Most successful brand extensions are not entirely new products in new categories, rather they are “children” of the same brand family—nuts that have fallen very close to the family tree.
In his book, A New brand World, author Scott Bedbury offers the following brand extension rule: “In creating brandwidth, always look around your core product category position before looking elsewhere, particularly when taking the brand into a new distribution channel. If you do it right, the new growth will strengthen, rather than dilute, your brand.”
For example, Kodak is not in the film and chemical processing or printing paper or camera business. They are in the memory-storage and storytelling business. As the brand extends into the digital photo category, the super-strong Kodak brand name can only be extended into this new technology if, as Bedbury describes, Kodak understands that their “brand is about capturing the times of your life, not the particular equipment or processes that permit that to happen.”
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If you are considering launching a new product or service and are wondering whether to launch a new brand or attach your current brand name, ask yourself the following questions: