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Using consumer associative networks, European Journal of Operational Research


Understanding consumer perceptions and associations is an important first step to understanding brand preferences and choices. In this paper, we discuss how cognitive theorists would posit network representations of consumer brand associations. We rely upon several empirical examples of consumer associative networks, based on data from a variety of data collection techniques, in order to demonstrate the tools available to the brand manager using network analytic techniques. In addition to being grounded in theory, networks are shown to be quite important to mapping an extensive array of branding effects, including: (1) branded features, (2) driver brands, (3) complements, (4) co-branding, (5) cannibalization, (6) brand parity, (7) brand dilution, (8) brand confusion, (9) counter-brands, and (10) segmentation. This list of 10 issues is fairly ambitious but we desire this research to be truly useful to brand managers, and we believe we have made some progress in addressing all 10 questions and in providing tools and a road map to the brand manager.




Dawn Iacobucci, Bobby Calder

Date Published



Iacobucci, Dawn, and Bobby Calder. 1998. Using consumer associative networks. European Journal of Operational Research. 111(2): 306-327.


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