Skip to main content

Case Study in Brand Extension

Laura Ries writes about an interesting case of brand extension:
My last post praised Geox, the first breathable shoe. Mario Moretti Polegato, CEO and founder of Geox, has built a powerful global shoe brand by focusing on one word “breathable.”
But then Ries follows up:
Mario’s itch has led him to start a Geox fashion line featuring clothes that breathe.

But he is staying focused you might be thinking. The product is still breathable. Yes, but there is a great difference between shoes and clothes. It is a great divide that Geox will have great difficulty crossing.


Now, I do think that extending the Geox brand to clothes instead of just shoes has its risks and liabilities. But just how serious these risks and liabilities are depends on whether "Geox" means "breathable shoe" or just "breathable".

If it means "breathable shoe", then extending the brand to clothes is actually a form of rebranding. It's not just a matter of applying the meaning of "Geox" to another line of products. It actually changes the meaning from "breathable shoe" to something broader. Changing what a brand stands for is a dangerous move.

If "Geox" already means "breathable" instead of the narrower "breathable shoe", on the other hand, then applying the brand to clothes is a natural extension that does not change the meaning of "Geox". Ries seems to believe it is an unwise decision, but I'm not sure.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why Spreadsheets Suck for Prioritizing

The Goal As a company executive, you want confidence that your product team (which includes all the people, from all departments, responsible for product success) has a sound basis for deciding which items are on the product roadmap. You also want confidence the team is prioritizing the items in a smart way. What Should We Prioritize? The items the team prioritizes could be features, user stories, epics, market problems, themes, or experiments. Melissa Perri  makes an excellent case for a " problem roadmap ", and, in general, I recommend focusing on the latter types of items. However, the topic of what types of items you should prioritize - and in what situations - is interesting and important but beyond the scope of this blog entry. A Sad but Familiar Story If there is significant controversy about priorities, then almost inevitably, a product manager or other member of the team decides to put together The Spreadsheet. I've done it. Some of the mos

Henry Ford's "Faster Horse" Quote

You may have heard the ( apocryphal ) Henry Ford quote: If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have said "a faster horse". Over at the On Product Management blog , Saeed gives his take on this infamous quote. He "hates" it, and gives some compelling reasons. Saeed is spot on in his explanations. Personally, I think the quote is great, but it's a matter of interpretation. The valid point of the quote is not that it's a bad idea to facilitate a conversation with your market to better understand it. The valid points are: You must ask the right questions to get valuable answers. You must interpret the answers thoughtfully - often outside their direct meaning - to glean reliable information. Asking questions is not always the best way to "listen" to your market. (E.g., sometimes pure observational studies are more reliable.) Nonetheless, I find the quote is helpful to combat "armchair product management" in the

Stop Validating and Start Falsifying

The product management and startup worlds are buzzing about the importance of "validation". In this entry, I'll explain how this idea originated and why it's leading organizations astray. Why Validate? In lean startup circles, you constantly hear about "validated learning" and "validating" product ideas: The assumption is that you have a great product idea and seek validation from customers before expending vast resources to build and bring it to market. Indeed, it makes sense to transcend conventional approaches to making product decisions . Intuition, sales anecdotes, feature requests from customers, backward industry thinking, and spreadsheets don't form the basis for sound product decisions. Incorporating lean startup concepts , and a more scientific approach to learning markets, is undoubtedly a sounder approach. Moreover, in larger organizations, sometimes further in the product life-cycle, everyone seems to have an opinio