Dove is a well-known hair and skincare brand, popular for manufacturing women’s skincare items like soap, body washes, bars, etc. While initially catered toward women, it introduced a range of products for men under the name ‘Dove Men+Care’ in 2010.
Since the company was already involved in skincare products, launching a men’s product category transformed Dove into a multi-billion dollar giant.
This is a classic brand extension example – where businesses leverage their brand awareness and authority to expand their clientele and open up new sales channels.
In this blog post, you will learn more about brand extension and see a few clever examples to learn how you can do it too.
What Is Brand Extension?
Brand extension is a marketing strategy wherein a company creates a new product category under its brand name.
Typically, brand extensions are used by well-established organizations to launch a new product or product category for their customer base.
When the newly launched product category is related to the company’s parent category, it helps brands earn greater profits, reduce costs involved in launching a new business, and meet customers’ needs.
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Types of Brand Extensions
Let us take a look at the different types of brand extension strategies.
#1. Line extension
A line extension is a form of brand extension when a parent company or brand launches a new product line that is similar to or adjacent to the existing category of products.
As a result, companies don’t have to create a new product line and can expand their customer base by adding to their already existing product categories.
An example of line extension is when an ice cream brand introduces new flavors to its existing lineup.
Other examples include adding new scents, colors, and sizes to a product line.
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#2. Complementary product extension
In complementary product extensions, brands add products that complement their existing range of products.
For instance, sports brands sell cricket bats and balls together as complementary goods.
Or, activewear brands selling swimsuits with head caps, which results in a sales boost.
An example of a complementary product extension is Speedo, a well-known swimwear brand. Speedo sells swimsuits as well as complementary wear, including swimming goggles, swim caps, and bathing suits.
#3. Customer base extension
Although brands mainly extend their product line by adding new goods to the same category, some do so by targeting a specific demographic.
This strategy is known as customer base extension.
For example, Johnson and Johnson, a company that sells pharmaceutical and consumer packaged products, extended its brand to sell goods that specifically cater to infants. Known as Johnson’s Baby, the brand sells baby wipes, baby powder, baby shampoo, hair oil, and so on.
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#4. Company authority extension
Brands that use company authority extensions usually have a high level of authority in their field or industry.
As a result, they are able to create and invest in products and services that are diverse.
Tata Group is a good example of an organization that applies for company authority extension.
The company has invested in multiple sectors, including consultancy, automobiles, aviation, jewelry, apparel, hospitality, and so on.
#5. Brand lifestyle extension
With a brand lifestyle extension, companies aim to create a culture or community around their brand.
This marketing strategy lets you use your brand community and offer them new products even if they are not related to the original product of the parent company.
Typically, organizations use celebrity endorsements or influencer marketing to promote their products.
An example of a brand lifestyle extension is that of Tesla, an American automotive and clean energy company.
It introduced a tequila line, and the company sold out its tequila within a few hours.
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Benefits of Brand Extension For Your Business
Here are some reasons why you should consider brand extension as part of your marketing strategy.
#1. Helps capitalize existing brand assets
In certain industries, barriers to entry are high.
Factors such as high initial capital and regulations might make it difficult for someone to launch an enterprise in a field with such barriers.
This allows existing firms to attain growth and expand their clientele by capitalizing on existing brand assets.
It includes offering unique products or services, targeting the right audience, building a competitive and efficient business model, and creating a business logo or tagline that resonates with your brand.
#2. Economies in promotion and advertising
One of the biggest advantages of brand extension is that it helps businesses save costs.
If they want to introduce a new product line or extend an existing product category, they need not launch a new brand.
Instead, they can expand their product line under the same brand name.
As a result, companies save money on promotion and advertising and the capital they would have required to start a new brand.
#3. Provides instant reputation
Typically, brand extension strategies are used by big and well-established organizations.
Such brands enjoy a positive reputation and a significant market share.
Thus, when they launch a new product category or extend an existing one, the new products will be received positively by the public, due to the brand’s reputation.
#4. Increases the probability of success
In an increasingly competitive world, brands can only survive if they offer something unique to their audience.
With more and more competitors entering the market, brands need to find ways to ensure that consumers keep buying their products.
As a result, brand extension becomes inevitable.
By launching new products or services, brands can assure sales, without the need to invest in developing a new enterprise.
This increases their probability of success and helps them widen their customer base.
Read also: 9 Types Of Branding And What They Really Mean
8 Amazing Brand Extension Examples To Learn From
Here are some of the best brand extension examples to get you inspired.
Armani is an Italian luxury fashion house that designs and retails haute couture, accessories, and home decor.
Today, however, Armani is not limited to apparel alone. It has diversified into the beauty and hospitality industries and boasts a range of fragrances, makeup, and hotel and restaurant chains across the world.
Further, Armani also has its own floral creation and chocolate brand.
The brand is an example of company authority extension since it has invested in sectors unrelated to its parent product.
Moreover, the brand name ‘Armani’ ensures the success of the products.
Disney is an American mass media and multinational organization headquartered in California.
Although synonymous with creating iconic animated movies and TV shows, Disney also offers products that help create a community around the brand.
The company sells merchandise in the form of apparel, toys, and other accessories and is also known for its amusement parks around the world.
Disney is an example of a brand lifestyle extension since it attracts customers through its brand name to sell products that are unrelated to each other.
Amazon is an e-commerce retailer with headquarters in Seattle, USA.
While it originally started as an online book retailer, today, its operations have extended beyond it.
Amazon now sells all kinds of products on its e-commerce platform and provides services such as cloud computing, online advertising, video, music streaming, and artificial intelligence.
Mars is an American confectionery manufacturer specializing in chocolates, pet food, and other products.
Though mainly known for the iconic Mars chocolate, the brand extended its line into ice cream bars and chocolate spreads with the same taste as the candy bars.
Hence, people could now enjoy Mars in different ways, be it by eating chocolates, ice cream, or bread spreads.
#5. Gillette Venus
Gillette is a US-based brand that primarily sold only safety razors and shaving products for men.
Initially, the brand only catered as a skincare brand for men. But Gillette later introduced shaving products for women under the name ‘Gillette Venus.’
Through this, Gillette aimed to expand its customer base by targeting the female demographic and creating shaving products customized to their needs.
#6. Costa Coffee
Costa Coffee is a British coffeehouse chain with stores around the world.
The brand is synonymous with selling hot coffee of various kinds.
However, the coffee brand decided to expand and diversify into energy drinks, milkshakes, and cold coffee.
This helped it target customers who were always on the move and did not have the time to sit or wait in queues to get a fresh cup of coffee.
Titan is an Indian company specializing in fashion accessories such as eyewear, watches, and jewelry.
Initially known as Titan Watches Limited, the brand later diversified into selling eyewear, perfumes, bags, and wallets.
This is a form of line extension since Titan focused on extending its parent product category into other types of fashion accessories.
Dettol is a UK-based disinfectant and antiseptic soap brand popular in India.
It makes for one of the best brand extension examples – it has launched several disinfectant products within the same category.
Today, Dettol has smartly extended its product line into handwash gel, bathing soap, hand sanitizer, liquid detergent, and floor cleaning liquid.
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Brand extension helps businesses expand their clientele by introducing products and services that meet customers’ needs.
These brand extension examples show how well-established companies use it to target a wider demographic and can either be related to or different from the parent product category.
Brand extension is an efficient marketing strategy, allowing companies to launch new products under the same brand name.
It saves the trouble of spending money on branding and helps businesses grow their revenue further.