The impact of Janus fit brand extensions on perceived brand innovativeness

Wuraola Oluwabukola Falana*, Jaakko Aspara, Johanna Frösén

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This research addresses “Janus fit” brand extensions: extensions that are perceived to have both “fitting” and “unfitting” associations vis-a-vis the parent brand. One pre-experiment and three main experiments show that when a brand introduces a Janus fit brand extension, it is perceived to be more innovative than when it introduces either a traditional high fit extension or a low fit extension. The effects are mediated by surprise feelings. Specifically, the high brand innovativeness ratings obtained by the Janus fit extensions are explained by the fact that they elicit moderately high surprise feelings in consumers, instead of low surprise feelings (as high fit extensions) or excessively high surprise feelings (as low fit extensions). The Janus fit extensions can also be seen to evoke a “Eureka surprise experience”: an initial feeling of surprise, followed by a sudden realization that the brand extension after all makes sense for the brand in question.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114674
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Business Research
Publication statusPublished - 06.2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Brand extension
  • Brand innovativeness
  • Perceived fit
  • Perceived unfit
  • Surprise


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