When independents favor far extension: Self-construal, brand extension, and brand concept consistency

Yuanyuan Cai1, Tingting Mo2
1SHU-UTS SILC Business School, Shanghai University, People’s Republic of China
2Wenlan School of Business, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Cai, Y., & Mo, T. (2019). When independents favor far extension: Self-construal, brand extension, and brand concept consistency. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 47(1), e7460.

Volume 47 Issue 1 | e7460 | Published: January 2019 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.7460

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We examined a specific situation of far brand extension—cross-category extension with the brand concept consistent with the parent brand. We conducted a survey with 160 Chinese university students and measured their perceived extension product fit and evaluation of the extension, and manipulated self-construal and brand concept consistency. We found that individuals with a situational independent self-construal evaluated a cross-category extension with consistent brand concept more favorably than did those with a situational interdependent self-construal, and this effect was mediated by the individual’s perceived fit between the extension product and the parent brand. When the concept of the cross-category extension was inconsistent with the parent brand, there was no effect of self-construal on the individual’s evaluation of the brand extension. Previous researchers have confirmed that interdependents have an advantage over independents in evaluating far brand extensions. In our research we focused on a new angle—independents’ sensitivity to an abstract factor—that is, brand concept consistency. We have contributed to teasing out the operation of this specific type of far brand extension, and our research led to results that are contrary to those reported in previous research.

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