The impact of fit measures on the consumer evaluation of new co-branded products

L.M. Bouten, H.M.J.J. Snelders, E.J. Hultink

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)


    A popular strategy currently employed for new product introductions is co-branding. Such a strategy allows a brand to innovate with the support of a partner brand. The present study investigates how consumers perceive a new product with two brands. Previous research focused on the logic of a brand combination by investigating the impact of the fit between both existing product categories (i.e., product-product fit) and the fit between both brand images (i.e., brand-brand fit) on the evaluation of a new co-branded product. However, no study has yet focused on the relationships between both brands and their existing product categories, and the specific new product that has been developed. The present paper aims to improve the understanding of the potential benefits of co-branding by taking the role of the new product into account. The empirical study discussed in this paper replicates and extends the model of Simonin and Ruth (1998) by adding two new measures to their model. These measures are related to the fit of both existing product categories with the new product (i.e., new-product-product fit) and the fit of both brand images with the new product (i.e., new-product-brand fit). The results from this empirical study with 210 consumers in The Netherlands show that product-product fit, brand-brand fit, and new-product-brand fit have a significant positive impact on the evaluation of a new co-branded product. New-product-product fit was not significantly related to consumer evaluations. In addition, the results show that consumers prefer a new co-branded product that can be clearly associated with one of the brands in the partnership so that it can be categorized unambiguously. This paper discusses these findings and provides implications for research and managerial practice in the important and growing field of brand-driven innovation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)455-469
    JournalJournal of Product Innovation Management
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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