Consumers' evaluation of brand portfolios

Kwun, Joon-Wuk
Major Professor
Haemoon Oh
Committee Member
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Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management

The lodging industry has experienced a tremendous growth in brand extension practices within the last two decades due to market saturation and intense competition. One of the significant trends in the lodging industry is that a few large lodging companies have become leaders in the market by possessing a number of highly demanded brands and forming brand portfolios. Mainly using brand extension and consolidation strategies, these brand portfolios consist of various different lodging products and try to capitalize on the benefits of existing brands to gain competitive advantages in the market. This research was designed to understand consumers' evaluations of brand portfolios in the lodging industry by investigating the effects of both brand-specific associations and brand portfolios on attitudes toward extended brands.;This study showed the importance of recognizing the role of brand-specific associations (i.e., product and service quality, brand image, brand awareness) and brand portfolio effects (i.e., brand attitude toward the parent brand, familiarity, and fit) in consumer evaluations of extended brands. The conceptual relationships proposed and examined in this study seem to possess predictive validity, to some degree, in understanding lodging customers' brand attitude formation process for extended brands. These findings suggest, in general, that both brand-specific associations and brand portfolios play an important role in consumer evaluations of extended brands.;In summary, the scope of this study expands on what has been previously reported in the literature. Specifically, findings of this study suggest that: (1) consumers' attitude toward extended brands is influenced by both brand-specific associations and brand portfolios; (2) brand image should be seriously considered in developing marketing strategies for brand portfolios; (3) brand fit plays a significant role in the portfolio evaluation process; and (4) both fit and familiarity moderate attitude transferability between a brand portfolio and its extended brands. Managerial implications and directions for future research are discussed.