Although there is evidence demonstrating affect transfer from a brand to its extensions (Keller and Aaker 1992, 1993), scant research focuses on affect transfer when a firm attempts to add sub-brands into its brand portfolio. The findings from four experiments show that affect associated with a family brand does in fact transfer to its sub-brand (experiment 1); however, the transfer of affect is contingent upon product category crowdedness and brand loyalty. For example, affect transfer only occurs in a
less crowded product category setting, but not in a more crowded product category setting (experiment 2). The suppressed affect transfer in a more crowded product category setting is restored for consumers who are highly loyal to the family brand (experiment 3), and the observed affect transfer in a in a less crowded product category setting is suppressed for consumers who are highly loyal to the family brand’s competitor (experiment 4).