Online Information Product Design: The Influence of Product Integration on Brand Extension

Peijian Song, Cheng Zhang, Ping Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


With users placing an increasing demand on cross-product integration in electronic markets, the success of new information products becomes increasingly dependent on its integration design with existing products. Consequently, many online vendors have been incorporating branding into information product designs. This approach reflects a critical marketing strategy called "brand extension." In contrast to the popularity of this strategy by online vendors, however, there is little theoretical work or empirical evaluation in the information systems (IS) literature on the relationship between information product integration design under the same brand umbrella and consumers' usage of the newly introduced information products. Addressing this gap, this study investigates the antecedents of online brand extension evaluation with an emphasis on the influence of product integration. Based on the stimulus-organism-response paradigm and the categorization theory, this study proposes and validates a research model using a scenario-based experiment that involves a search engine and its extension to an e-commerce website and an online encyclopedia. The findings confirm that integration level influences perceived fit and perceived tie between focal and newly extended products. Perceived fit and perceived tie positively impact users' evaluations of online brand extension, and consequently influence users' intention to use the extended products. User expertise moderates the effect of product integration on perceived tie: the greater the users' expertise in focal product, the stronger perceived tie is affected by online product integration. This study contributes to both research and practice by advancing the overall understanding of exploiting online branding values and by providing insights into online information product design and promotion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)826-837
Number of pages12
JournalDecision Support Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Brand extension
  • Information products
  • Online promotion
  • Perceived fit
  • Perceived tie
  • Product design
  • Product integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems and Management


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