Four possibilities exist: the good, more good the ugly and the more ugly.
1. The Good Extensions:
When the parent brand contributes positively to the extended product, it is called good extension. The parent brand can the extension by providing brand associations, quality, associations and recognitions and awareness to the extended brand. Making a foray into the toilet soap market is quite difficult because of overcrowding, consumer’s low involvement and product similarity.
Dettol’s extension into toilet soaps illustrates how extension acquired Dettlo’s associations and became a successful sop. The parent brand may also help extension by providing quality rub off. Brands can bestow quality perception to extension.
The Tata name in India stands for some level of quality, if not exceptionally high quality rub off. Brand name awareness and recognition play a very crucial role in marketing under low involvement conditions. A brand extension in such situation builds awareness and recognition much efficiently for the extended product.
2. More Good Extension:
Sometime it is not just that the parent brand helps the extension, rather the extension also aids the brand by way of positive feedback. That is, the extension may enhance and strengthen the parent brand by increasing the brand visibility and supporting the core associations.
3. The Bad:
It is not that the use of a brand or product belonging to a different category is always beneficiary, Sometimes the name does not gulp the extension. This may happens on account of two reasons: first, when the name does not add value and second, the name passes on negative associations to the extension or instance,
4. The Ugly:
Sometimes the extension succeeds but its success come at cost. The extension damages the brand name by creating its existing associations. All these indicate negative feedback to the parent brand by an extension which succeeds in the marketplace. An extension would create its own associations. But some of these associations may damage the brand.
However, the reverse transfers of associations are less likely if the parent brand associations are strong and there is distinct difference between parent and the extension. Brand extensions also, sometimes may weaken the association. This problem can particularly arise when the brand’s core associations are class related when the brand is extended beyond its product class, its core brand association may get weakened
Brand extension is a common route followed by the marketers. But commonness does not mean that extension is also a quick short cut to launch new products and services. The above discussion clearly spells out the potential dangers associated with unplanned extensions.
By simply putting a successful brand name to any product one cannot be assured of success. Instead, the brand extensions can backfire. This necessitates that the manager while planning for brand extensions, must systematically analyze the possible opportunities.