Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Narrow brands make you want to buy

Date:
May 3, 2011
Source:
BI Norwegian Business School
Summary:
If you want a beer at the beach bar, the Mexican brand Corona quickly springs to mind. Brands characterised by few, but strong associations, perform better than brands with many associations, new research shows.

If you want a beer at the beach bar, the Mexican brand Corona quickly springs to mind. Brands characterised by few, but strong associations, perform better than brands with many associations, shows doctorate study at BI Norwegian Business School.

Related Articles


Brand manufacturers spend a lot of time and resources getting you, the consumer, to choose their brand over their competitors'.

The great challenge here is to influence your associations to the brand.

Brand owners can do this in a number of ways, but often the choice is between one of two main strategies:

  1. Narrow brand strategies: Select a few well-chosen associations in the marketing of the brand, and be consistent in relation to these.
  2. Broad brand strategies: Try to build many associations around the brand, place the brand in several different consumption situations, market many attributes and qualities, and make the brand relevant to wide target groups.

On the international beer market, Heineken, for instance, has for many years opted to constantly attach new associations to their brand (e.g. via new target groups, advertisement formats and product areas).

In comparison, Mexican beer manufacturer Corona has adhered strictly to the three associations fun, sun, and beach, and enjoyed success in doing so.

In his doctorate study at BI Norwegian Business School, market researcher Lars Erling Olsen has been investigating which of these two strategies gives the best results.

Three studies in the laboratory

Olsen conducted three experiments in a computer lab with almost 200 participants, to test whether narrow brand strategies perform better because of stronger associations.

The experiments were designed to find how long it takes customers to recall the relevant information from memory when they have to choose between different brands (strength of association).

The stronger the strength of the association, the more likely the consumer is to select a specific brand in the moment of purchase. In the first experiment, he invented two versions of a new brand of shampoo.

In the first group, participants were drilled on many associations to do with the brand. In the second group, the brand was associated with few associations.

Participants were asked which brand they associated with a good pH value. The participants in group two spent the shortest time associating a good pH value with the shampoo in the experiment, as measured in milliseconds.

"This indicates that few associations create stronger associations than many associations," states Olsen.

In the next phase of this first shampoo experiment, the participants were introduced to a new pH-friendly brand of shampoo.

Participants who had learned about the narrow shampoo brand rejected the new competitor to a greater degree and considered it to be worse than their broad brand counterparts did.

Narrow brands perform better

"Brands that focus on consistent brand building and a few well-chosen associations, will have more success in both defence and growth scenarios compared with brands that focus on a rich network of associations in the customer's memory," says Olsen.

In the second experiment, the shampoo brand was introduced in the same two ways (narrow and broad brand strategy) as in the first experiment. But, after having achieved the same results for strength of association, the participants were presented with a brand extension -- sunscreen with a correct pH value.

"Those who had been exposed to the narrow brand strategy were more positive to the brand extension than those who had been exposed to the broad brand," Olsen states.

This means it may be easier for brand manufacturers who select a narrow brand strategy to expand their product range with related products, than those who select a broad market strategy.

Kvikk Lunsj beats M

In the Norwegian chocolate market, the brand Kvikk Lunsj is pitched as the chocolate bar for outdoor activities, while M (M&Ms) is marketed as the choice for the cinema. In his third experiment, Olsen seeks to find out which of these two real chocolate brands has had the most success in developing a narrow brand strategy.

Participants spent less than 1.6 seconds associating Kvikk Lunsj as the chocolate bar for outdoor activities, while it took almost 1.8 seconds to come up with M as the cinema brand.

"Kvikk Lunsj is strongly associated with outdoor activities, while M isn't very strong on neither films/the cinema nor outdoor activities compared with Kvikk Lunsj."

In phase two of the chocolate experiment, participants were asked to consider a new brand of chocolate, marketed as either the new outdoor chocolate or the new cinema chocolate.

The experiment shows that the new cinema chocolate was better received than the new outdoor chocolate. Kvikk Lunsj, with its narrow, strong brand strategy was better equipped to meet competition in the outdoor arena, than M was on the film set.

"This study indicates that it's best to build narrow brands through consistent branding over time," says Lars Erling Olsen. He points out that other factors may also play a part when customers are making their choice.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BI Norwegian Business School. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BI Norwegian Business School. "Narrow brands make you want to buy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110503081149.htm>.
BI Norwegian Business School. (2011, May 3). Narrow brands make you want to buy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110503081149.htm
BI Norwegian Business School. "Narrow brands make you want to buy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110503081149.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

L.A. Water Cops Remind Residents of Water Conservation

L.A. Water Cops Remind Residents of Water Conservation

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 18, 2015) "Water cops" in Los Angeles remind the public about water conservation methods amid California&apos;s prolonged drought. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr. Oz Under Fire For 'Quack Treatments' Yet Again

Dr. Oz Under Fire For 'Quack Treatments' Yet Again

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Ten doctors signed a letter urging Columbia University to drop Dr. Oz as vice chair of its department of surgery, saying he plugs "quack" treatments. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WikiLeaks Refuses To Let Sony Hack Die, Posts Database

WikiLeaks Refuses To Let Sony Hack Die, Posts Database

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) WikiLeaks&apos; Julian Assange says the hacked emails and documents "belong in the public domain." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cybercrime Could Cost $400 Bln

Cybercrime Could Cost $400 Bln

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2015) Representatives from around 160 countries gather at the Hague to discuss cyber space and cyber security, including the dilemmas and challenges regarding the evolution of the internet. Ciara Lee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins