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How to Extend Your Brand

In a MarketingProfs.com article, "How Far Will Brand Extensions Stretch?", Ted Mininni argues that you should attempt to extend your brand only after conducting some careful market research.

Money quotes:

"While there can be significant benefits in brand extension strategies, there can also be significant risks, resulting in a diluted or severely damaged brand."

"The most common brand stretches include line extensions within the same category."

"Yet, a large number of brand extensions into new categories have proven to be dismal failures."

"Many marketing managers think that it makes sense to 'transfer' the promise and equity of their established brand. But that isn't always true. Companies sometimes go too far trying to extend into categories that are not a good fit, and they risk losing credibility in their flagship brands."

"If consumer perception, based on research, does not corroborate that the proposed extension is a fit with the brand's values, it will not be a success, no matter how needed or exciting the new product is."

"Once a brand extension is executed, it is still important to identify any changes, positive or negative, in perceived core brand values, using the consumer as the barometer for these measurements."
Extending a brand is not something you should take lightly, and doing it effectively requires market research and strategy expertise. Read the article to get more specifc tips on how to extend your brand - if you dare.

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