Consumer evaluations of brand extensions in emerging economies : evidences from China

  • Guoqun Fu

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This project explored how consumers in emerging economies evaluate brand
extension by using China as a case. Two separate but related studies were conducted, and university students were used as respondents in both the studies.
Study one or replication study tested Aaker and Keller's brand extension model in
China. Assuming similar methods to Aaker and Keller's, six well-recognised brands were chosen as parent brand and each was extended to three product categories. Totally, 469 respondents completed the survey questionnaire. As each was to evaluate six extensions, this made the cases 2814. The data was analysed using Optimal Least Square regression approach and "residual centred" approach respectively. The result confirmed most of the findings observed in developed countries. Specifically, consumer's attitude towards the extension is primarily driven by the brand affect, the fit between the two product categories, the difficulty of making the extension and moderated via the interactions between the brand affect and the fit variables.
Study two refined and extended Aaker and Keller's model by adding new variables and making methodological adjustments. The same stimuli and data analysis techniques as those in the replication were employed. 252 respondents participated in the survey and each evaluated six extensions, making cases 1512. In addition to re-verifying the findings of the replication and providing cross validation to these findings, the extended study found that the image consistency between the parent brand and the extension, the competition intensity of the extension product market were important in determining the success of the extension. Further, consumer differed in evaluating durable extensions and non-durable extensions.
The thesis detailed the two studies above, and discussed the findings and their
implications by relating to branding literature, to the general situation of the
emerging economies as well as the reality of China. It also presented the limitations of the research and the future research directions.
Date of AwardAug 1999
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJohn A Saunders (Supervisor)


  • brand extension
  • consumer
  • emerging economies
  • China

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