2. Literature review

2.1 summary of consumer decision making style of the research literature

Consumers often choose particular products, services, and activities over others because they are associated with a certain lifestyle (Brandon et al. 2003). The purchase of goods or service comprises a number of factors that could cause impact on each decision (Hiu S. Y. et al. 2001). Moreover, from the consumer characteristics approach, it assumed that consumers would follow some particular decision-making traits in order to deal with their shopping tasks. These characteristics have been identified, such as, quality consciousness (Darden and Ashton, 1974) or brand and store loyalty (Moschis, 1976).

2.1.1 Decision theory

To begin with, as we have mentioned that consumers would make their decisions based on some certain characteristics and before we probe those characteristics, we first shall explore how these decisions have been made.

Decision theory has developed from psychology, organizational behavior and marketing perspectives, in order to understand the decision-making of individual for different purposes (Lye A. et al. 2004). There are three major groups of consumer decision theory. First of all, normative decision theory (von Neumann and Morgenstern, 1947; Savage, 1954), framed how a decision maker should behave to gain maximum utility (Edwards, 1954; Simon, 1955; Fischhoff et al., 1983; Beach, 1998). Normative decision theory "assumed that decision makers could not be certain about the occurrence of incidents in the outer environment, considered the decision makers, however, would certainly understand their own preferences" (Fischer et al., 2000, p. 89). Nonetheless, some researchers argued that decision makers' rationality are limited (March, 1978) and are seeking to be "satisfied", not to maximize. Moreover, behavioral decision theory researchers claimed that consumers are adaptive decision makers (Payne et al., 1988, 1993) and their preferences are highly related to many factors, such as personal, background, and task-specific factors (Edwards, 1961; Tversky, 1969; Lichtenstein and Slovic, 1971; Simonson, 1989; Slovic, 1995; Luce et al., 1997; Luce, 1998; Swait and Adamowicz, 2001). In the real world, however, not all the decision makers have their well-established preferences, researchers also pointed out the contingent use of decision strategies result from consumers' preferences are uncertain (Payne, 1976, 1982; Christensen-Szalanski, 1978; Payne et al., 1995) and contingent weighting of attribute importance by consumers (Tversky et al., 1988; Fischer et al., 2000). In addition, naturalistic decision theory (Klein et al., 1993) claimed it should be observed in the natural settings from real-life decision behavior to develop the decision models (Beach, 1998). The naturalistic decision theory approaches thought that decision-making would be interpreted based on both a process and outcome. It evaluates the situation and provides several different paths to a decision of purchasing in the beginning which depend on the assessment of consumer in which under that decision situation. Therefore, it comprise decision-making in a varying situation, using obscure information, with changing purposes and intentions (Lye A. et al., 2005).

Furthermore, Lye A. et al. (2005) argued all normative decision approaches which should be thought as an "additive" group, reflecting a series of analyzing each option in detail. There is no single strategy, however, is efficient to cover all decision environments (Payne et al., 1995). The consumers, therefore, adjust their behavior and their decision strategy continuously in a way that stands for the reasonable effort-accurate transactions (March, 1978; Payne et al., 1990). In addition, Payne et al. (1988) also suggested the consumers are adaptive decision makers, because while they are under an unfamiliar situation, they do not have a list of their preferences to create challenges (Lye A. et al., 2005).

2.1.2 Consumer decision-making style

As we already explained how the decisions have been made and the theories of decision making and the consumers seem to make their decisions according to several different traits. Therefore, we further explore these characteristics from the consumer perspective.

The decision-making style is defined as the mental orientation characterizing a consumer's approach to making choices. It has cognitive and affective characteristics, such as quality consciousness and fashion consciousness. More importantly, Sproles and Kendall (1986) indicated it is a basic consumer personality, analogous to the concept of personality in psychology.

"Psychologists considered personality traits as relatively enduring, general factors influencing many if not all behaviors. Similarly, we may provisionally expect that consumer characteristics influence a variety of similar behavior. In other words, this means a person would not be fashion conscious in all the decisions where fashion-ability influence consumer behavior, but it does propose that characteristic would be influential in many related decisions."

