Word of Mouth Marketing Essay

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HOW DO CONSUMERS EVALUATE BRAND EXTENSIONS? – RESEARCH FINDINGS FROM INDIA. Thamaraiselvan. N, Department of Management Studies, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli-620015. selvan@nitt.edu Sivaram .A, Department of Management Studies, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli-620015. sivaa_asr@yahoo.co.in ABSTRACT In today’s intense competitive environment, companies launch new products to satisfy constantly changing consumers preferences. The new products are prone to failures due to many factors. Companies take efforts to reduce new product failure rates to maximize their returns for their stakeholders. Brand extensions, leveraging existing brand names to new product categories is one such strategy to reduce the risk of new product failures. Despite two decades of research in branding, many vagaries are yet to be explored and understood. This study primarily focuses on how consumers evaluate brand extensions for FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) and service product categories in Indian market conditions. It explores how exactly the consumers evaluate different product categories based on factors like, similarity fit, perceived quality, brand reputation and perceived risk. It brings out the impact of brand reputation of the core brand and perceived service quality on the brand extensions evaluations. It highlights the role of perceived risk involved in the extended product category in brand extensions evaluations. Most importantly, this study establishes the relationships among similarity fit, brand reputation, perceived service quality and perceived risk in extended product categories through appropriate multivariate analysis. Key words: brand extensions, similarity fit, perceived risk, brand reputation and perceived service quality. 1. Introduction The ever-changing

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