So I was cleaning out our basement the other day and at the bottom of a box that hadn’t been scavenged in at least 10 years, I found an unopened package of soap. Irish Spring? Ivory? Dove? Nope. None of the above. This soap was branded LG.
Hmmmm. Like my television is an LG? Think back. Would I buy soap made by LG? Would it get me clean? What would it smell like? What do I know about LG and why would their soap be better than Irish Spring soap? Those Irish Spring people really know soap. They’ve been making it for as long as I can remember. I know LG for technology and electronics. As a matter of fact, I’m thinking that nothing branded “LG” better ever get too close to my bathtub.
This recent find got me thinking about the notion of Brand Stretch. Brand Stretch is the ability for your brand’s associations to migrate to products and services not traditionally offered by your brand and make them feel believable to consumers. Brands are all about associations, and each brand is the sum of their particular associations. Those associations can be anything: industry, market, price point, quality, durability, expertise, graphics, heritage, the list is endless. So theoretically, if a company can make a new product that builds on several of their brand associations, they should be able to successfully stretch there.
Here are a few of my favorite examples of Brand Stretches that go beyond the brands’ primary categories:
|Armani selling style through private residences and a hotel|
|Evian and Aquafina selling purity through skincare|
|Caterpillar selling toughness through boots|