Consumption-based learning about brand quality: Essays on how private labels share and borrow reputation

M.G. Szymanowski

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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CONSUMPTION-BASED LEARNING ABOUT BRAND QUALITY: ESSAYS ON HOW PRIVATE LABELS SHARE AND BORROW REPUTATION is a collection of essays exploring the process of consumer cross-brand learning in the context of brands belonging to retailers: the so-called private labels. Private labels have gradually grown in popularity vis-a-vis brands belonging to manufacturers (i.e. national brands), and have captured a sizable portion of packaged goods sales. While the importance of consumer beliefs about the quality of private labels is well established, less is known about the learning processes involved in building these beliefs. This thesis studies two different types of consumption-based cross-brand learning involving private labels. First, we investigate learning across private label brands of different retailers, which are likely to be perceived by consumers as similar to, and diagnostic for, one another. Second, we explore the nature and impact of cross-learning between copycat private labels and the imitated national brands. In both instances, our findings point to substantial cross-brand learning. This suggests that private labels belonging to different retailers share reputation with one another, and borrow reputation from imitated national brands. These phenomena contribute to the ‘perceived familiarity’ of private labels, and shape their choice share vis-à-vis national brands.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Tilburg University
  • Gijsbrechts, Els, Promotor
Award date7 Dec 2009
Place of PublicationTilburg
Print ISBNs9789056682422
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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