It has been long that consumer-interest researchers interested in identifying the underlying decision styles of shoppers (Hiu S. et al., 2001). Consumers, for example, are identified as economic shoppers (Bellenger and Korgaonkar 1980; Darden and Reynolds 197 1 ; Stone 1954), personalizing shoppers (Darden and Reynolds 1971; Stone 1954), ethical shoppers (Darden and Reynolds 1971; Stone 1954), apathetic shoppers (Darden and Ashton 1974-75; Darden and Reynolds 197 1 ; Stone 1954; Williams, Painter, and Nicholas 1978), store-loyal shoppers (Moschis 1976; Stephenson and Willett 1969), recreational shoppers (Bellenger and Korgaonkar 1980; Stephenson and Willett 1969), convenience shoppers (Korgaonkar 1984; Stephenson and Willett 1969; Williams et al. 1978), price-oriented shoppers (Korgaonkar 1984; Stephenson and Willett 1969; Williams et al. 1978), brand-loyal shoppers (Jacoby and Chestnut 1978; Moschis 1976), name-conscious shoppers (Moschis 1976), problem-solving shoppers (Moschis 1976), quality shoppers (Darden and Ashton 1974-75), fashion shoppers (Lumpkin 1985), brand conscious shoppers (Korgaonkar 1984) and impulse shoppers (Gehrt and Carter 1992). There are three ways to characterize consumer styles among consumer literature: the psychographic/lifestyle approach, the consumer typology approach and consumer characteristics approach (Sproles G. and Kendall E., 1986). First of all, the psychographic or lifestyle approach identifies over 100 characteristics relevant to consumer behavior (Lastovicka 1982; Wells 1974). Some are closely related to consumer choices; others tap general lifestyle activities or interests. Secondly, the consumer typology tends to identify the "types" of general consumer (Darden and Ashton 1974-5, Moschis 1976, Stephenson and Willett 1969, Stone 1954). The consumer characteristics approach, however, focused on cognitive and affective orientations specifically related to consumer decision-making (Sproles 1985, Westbrook and Black 1985). Moreover, the consumer-interest literature also identifies fundamental consumer decision-making characteristics (Maynes 1976; Miller 1981; Sproles 1979, Thorelli, Becker, and Engeldow 1975). These characteristics from rational shopping and quality consciousness to impulsiveness and information overload, which are different from approaches to characterizing styles. These certain characteristics, however, are keys to consumer decision-making (Sproles G. and Kendall E., 1986).

Sproles G. and Kendall E. (1986) established a measurement of consumer decision-making style, Consumer Styles Inventory (CSI), which comprised the major traits of consumer decision-making they had identified. There are eight different characteristics of Consumer Styles Inventory (CSI).

  1. Perfectionism and high-quality-conscious Consumers which means consumers who believe that perfection will be attend if they keep searching carefully and systematically for the best quality in products. Most of perfectionism and high quality-orient consumers are not satisfied with the good enough products, so that they can't tolerant flaw in the products.

  2. Brand-conscious and price-equals-quality consumers which represents consumers who are inclined toward buying more expensive products in same catalogue, well-known national brands. This kind of consumers believing that a higher price means guarantee to get better quality. Best-selling and advertised brands are their first priority choice to buy.

  3. Novelty and fashion-conscious Consumers - it means consumers who prefer the new and innovative products and gain pleasure from searching out different new things. Keeping up themselves in styles and variety seeking is the crucial aspects for the novelty and fashion-conscious consumers.

  4. Recreational and hedonistic consumers - it means consumers who considered shopping as a recreation and entertainment. These consumers thought shopping would be a pleasant activity and shops were just for the fun of it.

  5. Price-conscious and value-for money consumers - it represents consumers who are particularly more sensitive to the sale prices and lower prices in general. More importantly, they also concerned about to have the best value for their money. This type of consumers is more likely to be the comparison shoppers.

  6. Impulsive and careless consumers - it means consumers who tend to buy on the spur of that moment and appear to be more careless about how much they have spent or to purchase the best buys.

  7. Confused by over-choice consumers - it represents consumers who perceived too much brands' or stores' information from which to choose and who were more likely to have information overload from the market.

