Main requirements for success of brand extension


The following basic requirements covering the mother brand and the extensions must be met for brand extension to be successful:

a) Extension should be in the brand’s area of expertise so that there is scope for leverage.

b) Benefit Transfer.

c) There must be consistency between the parent brand and the extensions in customer’s perception.

Consistency factor:

Consumers must perceive the extended item to be consistent with the mother brand. This is difficult to achieve when the extension is to unrelated/outside the category products.

In the case of Pond’s, in consumer’s perception there was no consistency between the ‘mother’, Pond’s talcum powder and the extension, Pond’s tooth paste. The extension suffered in the market.

Brand’s Area of Expertise:

Extension of a brand name has a better chance of success when it is to a product, which is within the brand’s area of expertise. Surf’s extension to Surf Ultra and Lifebuoy’s extension to Lifebuoy Plus were within he parent brand’s area of expertise. Lipton had great expertise in Tea but in consumers’ perception biscuits needed a different expertise altogether. On the contrary Maggi’s extension of its ‘instant culinary’ expertise across food categories —– from noodles to ketchups, soups and pickles —- looked natural to the consumer.

Benefit Transfer:

Another tenet in Brand extension is that the mother brand’s benefit must be transferred to extensions, because consumers expect and desire the benefit offered by the parent brand in the extensions. Thus users of 5-star ice cream will expect the same kind of gratification as they have received from 5-star chocolate.

In unrelated/outside category extension, all the three conditions mentioned above are under strain. It is difficult to fulfill these conditions. And that is why the risk of brand extension is higher in such cases.

In conclusion we would like to say theoretically the line extension related and unrelated categories are justified. But in actual Marketing practices the line extension under both categories should be discretionary and not because other competitors are adopting extensions. The Market forces dictate the requirement of brand extensions to sustain market competition. In that event the marketer after careful evaluation of market demand and consumer tastes can implement the Brand extensions in the appropriate category.