Brand extensions I don’t get

Being a believer in Ries and Trout’s concepts from their landmark book, Positioning the Battle for Your Mind, I’m not a big fan of most brand extensions. That being said, some make even less sense to me than others. Back in February I named Dove for Men the oxymoron ad of the Superbowl. In brand presentations I give I will often discuss other oxymoron: Non-Bleach Clorox (yes it was a real product). 

Some brand extensions appear to make sense and might work, like Gerber for baby clothes. It didn’t, but the logic at least followed. And Cat shoes as a licensed brand from Caterpillar is another example I use in my talks. Earlier this week I was made aware of another brand extension that makes no sense to me: Jacuzzi toilets. Huh?

Yes these folks, whose name is synonymous with hot tubs and jet bath tubs, somehow decided that putting their name on a toilet made sense. Not to me. Does it to you? And it gets even sillier. A visit to will show you they have also decided to put their name on beds. Do they hope that people will somehow tie the Jacuzzi name to toilets and/or beds? Both? And if they did, then what happens to their position in hot tubs and jet baths?

Own a position in your customer’s mind. In trying to own multiple positions you will own none.


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