  8. Habitual and brand-loyal consumers - it refers to consumers who have their favorite brands or stores and have formed those habits become repetitive purchasing (Shim S. (1998) developed by Sproles and Kendall(1986)).

Each one of these characteristics corresponds to the crucial mental approaches to purchasing (Sproles and Kendall 1986). Moreover, the applicability of Consumer Styles Inventory (CSI) has been tested and validated across different culture Americans (Sproles and Kendall, 1986; Lysonski et al. 1996), Koreans (Hafstrom et al. 1992), Chinese (Fan et al. 1997; Fan and Xiao, 1998; Hiu et al. 2001; Siu et al. 2001), New Zealanders (Durvasula et al. 1993; Lysonski et al. 1996), Greek (Lysonski et al. 1996), Indians (Lysonski et al. 1996; Canabal, 2001; Patel, 2008), Germans (Walsh et al. 2001; Walsh and Vincent, 2001), British (Mitchell and Bates, 1998), South African (Radder et al. 2006) and Turkish (Gonen and Ozmete, 2006; Kavas and Yesilada, 2007) (Mokhlis S. 2009). These cross-cultural studies have shown that four consumer styles are relatively more applicable to different countries as suggested result from the factor structure and reliability estimating factors and those are quality conscious, brand conscious, fashion conscious, and recreational (Hiu S. et al., 2001). In their international setting research, the economic development or government intervention would cause impact on consumers' choice. Greece and India, for example, Lysonski et al. (1996) found that both countries samples produced low level of reliability coefficients in all decision-making styles. They attributed consumers' choices are limited to either one the factors in less-developed countries. Fan and Xiao (1998) also indicated similar result in their research of China. Their researches based on a purified model of CSI that contained only seven factors: brand consciousness, fashion consciousness, quality consciousness, price consciousness, time consciousness, impulsiveness, and information utilization. This modified model was validated both students and consumers with samples in China which was more relevant and applicable to Chinese consumers through confirmative factor analysis procedures (Siu et al., 2001; Hui et al., 2001). In addition, Hafstrom et al. (1992) also confirmed the time consciousness, which including both recreational shopping and time-energy conserving in their model. Another trait of their purified model, impulsiveness, contains both habitual and brand-loyal and impulsiveness dimensions in the original eight-dimension model (Hiu S. et al., 2001). In addition, Wang C. et al. (2001) further indicated brand, style, design, color, price and country-of-origin would also be the criteria for consumer to evaluate when they are purchasing products. These choice behaviors are particularly relevant to certain shopping attitudes of interest, such as brand conscious.

Bauer H. et al. (2006) in their research of the relationship between CSI and product involvement, however, they have indicated there are a number of problems of CSI. First of all, it could be found in the average reliability coefficients of formulation of items were very poor in Sproles and Kendall's CSI (1986). They further investigated in greater detail of recent CSI for its reliability and validity, by conducting a questionnaire survey for German students. The questionnaire not only included the forty items in Sproles and Kendall's final version of the CSI, which the items of the replicated studies were examined for differences and variations, such as style, but also including another items in their own study which had been translated and checked in order to maintain its consistency. For examining the reliability and validity of the measurement instrument, the exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were performed. However, their result showed the variance was 59 percent which could be explained, while limiting factor extraction to eight and the range of Coefficient alpha was from 0.40 to 0.87, however, there were only two factors staying under 0.70. The outcome of predicted factor structure could not be confirmed. According to Sproles and Kendall's Model (1986), the items were attributed to the respective factors and the unacceptably poor results were produced by analysis. Furthermore, Bauer H. et al. (2006) further addressed that there is a primary problem of the conceptualization of the construct. The theoretical basis and validity of Consumer Styles Inventory which needs to be considered that the choice of decision-related purchase traits seems to be a rather capricious selection of related concepts stated in the field of marketing. In addition, they also indicated the several shortcomings of the CSI. Such as, it lacked of sufficient theoretical framework which can be demonstrated by further examining the three of the eight secondary-constructs of the Consumer Inventory Style. Subsequently, two of the CSI constructs seem to hardly identify the direct purchase-related aspects as claimed by the authors. In assessing factors that influence the shopping attitudes of general consumers, we can clearly notice two major factors. One of which is information overload by an over-abundance of products the consumers may face, the other being the "Recreational Hedonism" consumers who simply shop as they go. This observation of shopping attitudes applies to all categories the consumer market. Many subsequent researches, however, showed evidences that consumers' purchase- relevant decision-making traits vary significantly depending on the product category that they intend to purchase.

