A research proposal: brand extensions among video game fanatics
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When entering new markets, brand extension are often used in an attempt to leverage the positive association with the parent brand. Whether consumers perceive the new product as consistent with the parent brand is shown to be an important element in extension success. This has lead previous researchers to suggest that brand extension which conflict with consumers’ knowledge, beliefs and preconceptions regarding the parent brand’s image, would receive a negative reaction from consumers, leading to the failure of the new product. Consumers that are ‘fanatic’ towards a particular brand would be expected to exhibit particularly high levels of knowledge, beliefs and involvement towards the brand they are a fan of. Depending on the level of this fanaticism, characteristics attributed these group include; external involvement, desire for interaction with others of like interest, and wish to acquire (related material/products). These characteristics have a two-fold effect; on one hand the increased involvement and knowledge in the brand may mean brand extensions with less perceptual fit are respondent to poorly; on the other a fans’ wish to acquire objects related to the area of interest as a means of expressing themselves could dominate their perception towards brand extensions even with low levels of fit towards the parent brand. In fact one type of fandom has been labelled as ‘Dysfunctional’. This conceptual paper proposes empirical research to examine consumers with varying levels of fanaticism within the video game market regarding a range of perceptions towards brand extensions with varying levels of fit. Such research would be valuable for practitioners and academics alike.
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