طراحی محصول اطلاعات آنلاین : تاثیر ادغام محصول بر گسترش نام تجاری (برند)
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2038||2013||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Decision Support Systems, Volume 54, Issue 2, January 2013, Pages 826–837
With users placing an increasing demand on cross-product integration in electronic markets, the success of new information products becomes increasingly dependent on its integration design with existing products. Consequently, many online vendors have been incorporating branding into information product designs. This approach reflects a critical marketing strategy called “brand extension.” In contrast to the popularity of this strategy by online vendors, however, there is little theoretical work or empirical evaluation in the information systems (IS) literature on the relationship between information product integration design under the same brand umbrella and consumers' usage of the newly introduced information products. Addressing this gap, this study investigates the antecedents of online brand extension evaluation with an emphasis on the influence of product integration. Based on the stimulus–organism–response paradigm and the categorization theory, this study proposes and validates a research model using a scenario-based experiment that involves a search engine and its extension to an e-commerce website and an online encyclopedia. The findings confirm that integration level influences perceived fit and perceived tie between focal and newly extended products. Perceived fit and perceived tie positively impact users' evaluations of online brand extension, and consequently influence users' intention to use the extended products. User expertise moderates the effect of product integration on perceived tie: the greater the users' expertise in focal product, the stronger perceived tie is affected by online product integration. This study contributes to both research and practice by advancing the overall understanding of exploiting online branding values and by providing insights into online information product design and promotion.
The commercial success or failure of any product innovation does not rely solely on technological features, but often rests on finding the right combination of product design and marketing strategies ,  and . Online information products are no exception. As the widespread acceptance of Internet has given rise to popular online brands such as eBay, Google, Amazon, and Yahoo, exploiting brand values to support product innovation has become of increasing concern to companies. In this regard, the design of new information products and their introduction in electronic markets are of particular interest, because a significant part of a brand's value comes from its contribution to launching new products . Brand extension, described as the “use of established brand names to enter new product categories or classes” [1, p. 27], has become a subject of increasing interest to scholars in marketing and information systems disciplines because it represents an efficient strategy for firms to leverage online brand value. Literature on this topic has focused on: (1) various conceptualizations of perceived fit (usually defined as shared associations between the extension and parent brand) (e.g.  and ), (2) communication strategies for brand extension success (e.g. ,  and ), and (3) individual-level differences (e.g. , ,  and ). However, little is known about the product design elements for online brand extension. IS scholars are thus presented with ample opportunities to contribute unique knowledge to this research area. Online information products refer to intangible information goods that can be used to satisfy Internet users' desires or needs. Compared with traditional physical products, there are at least three distinct characteristics for online information products. First, as intangible goods, electronic bits are the most important constituent of online information products. With increasingly transmission speed, online information products can be delivered within minutes or even seconds, resulting in a delivery scheme that is impossible for physical products . This extends the traditional notion of product boundaries, and facilitates an information retrieval process that strengthens associations between extended and existing products . Second, hyperlinks are another distinguishing feature for online information products that allows vendors to easily associate one product with another . As these are based on stable and predefined interfaces, the high connectivity of hyperlinks facilitates information sharing and ensures a sense of interoperability between products . Third, the marginal cost of producing information products is generally negligible when compared with conventional physical products. Hence, online information products can be easily integrated and packaged for users  and . These distinctions present IS scholars with both challenges and opportunities for investigating online product design. Studying online brand extension builds upon and further contributes to innovative thinking in the IS field because it considers a behavioral mechanism that has been under-investigated. That is, if newly developed information products share the same brands with incumbent products, users may be more likely to adopt and use them. As a result, many online vendors have been trying to incorporate branding values into product design to promote product adoption. For example, building on its success in the search engine market, Google exploited its widely recognized brand to launch its email service, Gmail. To promote Gmail, Google added a hyperlink between the main page and Gmail, and incorporated search engine functionality into Gmail pages. This coupling allows Gmail users to perform searches without going to Google's home page, and facilitates visitors of Google's home page to check their email messages. Despite the advanced practice of brand extension by online vendors, there is little theoretical work in the IS literature that considers the relationship between information product design