On May 20, 2020, Mrs. Anna-Karina Schmitz successfully completed her PhD project with the title “Essays on Premiumization and Vertical Line Extension” and was awarded the academic degree Doctor Rerum Politicarum (Dr. rer. pol.). Premiumization is an attractive growth strategy in competitive markets as it allows firms to achieve higher price levels by adding value to a brand or a brand portfolio. Especially vertical upward line extension (the introduction of a new product or product lines under an existing brand in the same product category, but at a higher price level) is increasingly used in practice. If performed correctly, brands can (1) appeal to a more upward-oriented target group with the upward extension and (2) simultaneously premiumize the parent brand in the long-run.
Accordingly, the dissertation of Mrs. Schmitz contributes to the understanding of premiumization in general and of vertical line extension in particular. Mrs. Schmitz summarizes what is known and what is not known on premiumization and vertical line extension and develops a conceptual framework on the effects and mechanisms of vertical upward line extension. She shows that perceived parent brand expertise and perceived parent brand exploitation are important mechanisms that could explain consumer reactions to parent brands after the launch of a vertical line extension. Finally, Mrs. Schmitz provides a conceptual framework of strategic options for premiumization and derives managerial guidelines on how to choose and successfully implement the right option.
We would like to warmly congratulate Mrs. Schmitz and wish her all the best for her future professional career.