Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2018

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Business Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



When a firm wants to increase sales of their pre-existing items, one strategy they can use is to introduce line extension. However, it is not always clear what line extension will increase sales of the pre-existing items. My dissertation focuses on what specific characteristic of a line extension will lead to an increase in sales of the pre-existing items in the line. I find that innovative line extensions can be used strategically to revitalize a brand’s image and increase the sales of its existing products. In six experiments, I show that if line extensions are innovative, consumers become more likely to choose pre-existing products within the same product line, compared to when the extensions are not innovative (or when no extensions are offered). This effect occurs because attributes associated with innovative extensions transfer onto the parent brand, making the brand and its pre-existing products seem more exciting. The influence of innovative line extensions holds for well-known national brands and for real purchases. Overall, the findings suggest that creating innovative line extensions is a viable strategy for many companies who aim to boost the sales of their pre-existing items.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Stephen Nowlis, Robyn LeBoeuf

Committee Members

Cynthia Cryder, Sydney Scott, Calvin Lai,


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