So there are the two stores. Side by side. One has a large sign that says, “PIZZA.” Next door, the other sign also says, “PIZZA.” But it adds, “Keys Made. Sushi. Alterations.”
My question is, if you wanted a slice of pizza, which establishment would you go to? I have to believe it’s the one that offers just the one thing you want: pizza. Somehow, there is a feeling of confidence, a belief that by concentrating on one thing, their product has to be superior than anything offered by a competitor who presents it as just one of many items for sale.
Which brings us, as is so often the case, to you. There is, hopefully, one thing you do exceedingly well. One thing you are known for. And the question becomes, how far do you want to extend your brand before it snaps under the weight of too many options? There is much to be gained by line extensions—but there is much to be lost if you stray too far for what your core is perceived to be. Expertise and reputation carry over, of course, but rarely to unrelated efforts. Gillette can do fine with grooming products, razors, shampoos, and so forth. But a Gillette gluten free line of pastries will do nothing but damage the brand.
I think the Lego storage drawer idea shown above works well. It just feels right—colorful, friendly, recognizable, unexpected but not far-fetched. And I am sure you can think of many other Lego possibilities that’ll enhance rather than dilute the brand.
Yes, the temptation is to stick your brand’s label on everything you can, the rationale being that it gives you more opportunities to make a sale. But unless those incremental dollars solidify your brand’s authenticity, sooner rather than later your over extended story will turn around and bite you on your image.
Got the idea?