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Learn the art of brand extension

Brand extension is a marketing strategy in which an organization that markets a product or service with a well-developed image uses the same brand name but in a different business category. There are many ways of brand extension which you can apply for further popularising your existing brand.


Using product form extension or line extension

This is the simplest way of brand extension in which you can launch your existing brand in a different form. For example, you have an existing brand name called “Ace Milk”. You can extend this brand name to launch a condensed milk product. Likewise, you can change the size of the new product to make it different though not completely different from its parent brand.


Using companion product extension

This is another popular way of brand extension in which you can launch an entirely new product which is intricately linked with your existing product. For example, suppose you have a toothpaste brand called “Power toothpaste”, you can use the same brand to launch your toothbrushes, dental powders and mouthwash products.


Using customer franchises

You can fulfil the diverse needs of your customers by franchising some of your products. Franchising will also cut down your operational costs to a large extent and will help you expand business overseas. For example, suppose if you have a restaurant in Country A and you want to expand it to Country B with the same brand name, then in such a case, franchising is the best option available.


Extending the company’s core expertise

To further popularise your existing brand, you can extend the company’s core expertise to launch completely different products. For example, if your brand is popular in the market for personal computers, you can use the same brand name for launching television sets, mobile phones, refrigerators and air conditioners.


Using the policy of brand distinction

Brand distinction is the way of making your brand synonymous with the product. Instead of perceiving them differently, the customers seem to be associating a specific product with a particular brand. For example, Xerox™ has used this policy of brand distinction for years together and photocopy is often regarded synonymous with it.


Using component brand extension

Many brands have formed a deep link with taste. If your brand is ruling the market for a long period, you can use the same brand for launching other flavours of the same product. For example, if your existing brand is famous for Mixed Fruit Jams, you can use it to launch other flavours like Mango, Pineapple, Orange etc.


Utilising the existing customer base

If your brand is very popular and it also has a large customer base, you can extend your brand by utilising it. For example, if you have a travel insurance company, you can distribute Foreign Exchange Cards (Forex) cards to your clients, using the same brand name.

Brand extension as a strategy though popular among many marketeers is replete with many pros and cons. It can also help your brand to fight against competitors. However, brand extension failures can prove disastrous for your existing brand as well. Therefore, one must be cautious before extending the brand and consider various market factors.