|dc.description.abstract||This work explores the implications of two recent phenomena in the area of marketing, namely the increased popularity of “subtracted” or “absent” ingredients and the heightened competition among extension products of different brands, for consumer brand evaluations. In the first chapter, I investigate consumer response to products with two distinct types of non-branded ingredient strategies: subtracted and added ingredients. Added (subtracted) ingredients are defined as those that are either present (absent) or purposefully included (excluded) in (from) a product and whose promotion is intended to increase the product’s attractiveness to consumers. The results suggest that a subtracted ingredient may be associated with loss-related end-states, whereas an added ingredient may cue gain-related outcomes. Based on this distinction and research on loss aversion and negativity bias, I propose a subtracted-ingredient effect whereby, ceteris paribus, consumers exhibit a higher preference for products featuring subtracted ingredients than for products featuring added ingredients. I find further support for the delineation between added and subtracted ingredient strategies by demonstrating that the former matches a promotion focus and the latter - a prevention focus of self-regulation, both when consumers’ regulatory focus is cued by the nature of the product category, and when it is activated by a task unrelated to the market context. Finally, it is documented that the subtracted-ingredient effect spills over to proximal noningredient products.
The second chapter examines consumer evaluations of brand extensions in competitive contexts featuring products that are brand extensions themselves. It demonstrates that the evaluations of the focal brand extension are inversely related to the fit of the context brand extensions to their respective original categories (context fit or CF) and that the effect is mediated by perceptions of focal extension’s fit with the focal brand’s core product category (focal fit or FF). The results also suggest that consumers’ mindset (differentiation vs. integration) and evaluation of the context extensions prior to that of the focal extension can influence the manifestation of the effect. Finally, evidence is provided that a brand extension may be affected not only by proximal direct competitors in its product category, but also by extensions into neighboring categories that happen to be in its immediate environment.||