Purpose – This study aims to fill in new evidence related to theoretical explanations on how perception of sincerity, excitement and sophistication relates to attitudes towards the different kinds of brand extensions, namely, horizontal extension and vertical extension. Design/methodology/approach – Taking an established Chinese brand as a test object and a survey sample data from three cities in China, the strength of perception of brand personality and its effect on attitudes towards brand extension is tested. T‐test is used to analyze the data. Findings – Results show that, a salient perception of personality “sincerity” is significantly favourable to downward extension, but has no significant effect on upward, near or far extension. A salient perception of personalities “excitement” and “sophistication” is significantly favourable to upward and far extension, but has no significant effect on downward or near extension. Research limitations/implications – Although the data used for testing the hypotheses in this article are taken from three cities in China, spanning four major age groups, this collection of data does not eliminate the possible errors introduced in the course of survey. Another limitation is that this survey takes one single established brand. Practical implications – This study provides targeted strategies for the long‐term management of Chinese local brands, particularly established brands. Decision makers for enterprises of established brands are consequently faced with two alternative solution approaches. One is to undertake brand extension and develop and promote new products to improve brand personality. The second is to reform a brand's personality to make it conducive for reasonable market extension. Originality/value – This study contributes to branding theories by pioneering research on attitudes towards a parent brand as an evaluation factor in research on the mechanism of brand extension, as well as by enriching research on matters related to brand personality traits.
Nankai Business Review International – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 2, 2012
Keywords: Brand personality; Brand extension; Horizontal extension; Vertical extension; Brands; China