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Overcoming resistance to product rebranding

Abstract : Purpose – The purpose of this article is to understand how and why consumers resist or accept product rebranding. It seeks to identify and to quantify the drivers of attitudes toward this marketing practice to guide marketing managers in the execution of an effective changeover. Design/methodology/approach – The research is conducted in three stages. First, a qualitative study is run among 45 consumers to identify variables that might influence attitudes toward product rebranding. Second, a review of literature on the emotion of surprise is carried out to specify the relationships between the variables previously identified and to formulate hypotheses. Third, a quantitative study is conducted among 480 consumers to test the hypotheses and to quantify the impact of each variable. Findings – Surprise impacts attitudes toward product rebranding through a three-way process (automatic, higher-order cognitive, higher-order affective): a direct negative effect, an indirect effect mediated by incomprehension about the reasons for the change and an indirect effect mediated by the negative emotions generated by the change. Moreover, trust in firms diminishes the negative effects of anger, fear and sadness on attitudes toward product rebranding. Research limitations/implications – The research offers a better understanding of processes involved in the building of consumer attitudes toward brand name change. However, it only constitutes a first step in the attempt to understand the phenomena. Practical implications – This practice of brand name change is increasingly popular, but marketing managers are skeptical about the best way to implement it. The paper provides a better understanding of consumer reactions to product rebranding, so that marketing managers can make better decisions. It reveals guidance for successful brand name changes. Originality/value – This paper is the first to propose and to test a comprehensive model of the mental processes involved in the building of consumer attitudes toward product rebranding.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 14, 2016 - 2:54:27 PM
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Véronique Collange, Adrien Bonache. Overcoming resistance to product rebranding. Journal of Product and Brand Management, Emerald, 2015, 24 (6), pp.621-632. ⟨10.1108/JPBM-10-2014-0730⟩. ⟨halshs-01288018⟩



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