Green Brand Extension Strategy and Online Communities

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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine current and prospective consumer perceptions, purchase intent and parent brand evaluation due to green brand – line and category extensions by marketers of established (non-green) brands for products with high vs low perceived environmental impact. Design-methodology-approach The paper analyses responses to online surveys by 602 pet-owners at social networking websites. The quasi-experiment considered perceived environmental impact of core product, parent-brand user status, and green extension strategy (line vs category). Brand extension evaluation, purchase intent, and parent brand evaluation were then measured. Findings Results suggest that consumers are more likely to purchase green extensions of products with high perceived environmental impact and that current consumers prefer green line extensions to green category extensions. Both have similar reciprocal impact on parent brand evaluation among current consumers. Research limitations-implications The data have external validity but lack the control possible in laboratory experiments. Future research should replicate the study in other product categories. Practical implications Managers of established brands should consider brand extensions of products associated with high environmental impact only. Originality-value This paper examines managerial implications of line vs category extension strategies for green brand extensions of established brands.



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