Purpose – This paper aims to explore whether consumers' cognitive reactions to a branded product remain stable over time. In many created concepts, entity attributes are such that cognitive reactions to them change in a predictable manner by attraction to elements of novelty and typicality in the genre. By analysing products from a luxury vehicle brand, under the framework of a theoretical model of changing “affective content”, this paper seeks to explore whether brands behave similarly. Design/methodology/approach – The study draws on research previously published into the changing nature of art, poetry, architecture and other artistic genres. Text from motoring press articles written contemporarily to the production of products of the brand, over the past 80 years, are analysed for constructs of affective content and the overall values expressed. Findings – The results provide evidence that the attributes of some branded products produce cognitive conditions that cycle in a manner that is predictable, with change points corresponding to new product introductions. Practical implications – Through understanding cognitive reactions to the branded product that may be discreetly deconstructable and anticipated, advantageous product attribute development can progress with some certainty. Further, new product launches can be timed to coincide with receptive consumer conditions supported by appropriate attribute emphasis. Originality/value – This paper applies a theory, which has been proven to exist in a number of artistic genres, to the brand for the first time. Its contribution is twofold; firstly, to expand developing knowledge into the cognitive processing of the branded product; and secondly, to introduce an informative process to product and brand development activities.
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