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Brand Extension Examples

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Brand Extension Examples

What is Brand Extension?

Brand extension is a marketing strategy that uses an already established brand name to introduce it to its target customer base.

Some companies choose to start a new branch of their company under a different name, but that creates a need to start fresh by building brand reputation and credibility.

Brand extensions are advantageous for companies that want to leverage the benefits of an existing brand name to develop new products.

By using an existing brand name and introducing new products or services outside the usual scope of the branding identity, companies can express new ideas without having to start brand building.

3 Types of Brand Extensions

There are different types of brand extension strategies that can benefit your business.

Here are three different approaches you can take to brand extension:

Line Extensions

A line extension is a term used to describe brand extensions, where a brand introduces a new product line in a segment it is already associated with.

Hence, the brand avoids the difficulties of adding a completely new product category. An example might include a beverage company adding new flavors or a skincare company introducing a lotion with a new formula targeted at a specific skin condition.

Complementary or Companion Extensions

Complementary product extensions, also known as complementary product extensions, are extensions where a brand introduces a product line that is either new, similar to the original line, or complementary to it in some way.

Examples include a sports equipment company adding another activity to their offerings or a razor company adding shaving creams.

Company Authority or Expertise Extension

An extension of a firm’s authority or firm’s expertise relies on trust in a brand within an industry.

When an electronics company adds a smartphone to their product lineup, or a television set, camera, or video game, you wouldn’t guess it because the name is well known in that arena.

6 Positive (and Negative) Brand Extension Examples

A move with many risks associated with it, brand extension examples range from incredibly successful — some you might not even recognize as extensions — to abject failures that brands you forget about entirely.

Here are 3 positive and 3 negative brand extension examples to drive your strategy.

Dove Men+Care

Dove is a brand primarily aimed at women, with product lines that include body confidence and cleanliness messages, beauty bars, and soaps with branding that uses soft colors and logos.

To address this huge gap in their consumer base, Dove created the Dove Men+Care business arm.

Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Clorox is another example of a brand that was able to conduct successful brand extension by keeping its core image intact while exploring new territories.

As a cleaning chemical company known for bleach and laundry products, it would be difficult to expand into multiple product lines.

However, by exploring other extensions that honored the brand known for sparkling-white cleanliness, Clorox was able to adapt its bleach to household cleaners, the most popular being Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner.

Food Network Kitchen Supplies

The Food Network is a television company with more than 13 million viewers worldwide.

However, looking at brand extension, the Food Network decided to leave the safety of the entertainment world behind and return to the kitchen and cookware.

Although certainly taking a risk as Food Network moved away from not just their product but their entire industry, the brand extension ultimately paid off and Food Network pots, pans, pans, and other cookware flew off the shelves.

Colgate Frozen Dinners

It’s almost impossible to talk about brand extension failures without talking about Colgate frozen dinners.

From vegetables and rice to beef lasagna, the Colgate Kitchen entrees were an unmitigated disaster (though some questioned its existence).

The biggest problem with this brand extension effort is that Colgate strayed too far from its brand identity.

Cosmopolitan Yogurt

In another example of a failed brand extension, food products fell short again in this attempt by Cosmopolitan magazine.

And, like Colgate frozen dinners, it’s an odd thing to assume that people who enjoy reading your lifestyle magazine articles will want to eat your yogurt.

The extension didn’t work, and soon Cosmopolitan yogurts were pulled from the shelves and the embarrassed company returned to its roots of advice columns and dating quizzes.

Samsonite Outerwear

Samsonite is a high-end, luxury brand known for its luggage, bags, and other travel accessories.

While the leap from travel accessories to outerwear isn’t as drastic as toothpaste to lasagne, it’s still not a clean transition.

The problem Samsonite faced was not going too far, but rather not matching the high-end brand identity it had created.

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