation can occur as prototype-based (top-down process) or as exemplar-based (parallel process).
[ to cite ]:
Huifang Mao and H. Shanker Krishnan (2004) ,"Normative Versus Comparative Fit: Prototype-Based and Exemplar-Based Brand Extension Evaluation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 31, eds. Barbara E. Kahn and Mary Frances Luce, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 387-389.