From Combination Products to Brand Alliances: How Conceptual Combination Influences Consumers' Preferences

Consumers encounter a variety of novel combinations in the marketplace, including hybrid products (e.g., PDA phones; camera pens; GPS radios) and brand alliances (e.g., Hewlett Packard and Starbucks). In most cases, consumers are familiar with each element of the combination but have not considered the meaning of their union. As shown in recent work in psychology, the way in which consumers construct a representation for the new product or fused brand will influence their preferences for it. In this research, we use the conceptual combination literature in psychology to develop and test hypotheses in two studies. Specifically, we examine the factors influencing consumers’ interpretations of novel noun-noun combinations. Our results suggest that the similarity of the two nouns, the category level of each word (basic vs. superordinate), and the order of the two words all have significant influences on how consumers generate meaning for the novel combinations.


Page Moreau, Jen Dale, and Amna Kirmani (2007) ,"From Combination Products to Brand Alliances: How Conceptual Combination Influences Consumers' Preferences", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 151-152.


Page Moreau, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
Jen Dale, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
Amna Kirmani, University of Maryland, College Park, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34 | 2007

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