What is Brand Extension and What Can it Mean for Your Business?

Product extension is a keen marketing strategy for any business looking to extend its reach. When achieved successfully, a brand extension strategy can see brands launching themselves into new and alternative markets, improving their brand image, and gaining a new target market; but what is brand extension, and how can it help you?

What is Brand Extension?

Brand extension is when an existing brand works to launch a new product that will be under the same brand name but different from the original offering of the brand. Essentially, it is about building on the established status of the brand.

What is Brand Extension vs. Line Extension?

In some cases, this extension can remain true to the original product and simply offers a variation. This is a line extension. A great example of this is the established brand, Coca-Cola. This brand is best known for its original coke taste, but using brand extension, Coca-Cola has launched a whole new line of various coke products, such as Coke Zero and Cherry Coke flavor.

When exploring brand extension, this can also mean completely unrelated product lines compared to the original product. The established brand Casper, known for its mattress line, underwent a brand extension by launching a piece of home-tech with its Glow Light, which can aid sleep. This brand extension sticks to the brand identity of encouraging a better and healthier night’s sleep, but it also unleashes a brand-new product category.

As Casper has used its original authority status to then jump into the trend of home tech, this could be considered one of the more successful brand extensions.

What are the Benefits of Brand Extension?

The next consideration to make is whether a brand extension can actually be beneficial. As with any business decision, there is always a risk factor, but there are certainly many benefits attached to a brand extension, including the following:

  • Improve brand equity: A brand can be worth a lot more with an increased number of products and product lines.
  • Improve core brand status: The more successful product lines can improve the marketing and status of a core brand name. The brand will be known for a greater number of successful products.
  • New products can more easily be accepted: When using an established parent brand, you’re launching a new product based on the existing status and customer base of the original brand, rather than trying to launch an entirely new product out of nowhere.
  • Potential for new customers and a wider market: For struggling businesses considering a brand extension, it could mean reviving a fading brand and reasserting itself back in the market, and, therefore, attracting a new range of customers.

Of course, a brand extension is never guaranteed to be a success. What’s interesting about using Coca-Cola as an example is that it’s debatable whether this is a successful line extension or not. Is Cherry Coke or Coke Zero going to be as popular as the original Coke taste?

It could be argued that Coca-Cola’s original taste remains the most popular option compared to the flavors that followed.. Original Coke is also used as a common mixer for alcoholic drinks, too.

In contrast, Coca-Cola’s line extension provides plenty more options that consumers can enjoy, so many do question whether these alternatives are equally as popular as the original product. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that Coca-Cola’s line extension hasn’t worked to generate enjoyable, new products that attract a new segment of consumers

5 Signs Brand Extension Could Work for You

If you are considering whether a brand extension is right for you, here are five signs that you can look out for:

  1. You’ve already built a successful brand with a following and can easily build on that existing identity.
  2. You have some great ideas for new product lines that market research tells you could work, and brand managers are confident about it.
  3. You’re looking to grow your business
  4. You’re looking to reduce marketing costs for a new product by using your existing reputation.
  5. You’re looking to increase brand awareness.

3 Tips for Successful Brand Extension

If you have concluded that you are ready for a brand extension, you will want to bear in mind the following three tips:

1. Stick to Your Original Branding

In order to still be recognized with any new brand or line extension, using your existing brand identity is key. This means sticking to the same logo, values, and visuals. If you need to promote a new product with merchandise, you can consult with branding agency services to have the design still fit with your brand identity.

2. Stay Logical

Brand extensions need to be a logical and strategic move. What is a brand extension if it’s not a product which is needed or wanted? Brand extensions shouldn’t be made on a whim or simply with the desire to generate greater status for original brands. It should be a business decision that is driven by market demand, trends, and consumer data.

3. Create a Strategy

Every business move requires a strategy, and that’s certainly applicable for brand extensions, too. Your strategy should consider risks, future goals, and any new target market. This can be tricky to navigate yourself, so you may also want to liaise with a branding agency to market your new product(s)/service(s).

Take Away

Exploring the idea of brand extension means many new, exciting opportunities for established brands. It can be a positive business decision if you’re looking to jump on market trends and consider what the current consumer is looking for.

Contact our team today for any branding requirements, whether that’s existing products or an extended product line.

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