Firms are continuously looking for new opportunities to exploit and leverage their existing brands for achieving business growth. In the past, companies have leveraged their most important asset (brands) through brand and line extensions. Nowadays, the most recent trend for capitalizing on brands is called Co- Branding in which two or more brands are presented jointly to the consumer, forming a new product or service offering. This new branding strategy promises many benefits, especially for international operating companies with strong global brands. As the result of the high rate of product failures, the intense competition among companies and the high costs to enter new markets, the use of co-branded products has become increasingly important for brand managers because they provide a way to take advantage of existing brand name recognition and associations. Co-branding came up in the early 90 s and has recently reached an all-time high with annual growth rates estimated at 40 percentages. This study investigates fit in more detail and tries to find out which factors lead to a perceived fit between two brands by consumers. Given this research purpose the research question of this study can be formulated as follows: Which factors lead to a perceived fit between two partner brands by consumers? The following sub-questions arise within the attempt to answer the research question: Are there any clear factors that lead to a fit between partner brands? , Are some factors more important than others? , If yes, which?
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Text Sample: Chapter 2.2.1, Types of Co-Branding: By following the narrow definition (see 2.1.2), co-branding only consists of two different types: Ingredient Branding, or sometimes referred to as vertical co-branding or physical product integration, where one brand is the component or ingredient of another brand (most often the final product). Both brands are visible on the product and cannot be used without each other (Simonin & Ruth 1998, James 2006). Examples are Dell computers with Intel processors, Coca-Cola with NutraSweet sweeteners and Adidas training shoes with Goodyear soles (James 2006). Composite Branding, or sometimes referred to as horizontal co-branding, where two existing brands are combined to form a new product or service, and their names or logos are used together in a combined format (Park, Jun & Shocker 1996, James 2006). Most of the time, partner brands have complementary skills or images, which they transfer and combine into the new offering (James 2006). Examples are Sony (electronics) and Ericsson (telecommunication systems) marketing Sony Ericsson mobile phones together, Nike (sportswear) and Apple (multimedia) launching the Nike Plus sport shoe together, and Acer (computers) and Ferrari (automobile) producing the Acer Ferrari One notebook series together (Besharat 2010). Co-branded products can appear in product categories, in which both brands are already established (e.g. computers from Dell and Intel), only one brand is established (e.g. notebooks from Acer and Ferrari) or none of the brands are established (e.g. mobile phones from Sony and Ericsson) (Helmig, Huber & Leeflang 2008). Furthermore, co-branding may appear between domestic brands (e.g. between both American Nike and Apple) as well as between international brands (e.g. between Japanese Sony and Swedish Ericsson) (Besharat 2010). Although co-branding mainly appears among consumer goods, it is also relevant for durable goods (e.g. cars) and services (e.g. credit cards) (Helmig, Huber & Leeflang 2008). 2.2.2, Related types of Co-Branding: There are other co-operative marketing activities, which are in a narrow sense no types of co-branding, but closely related and worth mentioning in this context. The key difference to co-branding lies in the fact, that in these activities no new product or service is created by the brands involved. Furthermore, there is no combined branding on a product or service. This implies, each brand is still perceived as a separate and individual entity
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