Koll und von Wallpach focus on a specific facet of brand associations, brand association match (i.e., the degree of overlap between managerially intended and actual consumer brand associations) and its effect on brand response.
Marketing research and brand management practice emphasize the importance of brand association match, but this paper’s empirical results cast doubt on this claim.
Brand association match is not necessary to establish positive brand response. Enhancing the number of associations consumers have in mind and the favorability of these associations is worthwhile. Many and, more importantly, positive associations are key assets in driving response. People fond of the brand establish positive associations, irrespective of whether management intends these associations or not.
Oliver Koll, Sylvia von Wallpach (2014). Intended Brand Associations: Do they Really Drive Brand Response?. Journal of Business Research, Vol 67, Issue 7, pp. 1501-1507. Download