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Consumer attitude towards brand-extension incongruity: The moderating role of need for cognition and need for change

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This paper integrates two contradictory predictions from the schema incongruity theory: a linear versus an inverted-U relationship between brand-extension incongruity and evaluation. It suggests two personality variables, namely, need for cognition and need for change that moderate the relationship. The major proposition that the relationship would be linear for individuals low in both personality dimensions and inverted-U for those high on both was supported by the data obtained through a questionnaire study. The highest evaluation was obtained for the moderately incongruent extension compared to the congruent and extremely incongruent brand extensions of an established brand for individuals high on both personality dimensions. Four innovative behaviour types identified on the basis of a combination of high and low categories of participants on the two personality dimensions also provided similar results. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings, limitations of the present study, and future possibilities are discussed.
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Keywords: brand extension; categorisation theory; perceived fit; schema incongruity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology, India 2: Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India

Publication date: 2012-05-01

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