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Free the brand: How a logo frame influences the potentiality of brand extensions

Yu-Shan Athena Chen () and Lien-Ti Bei ()
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Yu-Shan Athena Chen: Eindhoven University of Technology
Lien-Ti Bei: National Chengchi University

Journal of Brand Management, 2019, vol. 26, issue 4, 349-364

Abstract: Abstract Inspired by the logo redesign case of Starbucks, this research used four experiments to explore how marketers may broaden brand breadth and improve brand extension attitudes by removing the frame from a logo. A logo frame is speculated to create a mental boundary that dictates the scope to which products belong. Removing the logo frame thus frees the brand from such finite boundaries and encourages consumers’ relational associations. Study 1 investigated the mechanism underlying the impact of the logo frame on relational and item-specific elaborations. An open logo encouraged participants’ usage of relational elaborations, whereas a framed logo reinforced participants’ usage of item-specific elaborations. Study 2 demonstrated that participants associated broader product portfolios with a brand that had an open logo than a framed logo. Furthermore, Study 3 employed a brand extension scenario to support that removing the logo frame enhanced consumers’ attitudes toward a new extension. Study 4 illustrated that the perceived distance mediated the logo frame effect on extension attitudes as suggested by the Category Adjustment model. These findings demonstrate that marketers could leverage brand perception and favor certain brand extensions through an easily manipulated design feature, the logo frame.

Keywords: Logo frame; Brand extension; Relational versus item-specific elaboration; Category Adjustment model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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