Brand Extension Examples

How Product Licensing Case Studies Can Help You Succeed

Personal experience is the second best way of learning how to extend your brand. The best way is to learn from other people’s experience–it’ll save you a lot of money, time and heartache. That’s why it’s so important to read up on as many brand extension examples as you can—so you don’t repeat the mistakes of brands that got soaked and copy the brands that got stoked.

Successful product licensing examples are harder to come by than one would think. There are plenty in business magazines like Entrepreneur, Forbes, and Fortune but they tend to be skimpy.

 

Problem #1 With Brand Extension Examples


They Don’t Give Enough Information

Many citations are simply reference points like this example from Brandingmag.com in which they simply referenced the new 007 James Bond fragrance with this image:

Many brand stretching examples simply contain a couple of paragraphs like this one from Washington State University’s Carson School of Business about O, The Oprah Magazine

O MagazineOne of the most successful magazine launches of all time, O, The Oprah Magazine made the crossover from T.V. to print look effortless. An extension of the television show, the magazine was also its own unique product, focusing on empowering readers to live their best lives. Oprah’s distinctive focus on self-improvement was easily translatable to print. The magazine leveraged the loyalty of Oprah’s following, tapped into an audience ready and willing to change their lives, and logically persuaded them to improve their own stories. This is best exemplified by the magazine’s first cover ever in 2000, which featured an image of Oprah and the headline, “Live your best life! Start right here, right now!”

The magazine leveraged a uniquely passionate audience, the powerful Oprah brand, and took the logical leap of showcasing self-help and empowerment from the screen to the magazine rack. With more than 12 million readers every month, O, The Oprah Magazine is considered a brand extension success story.

 

Problem #2 With Product Line Stretching Examples


They’re Hard To Find

It’s also cumbersome to actually find product line extension examples. It’s a little like shopping for a loaf of bread and finding a breadcrumb on Google, a slice in a magazine or a chunk on a blog. It’s a lot of work to put them all together to form a substantial resource you can go back to time and again. I know, because it took me extraordinarily long to compile usable brand extension case studies to make some of the points in my book, Expand, Grow, Thrive.

In the process of writing that book I researched 31 product licensing examples, drilled deep down into the available information and then constructed a tightly-formatted resource I could dip into whenever I needed an example to make my point. Now, for the first time, I’m making it available to the public.

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Study 31 Successful Brand Extension Examples

The best part of this resource guide is that it allows you to see almost three dozen brand licensing case studies in one place. Here’s a great example:

Free Copy!

An entertaining romp through the Don’t-Let-This-Happen-To-You Brand Licensing Cemetery. From Colgate’s entry into frozen foods to Ferrari’s attempt to market a purse you’ll come away with a strong sense of WHAT NOT TO DO WITH YOUR BRAND.

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Here’s Another Great Brand Stretching Example From My Guide:

Here’s Yet Another Successful Brand Extension Example:

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What Makes Brand Extensions Succeed Or Fail?

Throughout my career, I’ve worked on or analyzed hundreds of brand extensions. Some jumped through the hoops; most fell face first into the soup. Here are my observations about the difference between them:


The Ability Of A Brand To Move Laterally

In almost all successful brand extension examples you read you’ll see this dynamic at work: The brands stay true to the idea for which they are renowned. By doing this, these brands are able to continue to connect with people who know and trust them, and at the same time, to take the relationship into new spaces. This is particularly important at a time when more and more brands are looking to connect with customers across a broader front.

Expanding a brand beyond its operating sector into wider life categories encourages customers to think of ‘their’ brand in new ways. Bulgari has expanded into resorts selectively scattered across the globe over the past 10 years; Better Homes and Gardens has extended into a home textiles and decor program that is exclusive to Walmart; Pantone, a color chart service, now can be found on mugs and tabletop products and in books, taking advantage of the brand’s color equity to shift the brand into entirely new channels of distribution.

Is Your Brand Addictive?

If a brand is to grow into other categories, it must generate curiosity. It must encourage consumers to seek it out wherever they find it – and not just that, but to return time and time again to experience that brand again. You’ll see this in almost all winning product licensing examples. As they do so, the brand needs to find ways to make each experience interesting and cumulative. Perhaps no brand extension release to date exemplifies this concept better than Pokémon Go. The concept for the game was conceived in 2014 by Satoru Iwata of Nintendo and Tsunekazu Ishihara of the Pokémon Company as an April Fools’ Day collaboration with Google. In fact, it was originally called the Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge.

In order for a brand to be addictive, each point of contact must be surprising and delightful in its own right. At the same time, that point of contact must motivate the buyer to come back for more, knowing that the experience they have next time will build on what they already know.

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Is Your Brand Storied?

History makes a brand interesting. It adds heritage to what is happening. It helps people feel like they are part of something that stretches back way before their time. Story also brings familiarity–you’ll see that in many brand extension case studies. Every human being understands the format of narrative: it is hard-wired into us as a way of sharing. Brands that can expand what they offer within the context of expanding a familiar story are able to take customers on a journey that feels both familiar and new. Stories are involving and collective, but they are also personal.

Storied brands compel people to collect memories that link them back. They are wonderfully intriguing because they have had so much human involvement already. There is a powerful sense that ‘adding on’ makes the past more special, and the present seems so much more potent. If you can build a brand with legacy, and at the same time add new timeless and universal ideas from that legacy, all the elements to draw a crowd are at your command. This is also an excellent way to grow a brand from its core strengths and explore ways to keep a historic brand current.

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Is Your Brand Scalable?

Increasingly, brands operate across bigger and bigger vistas, but achieving scale is complicated. There is always a delicate balance to be drawn. On the one hand, an idea must expand to fill the bigger arena where it wishes to be seen. That in turn, adds all sorts of complications in logistics, culture, language and so much more.

On the other, the brand must remain true to what people first fell in love with. The hardest point of scalability is knowing which parts to make even bigger and which to adapt or omit. The other critical decision is resolving the expansion riddle – expanding the brand purposefully into sectors that fit with the brand, but are also growing at rates that will add critical momentum. Brand licensing should be viewed, from a scalability point of view, as a form of merger and acquisition. You’ll see this at work in the best brand licensing case studies. You are merging the brand of one sector with the momentum of another sector in order to achieve new levels of growth and scale to create a hybrid presence, which is more powerful and effective than either expansion would have been alone.

Is Your Brand Own-able?

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the brand must know what it owns. This is a complex and involved area; aspects of which are beyond my core expertise. For example, every brand today fights a major battle protecting its IP against fast followers and copycats.

Brand protection strategy has never been more important for large brands that also face knock-offs and the illegal use of their trademarks, nor has the monitoring of income streams to ensure that payments such as royalties are accurate and timely. There is a company called Credit and Financial Services, founded by Tony Toland, Sr. whose primary purpose is to ensure licensees follow through on the obligations of their contracts. According to Oliver Hoeltje, Assistant Finance Director, Global Business Development for P&G, Credit and Financial Services runs the back office for their Licensing and M&A departments. “[C&FS’ work] gives me peace of mind. I don’t need to worry about it.”

30 Day Money Back Guarantee
$ 9 99

Avoid Catastrophic Mistakes

By Studying Successful Brand Extensions

Grab it here

Not available in bookstores. You can only find it here.

Downloads as a pdf to computers, tablet and smartphones. Start reading IMMEDIATELY.

Is Your Brand Ready to Expand into New Categories?

Take my Quiz

Answer the 7 Questions That Can Make Or Break An Expansion


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