The Blake Project, the brand consultancy behind Branding Strategy Insider, delivers interactive brand education workshops and keynote speeches designed to align marketers on essential concepts in brand management and empower them to release the full potential of the brands they manage.
We are happy to answer marketing questions of all types here on Branding Strategy Insider. Today's question comes from Manisha a marketer in Bangalore, India.
“What is the role of brand equity in brand extensions? What should the marketer keep in mind related to brand equity before extending the brand? Please give some examples.”
Manisha, thanks for your question. Before one extends a brand into a new product or service category, one must be clear on what the brand stands for, what people associate it with and what its personality is. Then, one must assess if these qualities will be beneficial (and not problematic) in the new product or service category. Conversely, one must determine what entering the new product or service category will do for (or to) the brand. Ideally, it will enhance its perception and broaden its appeal, not damage its perception or limit its appeal.
Some examples: It is dangerous for a luxury car brand to extend into a value segment. While there may be some incremental sales potential in that segment, the extension will most likely destroy (or at least significantly diminish) the brand’s status cache. Other examples of unsuccessful brand extensions:
- Levi’s classic tailored suits (What do people most often associate with Levi’s and how does that relate to suits?)
- Bayer “Aspirin-Free” (What is Bayer most often associated with and how does that relate to “aspirin-free” and if Bayer feels the need to offer an “aspirin-free” product, what does that say about their core products?)
- Bic perfume in your pocket (Because Bic is associated with small, less expensive, disposable things that fit in your pocket? What’s wrong with this thinking?)
On the other hand, here are some brand extensions that worked:
- Jell-o (pudding, pudding snacks)
- Dole (pineapple juice, fruit juice, fruit salad, fruit juice frozen fruit bars)
- Woolite (fabric wash, carpet cleaner spray)
Here are some current brand extensions. What is your assessment of each of these?
- Cheetos lip balm
- Hot Tamales sugar free gum
- Starbucks coffee liquor
- Mr. Clean Car Washes
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