Branding of Post‐Purchase Ancillary Products and Services: An Application in the Mobile Communications Industry

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2010


Purpose – After the sale of a primary product, firms often have the opportunity to sell ancillary products or services in support of the primary brand. These add-ons or services may be offered in a generic or in a branded form. The aim of the this paper is to study the demand for add-on services in the mobile communications industry and to detail a methodology that can be employed to make this assessment. Design/methodology/approach – A field experimental design approach using two-brand manipulations, four-price points and six content applications was employed. The study was fielded at a mall intercept facility in a major urban center. Interviews with 389 mobile phone users between the ages 18-31 were conducted. Findings – Results extend brand equity theory into the context of ancillary product sales and demonstrate that branded ancillary services can command a price premium and are less sensitive to price increases than unbranded alternatives. Practical implications – Given the growth of demand for non-voice mobile services, proliferation of such services and the global competition in the industry, marketing managers are under constant pressure to differentiate while achieving revenue goals. This study provides a methodology for managers to calculate the price premium that branded ancillary services may provide over unbranded alternatives and, hence, estimates the worth of potential brand partnerships. Originality/value – This study extends brand equity theory by recognizing an overlooked scenario: offering branded versus generic ancillary services after the sales of the primary products, through which firms can leverage brand equity benefits.

Publication Title

European Journal of Marketing





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