In Bauer H. et al. (2006) research of relationship between product involvement and consumer styles inventory (CSI), they believed that when people are purchasing different type of product, their decision-making traits would not follow the same pattern. As a result, they concluded that the characteristics of consumers' decision- making would vary depending on the product category, or more specifically, product involvement. Therefore, based on those shortcomings have been mentioned, they developed an instrument Consumer Decision-Making Style (CDMS) that based on the Consumer Style Inventory (CSI). They claimed that the CDMS could be more appropriate and product category-dependent to measure consumer decision-making style. This improved instrument shares five factors which slightly altered types with the original CSI: perfectionism, brand consciousness, price-value consciousness, brand/store loyalty, and spontaneity. There are two additional factors in the modified instrument, innovativeness, variety-seeking and removed three factors from the original CSI, confusion by over-choice, recreational/ hedonistic shopping, and novelty-fashion consciousness.

2.2 Summary of Co-branding on research literature

The Co-branding has become more common strategies to the consumer product manufactures in order to obtain more exposure on the marketplace, and also to avoid the potential threats from private label brand, and reduce the expensive cost of promotion by sharing with partners (Spethmann and Benezra, 1994). We shall demonstrate brand alliance (co-branding) in greater detail, to explain the ideas of brand cooperation and what kind of influences would be caused and how strong affect it could be in terms of brand alliance.

The premise of brand cooperation is that the brand name could be considered as a valuable asset, by allying with other brand name to a way of synergistic pairing which would lead to greater than themselves (Rao and Ruekert 1994, p.87). Blackett and Boad (1999) defined brand alliance as a way of cooperation that two or more brands which associate with its own significant recognition to the customer, and also to retain all the brand names. In addition, there is a crucial component of co-branding, physical product integration, comparing with other forms of branding strategies, would be an essential constituent and differentiation guideline for the products (Helmig B. et al., 2006). For example, one product allied with other brands, it could be identified simultaneously with two brands by the consumers, and companies might gain the positive influences for both products. Moreover, according to Rodrigue C. and Biswas A. (2004), the literature has identified two types of co-branding, joint promotion and ingredient brand alliance. First, joint promotion refers to the promotion of complementary product use, which means each of the products could be purchased separately or they could be paired for promotion to purchase together. The ingredient brand alliance represents an integration of two products such that one product cannot be bought without purchasing the other, for example, the laptop or personal computer with the Intel CPU (central processing unit).

2.2.1 Effect of Co-Branding

A series of researches of co-branded product, Rao et al. (1999) indicated that consumers could have better evaluation toward the quality of a brand, which features unobservable attributes, when the brand is paired with other brand which would be thought as vulnerable to consumer support.

Levin et al. (1996) suggested that by allying with a well-known brand, consumers would have better evaluation of the product of the less known or well-known brands more than combining with an unknown brand. In other words, the partner brands would cause a direct positive effect on consumers' brand awareness (Helmig B. et al. 2006). Voss and Tansuhaj (1999) further indicated that if an unknown or less known overseas brand allies with a well-known local brand, by doing this, it could lead to a better evaluation of consumer to the co-branded product. In addition, Vaidyanathan and Aggarwal (2000) found the similar outcome that a product from a private-unknown brand would have more positive evaluations if it allies with a well-known local ingredient brand. Scholars Fang and Mishra (2002) have also proved the results which unknown brand would improve its perception by combining with a famous and high-quality brand.

Helmig B. et al. (2006) they distinguished several aspects of success factors of brand alliance by their comprehensive research of brand alliance which based on a great amount of prior researches. Therefore, they have generated a number of success factors for co-branding which included Awareness; Quality; Brand equity; Advertising; Degree of complementariness; Brand fit; Product fit; Incongruence; Fit or similarity of participants of co-branding and brand-allied product; Product involvement and Brand orientation. They also pointed out, products attitude, quality, production information and closeness which could be incorporated into the crucial characteristics and stability of brand alliance product. As such, according to these factors could provide following researchers the fundamental concepts about the reactions or relationships between consumers and brand alliance products.

