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Abstract

This research examines brand alliances, a specific marketing strategy designed to transfer the positive brand equity of two or more partner brands to the newly created joint brand. The study explores how customer-based brand equity (that is, brand equity as seen from the customer's perspective) of partner brands affects consumer evaluations of an alliance brand; how the brand equity of one partner brand affects the other; how customer-based brand equity of the partner brands affects consumers' evaluations of the search, experience, and credence attribute performance of the alliance brand; and how product trial influences such evaluations. Results suggest that merely the act of pairing with another brand elevates consumers' evaluations of the partner brands' customer-based brand equity, and high-equity partners enhance pretrial evaluation of experience and credence attributes that are relevant to the high-equity partner. As hypothesized, product trial moderates the equity value of the alliance partner for experience attributes, and brand equity of the partner brands influences consumer perceptions of the alliance brand's equity. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.