Brand diagnostics: Mapping branding effects using consumer associative networks

Geraldine R. Henderson*, Dawn Iacobucci, Bobby J. Calder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


Understanding consumer perceptions and associations is an important first step to understanding brand preferences and choices. In this paper, we discuss how cognitive theorists would posit network representations of consumer brand associations. We rely upon several empirical examples of consumer associative networks, based on data from a variety of data collection techniques, in order to demonstrate the tools available to the brand manager using network analytic techniques. In addition to being grounded in theory, networks are shown to be quite important to mapping an extensive array of branding effects, including: (1) branded features, (2) driver brands, (3) complements, (4) co-branding, (5) cannibalization, (6) brand parity, (7) brand dilution, (8) brand confusion, (9) counter-brands, and (10) segmentation. This list of 10 issues is fairly ambitious but we desire this research to be truly useful to brand managers, and we believe we have made some progress in addressing all 10 questions and in providing tools and a road map to the brand manager.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-327
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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