Magazine article Management Today

Masterclass: Brand Extensions

Magazine article Management Today

Masterclass: Brand Extensions

Article excerpt

What are they? Could we interest you in an MT hip-flask? No? Fair enough. It could be a brand extension too far. (And MT readers are, of course, sober observers of the business scene.) But you get the idea: you stretch or extend a brand when you take the initial product or identity and try and bolt something new onto it. You can't blame business people for trying. We all know how important, and valuable, brands are. How rewarding if you can make a brand work a bit harder for you and extract more value from it...

Where did they come from? Brands have been stretched for decades. Thomas Edison's General Electric company made light bulbs before it made jet engines. Sir Richard Branson has built a business empire with the technique. But there have been notable brand extension failures: Harley Davidson wine-coolers and after-shave, for example. The lesson seems to be: draw on the recognised qualities of your brand, and move carefully into genuinely adjacent markets. …

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