Moreover, Desai and Keller (2002) also indicated the extended effects of the host brand. By extending the level of an existing product attribute and also establishing the ingredient which would underpin preliminary expansion acceptance. However, a self-branded constituent would results in more favorable subsequent category extension evaluations. Park et al. (1996) further indicated that consumers' positive attitude toward one brand result in positive direct effects. A brand alliance product which paired with two complementary brands would retain a better attribute profile to consumers than a brand-allied product with two highly favorable brands which without any complementary among each other or a product which is directly extend brand of the dominant brand.

Washburn J. et al. (2004) also suggested that co-branding could cause positive impact on consumer evaluations of individual brands that include the alliance in addition to evaluations of the consequential co-branded product. Walchli S. (2007) indicated the several different co-branding types, from short-term programs, for instance, cooperative advertising, joint promotions, or another type of brand allying could be thought as the short-term use of a well-known brand name in order to access a new market, or to component branding. One brand, for example, is permanently presented as an attribute of another, or the creative use of complementary brand equities, or the product that with one name, it is, however, generally known to be offered by two different brand partners.

Saqib N. and Manchanda R. (2008) further explored the effect of co-branding which facilitated with two related theoretical frameworks.

The research first according to the information integration theory (Anderson, 1981) which claimed that people tend to based on previous experience as a cue to understand the information received from an incentive. Moreover, people incorporated the information with their beliefs or attitudes after the information is interpreted and evaluated one piece at a time. Therefore, in terms of brand alliance, Simonin and Ruth (1998) indicated that consumers' previous attitudes of two co-branding participants showed in each other's context based on information integration. The research also included the anchoring and adjustment heuristic theory (Tversky and Kahneman, 1974), which could explain information processing of consumer. Anchoring and adjustment could be referred to people combine information by first piece of information they received in the beginning, and then based on the first piece of information as an indication to adjust their evaluation of the second piece (Saqib N. and Manchanda R. 2008). More specifically, a basic principal of anchoring and adjustment is that the adjustments would be considered as the direction of first piece of information which would be thought as a "typically insufficient" (Tversky and Kahneman, 1974, p. 1128).

Hence, Saqib N. and Manchanda R. (2008), they elaborated effect of brand alliance based on this theory, they suggested when consumers encounter a co-branding product which paired with a well-known brand and an unknown brand, and they would alter their evaluation toward unknown brand based on co-branding. Helmig B. et al. (2006) further pointed out there is a numbers of success factors of characteristics of participant of cooperative branding which included Brand awareness; Brand personality/attitude; Brand equity; Brand familiarity and Brand.

Furthermore, by combining this theory and information integration theory (Anderson, 1981) could generate a theoretical basis for predicting consumers' evaluations of brand allying between unknown or new brand and well-known brand. The process could be predicted for the improved evaluation. Furthermore, there was a higher likelihood that consumers tend to have the salient attitudes toward the well-known brand first, and then the positive or negative attitudes have generated from the well-known brand would cause the impact on their judgments about the unknown brand. In addition, it is accessed and activated by memory (Fazio et al., 1989) would lead to a positive attitude congruent with a well-known brand due to well-known brand's salience. This positive attitude would cause the impact on consumers' evaluations which leads to affect transfer to the unknown brand as a "spill-over effect" (Simonin and Ruth, 1998). The spill-over effects can be defined as the influence of consumer attitudes toward the brand alliance on subsequent impressions of each partner's brand (Rodrigue C. and Biswas A.2004).

