Effects of Lower and Higher Quality Brand Versions on Brand Evaluation: an Opponent-Process Model Plus Differential Brand-Version Weighting

This study tests the effects of flagship brands such as Giovanni’s pasta sauce (fictitious) and Ruby Tuesday restaurants (real) offering higher-quality versions (e.g., Giovanni’s Magnifico) or lower-quality versions (e.g., Ruby Tuesday’s Corner Diner). A brand-quality asymmetry emerges on measures ranging from brand choice to brand attitude to perceptions of brand expertise, innovativeness, and prestige: Higher-quality versions help brands more than lower-quality versions hurt them. Theory and results suggest the asymmetry arises in part from opponent processes introduced when brands offer lower-quality versions (i.e., the negative effects of associating the brand with lower quality are offset by the positive effects of signaling greater expertise and/or innovativeness), and in part from consumer tendencies to see lower-quality versions as less relevant to brand evaluation than higher-quality versions.


Timothy Heath, Devon DelVecchio, Michael McCarthy, and Subimal Chatterjee (2009) ,"Effects of Lower and Higher Quality Brand Versions on Brand Evaluation: an Opponent-Process Model Plus Differential Brand-Version Weighting", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 573-574.


Timothy Heath, Miami University, USA
Devon DelVecchio, Miami University, USA
Michael McCarthy, Miami University, USA
Subimal Chatterjee, Binghamton University, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36 | 2009

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