Huge competition on the market makes promoting a new product a difficult task. Therefore, manufacturers more and more often decide on brand extension, i.e. expanding the brand to other categories.
Brand extension means introducing completely new categories of products under the same brand to the market. The extension is about segmentation into customer groups that have not been supported so far. The goals of brand extension are primarily to reach new target groups, increase the range of associations attributed to a given brand, increase awareness, and expand the customer base. Usually, the brand extension is permanent, but sometimes companies create a bridge brand, which is temporary and less exposed. Brand expansion can take place in a related product category, but some companies go a step further, e.g. Oriflame now offers jewellery in addition to cosmetics.
Launching a new category of products on the market does not require activities focused on building brand awareness. Using a strong brand allows the operator to focus on the implementation of the campaign promoting the product and its advantages. The promotion strategy should be based on content marketing activities on the company’s website, in social media or on external websites. Both mass and personalized campaigns will work. In the first case, we build the foundations for product awareness among the new target group. The next step is to segment the database and send personalised messages to the most interested recipients. A dedicated platform for marketing automation PushAd enables efficient communication with users, promotes building relationships with the audience, and engaging in new brand activities.
Brand extension can bring many benefits to companies, but several conditions should be met. For the operation to be successful, the brand must be recognizable and have a whole host of loyal consumers. Activities are extremely popular in many industries, but they carry a lot of risk. If the idea turns out to be wrong, the brand may lose credibility and reputation. The main stimulus to choose products of a particular brand is trust and habit. There is a risk that a completely new product will disappoint regular customers. Rebuilding the brand image requires a lot of commitment and significant financial outlays.
A good solution is to expand the brand with complementary products, i.e. those that consumers can use at the same time, e.g. phone and case, pyjamas and bathrobes. The brand extension strategy is considered a cheaper option for the development of the company, especially since the promotion of a new brand by the manufacturer is much more expensive and demanding.
Brand extension and brand stretching are often used interchangeably, but these are completely different marketing strategies. In the former case, the brand launches a completely new product category, e.g. Hortex currently offers two strong brands from different categories – juices and frozen foods.
Brand stretching, i.e. stretching the brand, is about creating new products within categories in which the brand is already known. For example, the Dove brand, known primarily for body lotions, decided to expand its range with other cosmetic products, e.g. deodorants, shampoos, or makeup remover facial wipes.