A robust brand extension strategy is essential to prosper and maintain relevance in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace. In some ways, brand extension represents the most efficient and logical way to achieve profitable brand growth, yet many companies struggle with how far to stretch. Play it too safe and the likely result will be close-in, ho-hum line extensions that underwhelm customers and are short-lived in the market. Stray too far from your brand’s core positioning and you risk diluting valuable equity.
In order to be successful when extending brands, it is important to make sure you are remaining true to your positioning and what you stand for. However, while respecting guardrails and protecting equity is imperative, it's also important to view brands as a source of inspiration for innovation and new product development. When considering possible paths for extension, it is important to look at brands across multiple dimensions—not just tangible attributes (such as product categories and usage occasions), but intangible dimensions as well (e.g., persona and emotional benefits).