and the cognitive and behavioral measures of users. Incisive research on product design can help online providers better understand the different factors contributing to successful product design, and the ways they can be used to maximize the benefit of exploiting branding values. The notion of IS/IT adoption and usage has played a central role in IS research  and . Following a call by Rogers  that people should not view innovation in isolation, and that the adoption of one innovation may trigger the adoption of others, IS researchers have gradually paid attention to the relationship of usage behavior between different information technologies  and . However, scant research has scrutinized the adoption and usage behavior between different information products from the product design perspective. Thus, studies in this area should complement the current understanding of adoption of multiple IS/IT products. In particular, we expect that the research presented here can shed light for a cross-boundary research stream that incorporates market value and product design into technology innovation research. Our study identifies distinct elements of online brand extension and focuses on the influence of online information product integration design. Product integration is the assembling of different products together to facilitate data/information sharing (such as information about user profile) and to enhance the overall value to users through products' mutual cooperation  and . In the context of product integration and brand extension, products can be categorized as a focal product and a newly extended product under promotion. Although studies have argued that the success of a new product is dependent on its integration with relevant extant products , the present study poses the following questions that have so far received little theoretical and empirical attention: (1) to what extent does information product integration influence users' acceptance of a newly extended information product sharing the same brand? (2)What is the underlying psychological process that explains the relationship between information product integration and online brand extension evaluation?
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
6.1. Discussions of findings Research to date on brand extension has overlooked the design elements that are important factors for brand extension success. Although studies have found that perceived tie and perceived fit play important roles in online brand extension evaluations (e.g. ), this study demonstrates that, as a design element, product integration can influence perceived tie and perceived fit, and consequently impact users' online brand extension evaluations. Since the estimated coefficients of perceived tie are relatively weaker than that of perceived fit, we interpret this to mean that (1) perceived fit and perceived tie have different effects, and that (2) perceived fit is a primary mediator, and perceived tie is a secondary mediator in the impact of product integration on online brand extension evaluations. Among the three product integration levels, perceived tie and perceived fit in the add-on module integration are not higher than that of the data interface integration. Thus, H1 and H2 were partially supported. This may be due to the dual factor (presentation and function) manipulation of product integration. The data interface integration and add-on module integration share a similar interface design, except for the pop-up window and the hyperlinks. Although a pop-up window may easily draw the subjects' attention and present more content, they provide vendors with limited options to enhance the overall value to users. Therefore, the functional sharing between focal and promoted products is relatively low for add-on module integration. Faced with low interaction between products and limited cues for making associations, online users may have difficulty perceiving the advantage of add-on module integration in product promotion. Thus, designs that make additional functions on the basis of coupling between focal and promoted products are a key driver for the success of product integration. Contrary to our expectation, we did not find the moderating effect of user expertise on the relationship between product integration level and perceived fit. Of note, this finding is consistent with Broniarczyk and Alba's findings . One possible explanation is that users' perception of fit is influenced by relative diagnosticity of cues. Brand-specific associations are perceived to be more diagnostic than other cues. When a user's knowledge level of the focal product is high, brand-specific associations dominate the effects of perceived fit . Hence, experts' evaluations are based on the processing of brand-specific associations. In contrast, novices' evaluations are based on perceptions of product category similarity . Therefore, users' shifted focus may counteract the moderating role of user expertise on the relationship between product integration and perceived fit, resulting in no significant moderating effect of user expertise. 6.2. Theoretical implications There are several theoretical implications. First, in viewing product integration as one important design element, this study contributes to the existing literature by recognizing and developing formal conceptualizations of product design factors that uniquely pertain to online brand extension. Although the antecedents and process of brand extension evaluations have been explored in previous research, design elements have not been studied and operationalized, especially in the context of online brand extension. By examining the design variables together with user differences in product expertise, this study makes an innovative theoretical contribution by providing novel insights into the success of online brand extension. By revealing the inherent linkages among product integration design, user cognitive processes and behavioral consequences, this study further advances our understanding of adoption intention between different information products from the product design perspective, especially