Brand extension strategy refers to the use of an established company’s name or brand to enter a new product class or industry.
Perhaps one of the most well-known giants of brand extension is Amazon. In 1995, Amazon began as an online bookseller. Since then, the brand has extended into everything from music, grocery delivery, consumer goods, movies and more.
By using an established brand name, companies can begin selling new products more easily because they’ve already earned consumer trust.
If done right, brand extensions can even help to improve perceptions of the existing brand.
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However, brand extensions must be carefully considered by the company that is looking to implement it.
There are a few pitfalls that can spell trouble in brand extension strategy. For one, if the product category is not closely related to the company’s core product, customers may be confused or ignore the extension altogether. Or, if the brand’s new product is unsuccessful, it may lead to overall damage to the brand and its other products.
Apple - Apple began as a personal computer company. They have since extended into MP3 players, wireless headphones, credit card providers, a music streaming service, and more.
Google - Google started as a search engine in 1998. Now, they are also the top email service provider, a top business suite provider, and a leader in AI.
Mailchimp - Mailchimp, a popular email marketing platform, recently extended into the paid display ads space (Facebook ads, etc.).