Simonin and Ruth (1998) pointed out that a brand could be influenced by the "company that it keeps" in its brand cooperation relationship. More specially, spillover effects could be explained the impact of consumers' attitude on cooperative branding of following impression of each co-branding participants. They also further confirmed an inverse relation: the less familiar brands cause minor impact on consumers' attitude toward the brand allied product. The stronger spill-over effects, however, would be perceived from brand alliance rather than pairs with familiar brands (see Lafferty et al. (2004)). The brand alliance products have the potential to bring significant benefits to both high-equity participants of branding cooperation, which would cause stronger spill-over effects (Washburn (1999) and Washburn et al. (2000; 2004)). In addition, the brands with lower brand equity could benefit more from co-branding. Nonetheless, those brands with high brand equity would not suffer from a reputational downgrading. Voss and Tansuhaj (1999) also indicated the similar result. The evaluations of an unknown brand could be improved by cooperating with a famous brand. Musante (2000) further confirmed that the perception of personality and attitude of a partner brand can be improved by co-branded products, while the other participant of brand allying which has superior perception on those traits of the products.

2.2.2 Brand Equity

The brand equity is "a number of brand assets and liabilities linked to a brand, its name and symbol, which provided value to the firm and its customers (Aaker, 1991, p. 15). Keller (1993, p. 8) defined brand equity was primarily identified the consumer response to the marketing of the brand from a consumer behavior perspective.

Many scholars such as Washburn J. et al. (2000) also suggested that brand equity was the degree of brand knowledge influences on consumers of their reacts toward the brand. Moreover, the interaction between brand reputation, performance, meanings and relationship could be considered as an intangible asset, which would increase the value to an organization (Motion J. et al., 2001). Therefore, many followed-up studies further explored this concept. The brand equity as the valuable assets of the brand name and it could be thought as a potential of being extended either in a type of line extensions or in conjunction which represents to pair with any other brand names as brand cooperation (Rao and Ruekert, 1994). In addition, according to Swait et al. (1993) indicated from the general theory perspective, the brand equity of the original brand would cause positive impact on line extension to obtain the preference of consumers and channel members. They also suggested that relationship between co-branding and brand equity, and the learning from the consumers which associated with the product brand name providing information for consumers and also represent images that have been developed based on their past experience with a brand or information they have gained about the brand. The pairing of particular brands could provide unique advantages to the dual-branded product. In general, the lead brand implies quality; the brand partner may play a role to prove certain product attributes. The stronger brand partners would not cause any influence on these evaluations. The reason of this might be explained by the halo effect. The positive attitude which perceived from the well-known brand name and the likelihood of recognizing the particular product, not the disinfectant ingredient, expected absorbency.

Washburn J. et al. (2000) suggested under some certain brand cooperation circumstances, a well-known brand name allies with one brand name which either could be a well known or less known with the aim to benefit the inferior brand composite product. In their research of relationship between co-branding and brand equity, they found a brand paired with another brand could cause impact on the perceptions of brand equity of constituent brands. They suggested by combining with a brand which could be either a high or low equity, it would improve the constituent brand's evaluation on brand equity. They further indicated that the alliance of two high equity brands would generate a highly positive image to the co-branding. Regardless of whether the participants of the brand allying are the high or low equity brands, through brand cooperation would improve the consumer's perception of brand equity. In addition, they also claimed high equity brands would not be damaged by pairing with inferior equity brands and the dominant brands have showed to be more resistant to negative image. The difficulties, however, experienced by "master brands" which refer to the brands that are the leading brands of the product categories and tend to undertake the product line extensions. Besides, they also claimed despite their initial equity perception, it would enhance the positive image to consumers by allying two different brands. Therefore, this would cause a positive impact on both two different partners the brand allied product and the brand equity of both two co-branding participants.

As we have already explained the potential influence which would be caused by brand equity. However, the evaluation of brand equity toward brand alliance products might be influenced by product trial (Washburn J. et al., 2004). "Product trial", defined as an experience of consumer's first usage with a brand which would be a crucial factor to the manufactures in establishing brand beliefs, attitudes, and intentions of purchasing (Kempf and Smith, 1998, p. 325). Washburn J. et al. (2004), in their research of influence caused by co-branding on customer-based brand equity, they suggested that the cooperation between different brands would result in consumers to expect certain outcomes which would cause significant impact on experience attributes. They also claimed that high-equity combinations would be expected to produce more positive attribute performance before actually to try the product. In other words, the pairing brand can provide consumers information that improves a product's attribute perception even before the performance be actual observed. They further suggested that a positive product trial could cause greater benefits on these positive effects for experience attributes. More specifically, the consumers might like the product after trial, however, they claimed, however, allying with a high-equity brand would cause a positive impact on consumers' attitudes toward the product. It could only be confirmed by subsequent product trial (experience attributes).

