Bland brand extensions

23Feb09

Brand extensions have the potential to drive market share, build awareness and more, but developing sub-brands and product lines are not always the best, or most effective, means of achieving success.

 

301131918_617533d7c9Just ten years ago in the U.K., Cosmopolitan, a women’s magazine geared toward readers interested in cosmetics, fashion and sex talk, introduced a brand extension well out of their reach- Cosmopolitan yoghurt. But this low-fat product wasn’t the only dairy they tried to milk out of the publication; they also came out with a line of light, soft cheese and fromage frasis.

 

According to the magazine, the concept behind the extension was to link food with the sex topics discussed in the pages of the magazine. Marketers gathered from an in-house survey submitted by consumers that 65 percent of Britains had used food during lovemaking. The problem was marketers didn’t bother to find out what kind of edibles were being used in the bedroom, and for some reason assumed milk-based products would build the brand.

 

It didn’t take long before the dairy line was pulled from the shelves; 18 months to be exact. Not only was the brand extension a far, far stretch from being related to the magazine, but Cosmopolitan also tried to sell the yoghurt at a premium price trying to appeal to its so-called “sophisticated audience.”

 

In Cosmo’s case, minimizing this brand extension should have been a no-brainer, but perhaps the company didn’t thoroughly examine the primary factors that lead to successful product lines.

 

A sex-driven, women’s magazine and dairy products are hardly similar. There’s little to no association between the two, and if the company really wanted to produce a product for the bedroom to complement their stories, a little more research would have provided several better options.

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