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New Publication on Vertical Line Extension

A comprehensive research paper by Anna-Karina Schmitz, Tim Oliver Brexendorf and Martin Fassnacht

We are pleased to announce that “Vertical line extension: a systematic review of research on upward and downward line extension,” an article authored by Assistant Professor Anna-Karina Schmitz, apl. Professor Tim Oliver Brexendorf, and Professor Martin Fassnacht from the Marketing and Sales Group at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, has recently been published in the Journal of Product & Brand Management.

“Vertical line extension” refers to an attractive growth strategy that allows brands to address heterogeneous consumer needs and react to pressure from the competition. It enables firms to leverage their existing brands and competences to target new segments in the market.

In the wake of digital transformation and changing market economy requirements, companies have started strategically consolidating their portfolio to stay relevant and profitable. To compensate for lost sales from brands they have eliminated—and still grow—it is imperative that firms find ways of increasing sales within the remaining brands in their portfolio.

The authors find that the different forms of vertical line extension, conceptual differences between upward and downward extensions, as well as the role of perceived fit, extension degree, and the parent brand are crucial for the study and evaluation of extension and parent brand feedback effects—effects that are complex and often working in opposing directions. It is clear that future research needs to confront that complexity, as well as any methodological issues and differing research contexts, to further advance the stream of literature produced on the subject.

The article provides a comprehensive, modern, and systematic review of the characteristics and results of the research concerning vertical line extension. It provides new insights into the subject matter and seeks to guide future relevant research.

Read the full paper at: Journal of Product & Brand Management

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