While the use of extension strategies have been discussed to a great extent, there is a lack
of empirical evidence into the affect extensions have upon core brand personality. The primary objective of this research is to address the apparent gap in the literature by
empirically investigating the impact that extensions have on core brand personality. This
study also seeks to examine the impact of extension fit upon consumer evaluations
After reviewing the literature, a conceptual framework linking to a set of hypotheses was
developed, highlighting the impact of fit upon consumer evaluations of (a) brand
personality and (b) the extension.
A before-after (with control) experimental design was chosen to test the research
hypotheses. This type of design was selected due to the high level of control it possessed.
Mail questionnaires were produced on the basis of the literature review (Chapter 2) and
conceptual framework (Chapter 3). The research instrument was pretested and then
presented to a sample of executive MBA students. A response of 102 matched cases was
Previously established scales were used in order to collect the data (e.g. Aaker's 1997
scale was utilised to measure brand personality). Recognised measure development
procedures were then employed in order to verify the reliability and validity of the
measures. Finally, the hypotheses were tested via t- tests, ANCOVA and multiple regression analyses. The main findings suggest that whilst fit does significantly affect extension evaluations, it has little impact on brand personality. Specifically, there is no difference in brand personality evaluations due to good and poor levels of fit. However, higher levels of fit are associated with more favourable extension evaluations.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.