1887

n Management Dynamics : Journal of the Southern African Institute for Management Scientists - The influence of trademark dilution on brand attitude : an empirical investigation

Volume 24, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1019-567X
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Abstract

The reputation of a trademark/brand can become less distinct if it is blurred, while its character can become less desirable if it is tarnished. Whether a trademark/brand merits legal protection against dilution (tarnishing and/or blurring), or how it should respond from a marketing perspective, depends on understanding and quantifying the influence of trademark/brand dilution. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of trademark dilution, by means of tarnishing and blurring, on components of brand attitude (affect; cognition; attitude strength; attitude accessibility; conation) and to propose and illustrate an empirical methodology to conduct such an investigation. The influence of trademark dilution on brand attitude was investigated in terms of the nature, harmful or beneficial, of such an influence; the impact, actual or potential, of such an influence; and its extent or meaningfulness. The trademarks/brands under investigation were classified according to consumer attitudes towards brands - namely, type of decision (High/Low Involvement) and motivation (Informational or Transformational). The experimental research design that was used with an online survey instrument was a three (Type of dilution: Undiluted/Tarnishing /Blurring) by two (Type of decision: High/Low Involvement) by two (Type of motivation: Informational/Transformational) factorial experiment.

The empirical results revealed that tarnishing had an actual harmful influence on some components (cognition and attitude strength) of brand attitude for all trademarks/brands. Tarnishing also had an actual harmful influence on some components (affect, cognition and attitude strength) of brand attitude as far as individual High Involvement trademarks/brands were concerned. When the influence of tarnishing on components of brand attitude of different individual trademarks/brands was compared, tarnishing had actual opposing effects (harmful versus beneficial) in most instances across all components of brand attitude. Blurring had an actual beneficial influence on some components (affect and cognition) of brand attitude as far as individual Low Involvement trademarks/brands were concerned. When the influence of blurring on components of brand attitude of different individual trademarks/brands was compared, blurring had actual opposing effects (harmful versus beneficial) in most instances across all components of brand attitude. When the influence of tarnishing and blurring on components of brand attitude of individual trademarks/brands was compared, tarnishing and blurring had both opposing (harmful versus beneficial) and similar (harmful and beneficial) effects on all components of brand attitude. All influences varied in terms of level of impact - namely, weak, strong/significant, and very strong/significant. The results indicated that tarnishing and blurring influenced different components of brand attitude, and that the influence varied in terms of nature, impact and extent.

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/content/mandyn/24/4/EJC186024
2015-01-01
2016-12-10

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