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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Can Being Similar in Product Category a Liability for Cross-gender Brand Extension?

Published: May 28, 2019


Tsunwai Wesley Yuen, Lincoln International Business School, University of Lincoln, UK; Marzena Nieroda, Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester; Hongwei He, Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester; Yunseul Park, Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester


Cross-gender brand extension; Categorical fit; Reciprocal Spillover effects


A cross-gender brand extension strategy refers to brands introducing new product offerings under the same brand name to customers of the opposite sex. While many companies adopt a high categorical fit brand extension approach by launching new products in the same or similar product category, little is known about how categorical fit influences consumers’ perception of the parent brand under the condition of cross-gender brand extension. An experimental study revealed that introducing high (versus low) categorical fit product to the opposite sex diminishes the perceived level of original brand gender personality. Consequently, the male (female) consumers’ parent brand attitude is negatively affected when they encounter a male (female) brand introduces high categorical fit female (male) products. The results contribute to the cross-gender brand extension literature and provide a guideline for marketers when launching cross-gender brand extensions.