Prashant Malaviya, Brian Sternthal; Parity Product Features Can Enhance or Dilute Brand Evaluation: The Influence of Goal Orientation and Presentation Format. J Consum Res 2009; 36 (1): 112-121. doi: 10.1086/595717
Two studies examine the impact of adding parity features to an advertising message that compares a dominant target brand to a competitor. We document that in some instances the presence of parity features prompts more favorable target evaluations (enhancement), whereas in others it results in more negative evaluations of the target (dilution). We predict when each of these outcomes will occur on the basis of a fit between an individual's regulatory goal focus and the means of goal pursuit depicted in the message presentation. Enhancement occurs when there is a fit between an individual's regulatory goal and how message information is presented, and dilution occurs when there is nonfit.