2.2.3 Consumer Evaluations of brand extensions

The current researches on brand equity or evaluation of brand extension from the consumer perspective in which conceptualized in accordance with Aaker and Keller (1993) (Pappu R. et al. 2005). In their research of consumer evaluations of brand extension, they provided the several aspects of consumer-based brand equity. First of all, the "brand attribute association"; brand associations are considered to comprise "the brand's meaning for consumers" (Keller, 1993, p. 3). Brand personality and organizational associations are the two most crucial factors of brand associations, which a brand may obtain associations from a range of sources and influence the brand's equity (Aaker, 1991, 1996b).

Moreover, brand personality is defined as "a number of human traits linked to a brand" (Aaker, 1997, p. 347) and it is a crucial component of brand equity, and it could be considered in terms of the several different characteristics that brands could suppose from the perception of consumers (Aaker, 1991; Keller, 1993). Aaker (1991) also suggested that brand associations could give the consumers reasons or incentive to buy by providing the value and produce positive attitude or feelings among consumers. Subsequently, "attitude toward the original brand", brand attitude is based on particular attributes such as durability, incidence of detects, serviceability, features, performance, or "fit and finish" (Garvin 1984). Aaker and Keller (1990) conceptualized attitude in terms of the consumers' perception of the overall quality in their study. From underlying attribute information, the overall brand attitude may be stored and retrieved in memory separately (Anderson and Hubert, 1963; Carlston 1980; Lingle and Ostrom 1979; Riskey 1979). The perception of quality would not be the genuine quality of the product; is the subjective perception of the consumer and evaluate of the product (Zeithaml, 1988, p. 3). Moreover, perceived quality also provides value to consumers which give them an incentive or a reason to purchase and could be distinguished from other brands (Pappu et al., 2005). As such, Aaker and Keller (1990) claimed that there would be an unambiguously positive impact of the perceived quality on the attitude the extension. The brand is associated with high quality, the extension should benefit; in contrast, if it is associated with inferior quality, the extension should be harmed. Nonetheless, they concluded the relationship between the original and extension product classes had an interactive effect on evaluation of an extension. Only when there was a basis of fit between the two product classes, the relationship of a positive quality image for the original brand with the evaluation of a brand extension was strong.

Aaker and Keller (1990) also indicated two measures which are from a demand-side perspective to explain the economic notions of substitute and complement in product use. First "complement" was defined consumers considered two product classes as complement. For example, if both products are consumed joint to satisfy some certain need, it could be considered them as a complements (Henderson and Quandt, 1980). Second, "substitute", consumers considered two product classes as substitutes. This type of products tend to have a similar application and use context such that one product can be replaced by the other in usage and satisfy the same needs. Moreover, they suggested another measure from the supply-side perspective to consider the firm's manufacturing ability. "Transfer", which refers to the ability of a company operating in the first product class to make a product in the second product class. They further suggested from a company's point of view, do consumers aware that the firm operates the people; facilities and skills to make the original product could be transferred and employed effectively in designing and making the product extension. If the consumers cannot feel it, the perceived quality of the brand in the original product class may not be transferred to the extension. Furthermore, "Brand Loyalty", is a significant component of brand equity (Pappu et al. 2005). Rossiter and Percy (1987) indicated that brand loyalty would be considered as a favorable attitude towards a brand and purchases continuously of that brand all the time. Oliver (1997) also further defined brand loyalty "a strongly held commitment to repeat purchasing or repatronize a favored product or service over time, regardless of the potential of environmental influences and marketing factors to cause impact on switching behavior".

