Can dissimilarity in product category be an opportunity for cross-gender brand extension?

Tsunwai Wesley Yuen, Marzena Nieroda, Hongwei He, Yunseul Park

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Leveraging cross-gender brand extensions (new product offerings under the same brand name for customers of the opposite sex) can facilitate brand growth. However, how such strategies should be implemented remains unanswered. A popular approach is to launch a brand extension in the same or a similar product category (high fit). However, for cross-gender brand extension, this strategy can dilute the gender personality of the parent brand (i.e. masculinity or femininity). We propose that launching cross-gender brand extensions in a product category with low fit is an effective strategy as it enables cognitive distancing of the extension from the parent brand. Two experiments confirm that introducing low (versus high) fit cross-gender brand extensions mitigate the parent brand’s gender personality dilution, leading to more positive evaluations of the parent brand amongst existing customers and higher purchase intention amongst new target customers for the cross-gender brand extension.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-357
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date1 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Cross-gender brand extension
  • Gendered branding
  • Product category fit
  • Brand gender personality dilution

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