Design with delicious intent.™

To extend or not to extend…

Extending your brand’s product or service line seems like a no brainer. More products/services means more income, right? Wrong.

Extending a brand without a strategy can create complete confusion.

Extending a brand without a strategy can create complete confusion.

Extending a brand’s offerings leads to many underlying issues just waiting to pop up and destroy your brand. Before making the leap, run through this quick check list to see if an extension is the right move for you. Here are three questions to consider when thinking of line extensions:

1. Is it relevant to your core brand?

An information technology company who extends their offering into web design and development may seem like a relevant move until one understands that a web site is a core part of marketing, advertising and branding. It’s not a relevant move even though web is based on technology.

When deciding to extend, take an objective look at the new product or service. Is it a good move for the brand? Will it reinforce the expertise established, or spur another direction completely thereby diluting the brand?

2. Does it detract from current product offerings?

Adding more products or services can actually detract and diminish the strength and position of your current products. A product that touts new features, but in turn displays the shortcomings of current products is a bad line extension. The product needs to be under a new brand name for a different company. An example would be a cleansing product line that extends into a earth-friendly line. This move poses the question: Was the other cleaner really bad for the planet? Why would they sell that?

3. Is the infrastructure in place to warrant the offering?

It’s great to talk about a new product or service, but if it can’t be properly marketed, sold and fulfilled then it’s  a waste of time.

A new product or service needs to have the infrastructure in place to support the move properly. Without this, the brand will sink rapidly.

Extending your offerings can be a great move towards increasing revenue. Without the right elements in place it can be a brand flop. Proper research, strategy and planning will ensure that your extension takes off.

Don’t forget, you can always ask for help! 🙂


Joseph serves as principal and creative director at Vigor, a restaurant and beverage branding and marketing firm, and curator/author/podcaster/host for Grits X Grids.

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