In addition, brand loyalty could also be considered as the intention to purchase the brand as a primary choice and tend to be loyal to a the brand (Yoo and Donthu, 2001).However, Chaudhuri and Holbrook (2001, p. 82) further indicated from attitudinal perspective, "attitudinal brand loyalty comprises a level of dispositional commitment in which the brand consist of some exclusive value". "Difficult" is also another measure of brand extension, which refers to the perception of difficulty in designing or making the extension product. If the consumers consider the extended product class to be very easy to make, which might lead to the consumers think the combination of quality brand and an insignificant product class as inconsistent or even exploitative. They found that the complement and substitute measures showed an interactive relationship with the perceived quality of the original brand to predict brand extensions, Transfer measure, however, cause a direct impact on the evaluations. In general, both Transfer and Complement showed more important as predictor than Substitute. There was a positive relationship between the perception of the difficulty of the making the extension and evaluation, an extremely easy-to-make extension, on average, is less likely to be accepted which was also supported. In addition, consumers may attribute the act of placing quality brand into what is considered as an insignificant easy-to-make product class as blatant effort in order to capitalize on a brand name image to charge higher than a fair price or they may think it is inappropriate to introduce a quality brand name in an inferior product class.

2.2.4 Co-branding and Congruity

Walichli's (2007) indicated that there is a large amount of researches concentrated on the fundamental question of brand extension "how big could it be?" The researchers have further explored the different aspects of the brand extension. Such as the relationship between evaluation of a brand alliance and the "fit" to the paired brand (Aaker & Keller, 1991; Boush & Loken, 1991; Keller & Aaker, 1992; Park, Milberg, & Lawson, 1991), the level of "extendibility" of the brand (Boush & Loken, 1991;Park, Milberg,& Lawson, 1991), the degree of offering appropriate cues or explanations to cause impact on perceptions of the fit of brand extension(Bridges, Keller & Sood, 2000; Chakravarti, MacInnis, & Nakamoto, 1990), and the impact caused by the brand extension on paired brand's perception (Balachander & Ghose, 2003; John, Loken, & Joiner, 1998; Kardes & Allen, 1991; Loken & John, 1993; Park, Jun & Shocker, 1996; Romeo, 1991). As such, these researches generally reveal that between the "fit" of the brand and its extension, the positive linear relationship exists (Aaker & Keller, 1990; Boush & Loken, 1991; Minnesota Consumer Behavior Seminar, 1987).

The partner congruity under different condition of involvement would cause impact on consumer evaluation. George Mandler (1982) has suggested that the effects of congruent, fairly incongruent, and very incongruent information on the evaluation of objects would be differential; the fairly incongruent stimuli, for example, are presumed to be more highly valued than very congruent or incongruent ones. This result could be considered a direct function of greater elaboration, due to the successful resolution of moderate incongruity or because attempts to find resolution tend toward explanations of the incongruity which are positive.

In Walichli's (2007) research of the impact caused by the level of partner congruity on consumer evaluation of co-branding products, an inverted-U congruity evaluation relationship resulted when under high involvement processing condition, fairly incongruent brand extensions were more popular to very congruent or low congruent brand extension. Walichli (2007) concluded that in order for a non-monotonic congruity-evaluation relationship to happen, a theory-based categorization process must take place. Under low involvement conditions, when this process is discouraged, there would no longer be any advantage to moderate incongruity conditions. In addition, the study also suggested that Mandler's (1982) predictions, which the incongruity level would elevate in high involvement conditions, are borne out. Evaluation at the fairly incongruity level is low for the Appeal/Trial and the Compensation/Success variable when under low involvement conditions. This is likely because respondents have been dissuaded from involving themselves in the complex processes needed to make the partnership relationship rational. Moreover, when the level of congruity and incongruity are at the extreme, the differences between processing conditions are not as obvious as they are at the fairly incongruity level. There is some evidence to suggest that very similar brand pairs are disadvantaged when subject to high involvement processing.

Accordingly, as we already reviewed the previous researches of consumer decision making style and brand alliance. The main purposes of this study, first, are to examine the applicability of the revised version of the Consumer Style Inventory (CSI), the CDMS (Consumer Decision Making Style), and also to identify the consumer decision making style on co-branding products. More importantly, by providing the products which under different level of congruity, it allows us to further explore the relationship between co-branding product and consumer decision making style.

Source: Essay UK - http://buystrangestuff.com/free-essays/marketing/brand-and-store-loyalty.php

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