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Adolescent Evaluations of Brand Extensions: The Influence of Reference Group


  • The authors thank Dr. Sijun Wang for helpful comments on earlier version of this article.

Correspondence regarding this article should be sent to: Xin Liu, Assistant Professor, Department of International Business and Marketing, California State Polytechnic University, 3801 West Temple Avenue, Pomona, California 91768.


This study examines the reference group effect on adolescent evaluations of brand extension. Three factors are important to this process: the product fit between parent and extension category (similar vs. dissimilar), the consumption type of the extension product (public vs. private), and the parent brand image (prestige-oriented vs. functional-oriented). An experiment with 217 teenagers generally supports the hypotheses. Results suggest that adolescents are willing to pay a higher price premium to publicly consumed brand extension product than a privately consumed. In addition, the level of category similarity enhances the consumption type effect. Managerial implications on brand extension strategy in adolescent's market are discussed.