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EMAC 2023 Annual

To link or not to link - Which type of retailer brand should use a linked PL branding strategy?

Published: May 24, 2023


Franziska Frese, markstones Institute of Marketing, Branding & Technology, University of Bremen; Michael Schade, University of Bremen; Christopher Kanitz, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, School of Business and Management, Study Programme Global Sales and Marketing; Christoph Burmann, University of Bremen; Eike Abraham, University of Bremen


To further improve focused and generic retailers’ PL branding strategies this paper considers the degree of specialization as a moderator. Two studies with a 2 (PL branding strategies) x 2 (PL tier) x 2 (degree of specialization) between-subjects design with 358 / 534 participants were conducted. To test the hypotheses, an ANCOVA was performed. The two studies reveal that the linked PL branding strategy is only favorable if a focused retailer (high degree of specialization) offers a premium PL brand which is highly typical for the superordinate retailer brand. For all the other investigated scenarios the stand-alone PL branding strategy is more favorable or both PL branding strategies lead to the same effect. Our results confirm the two-step integrative concept of the schema theory. Consumers evaluate a new PL brand and how typical it is for the superordinated retailer brand. If the new PL brand is overall typical consumers continue a detailed evaluation based on further attributes.