Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Brand Extension: Turn Your Brand Equity Into New Opportunties for Growth

Much has been said in the world of advertising and marketing over the past 30 years about the concept of brand or line extension. Articles have been written. Books have been sold. Reputations have been made.

First, a word about the concept. Brand extension, sometimes called line extension, is what happens when a company known for a product or service in one category expands into another. Recent examples include such historic brands as Barbasol and Dole. 

Barbasol's line extension increased market share (Perio, Inc.)
For example, over the past decade Barbasol added several variations to its original shave cream (left); eventually, one of those variations, Soothing Aloe, became the most popular. They also branded a new line of pre-shave and after shave lotions, natural extensions of its shaving products. Together with a rebranding in 2013, these moves solidified Barbasol's position of leadership in its product category. 

Likewise, Dole, once known primarily for its canned pineapple, expanded its brand to include such eventual favorites as fruit juice blends and frozen fruit bars. There are numerous other examples of strong brands becoming stronger through brand or line extension.

Even so, to some experts, extending a brand dilutes it. Yet others insist that a well-planned brand extension can lead to greater overall market share. The debate goes on.

For our business at Creative Source, we extended our brand by adding services. We began 20 years ago as a design shop, and for a while took on all sorts of projects. Gradually, we realized that our strength was the design and production of signs, banners and displays, and later we added large-format printing to our list of services.

Installation description from the Creative Source website
Most recently, we’ve taken to doing our own installations as well, adding a service that we believe guarantees the integrity of our work and helps strengthen our relationship with clients. Signs, displays, printing and installations; all are related, and all are integral to who we are as a company.

Brand extension, properly pursued, can open doors to new opportunities for your company. Rather than diminish your capabilities and cloud your identity, brand extension can magnify who you are and what you do. And that can make a significant difference in today’s crowded marketplace.

MIKE BOYD is president of Creative Source. Clients looking for sign companies in Canton, Ohio
and the surrounding region look to Mike and his staff for creative marketing solutions.