Unauthorized use of famous brands and its impact on brand equity dimensions Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2019

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 24


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  • The aim of this study is to analyze the effect of unauthorized use of famous brand names on their brand equity dimensions. In addition, we explored the moderation effect of similarity between the unauthorized brand (junior brand) and the famous brand. An experimental design with four real famous brands and sixteen fictitious junior brands was applied to 617 undergraduate students from a large university in Ecuador. Hypotheses about the effect on brand equity dimensions and overall brand equity construct were tested using structural equation models. Results showed that awareness of a famous brand was not diluted by consumers' exposure to junior brands. However, associations, perceived quality, loyalty and an overall construct of brand equity were diluted. There was evidence that similarity between famous and junior brands attenuated dilution. Therefore, considering that brand equity dimensions have desirable consequences on consumer behavior and firm value, this paper's results highlight the importance of protecting brands against unauthorized use


  • consumer-based brand equity; familiarity; similarity; trademark dilution