if these products share the same brand. Although IS researchers have examined the usage intentions between different information products, few researchers have scrutinized these intentions from the product design perspective. This study shows that, as a strategic design element, product integration level positively impacts perceived fit and perceived fit between focal and newly extended products, and consequently influence users' intention to use the extended products. This study suggests that the rich practice of online information product design can and should be applied in future IT acceptance and usage research. Finally, this study enriches the literature by offering new insight into the stretchability (i.e. extension potential) of online brands ,  and . As brand extension has become an efficient strategy for brand value exploitation and new product introduction, the growth in online brand extension practices reveals the importance of identifying factors that influence the stretchability of an online brand. Hence, the extent to which a given brand transfers successfully into other various categories has generated high levels of managerial and academic interest . Existing literature on brand stretchability mainly explores consumer differences and their effects on perceptions of brand extension fit (e.g.  and ). Our model details a process whereby comprehensive function sharing and additional product features offering can increase users' attitude toward the extension. To the best of our knowledge, this study is one of few that have attempted to investigate how to enhance the stretchability of online brands from the product design perspective. 6.3. Practical implications Our study also has important implications for business practice. First of all, this study confirms product integration as a valuable online information product design strategy. Brands have been widely considered to be the most important assets of a firm . With the cost of introducing an entirely new brand often being prohibitively high, brand extensions represent a strategic tool for companies to exploit an online brand's value. However, brand extension does not necessarily mean that new products will find success  and . While companies are spending a substantial amount of resources in online promotion, an efficient product integration approach represents an opportunity for firms to succeed in promoting their newly extended information products online . This study validates three useful product integration approaches for firms to operate in various online situations. Second, the integration of new information products with established products has become a source of market advantage and a strategic necessity. To ensure product competitiveness in dynamic and evolving electronic markets, it becomes imperative for Internet firms to integrate their products with as many different existing complementary products as possible . With the rapid development of multimedia and Internet technologies, online information product designers have an increasing collection of tools at their disposal to offer additional product features. However, value-added integration calls for extensive sharing of product and technical knowledge, as well as careful modification of the focal product. Therefore, the initial design and development of products should be flexible enough so that firms can rapidly integrate their products with new products to respond to user demands and changing environments . Finally, this research also provides a valuable perspective to further explore the profitability of product bundling, an important promotion strategy widely discussed in recent literature  and . Product bundling is a marketing strategy for integrating two or more related products and selling them at any price . The primary goal of product bundling is to enhance the perceived functionality of bundled products and provide value-added benefits to users . This is consistent with the definition and classification of value-added integration. According to the findings of our research, product bundling can increase users' intention to use the newly extended product. Consequently, once vendors have gained a strong user base through one flagship product, vendors can package newly extended products with the flagship product. Through the product bundling strategy, multi-product vendors can facilitate user overlap and extend their leadership from one market to another. 6.4. Limitations and future research directions First, this study investigates two products sharing the same brand. Consumers' intention to use the extended products may be influenced by whether these products share the same brand. Although as many as eight out of ten new product introductions are brand extensions , this study may overestimate the influence of product integration on users' intention to use extended products. As a result, replication of this study in other types of contexts, such as focal and extended products that do not share the same brand, is necessary before the results can be generalized. Second, although the cognitive process of online users' evaluations explored in the study contributes to an innovative approach for practitioners to exploit online brand extension strategies, the investigation is not yet completed. With the fast development of multimedia and Internet technologies, newly emergent approaches for offering additional product features may be developed. Detailed presentations of each product integration type, which may cause various brand extension effects, should be further investigated following the S–O–R paradigm . Finally, as is the case with recent research on privacy issues , a scenario-based approach is considered appropriate at the initial adoption stage of information products and services. Nevertheless, we believe that such an approach represents a simplification of the real online promotion context, which limits the generalizability of research results. A longitudinal field experiment, in which participants encounter more realistic experiences in online promotional environments, would provide more robust findings.