To Extend or Not To Extend

November 13, 2006

Should you consider a line extention to your existing product?  Of course, there is no simple answer to this question.   Most of it depends on your customers perceptions of your product or service.  If you are a bar soap, could you extend your product name into a shampoo?  Perhaps.  What about extending it into a food product?  Probably not.

This remains an art with some science.  Research into customer’s views  is the critical part of the science.  Of course, good old fashioned hard work and analysis is in your control.  Beyond customer acceptance, will your line extension have a reason for being?  Will it truly bring something unique to the marketplace?  Will it be better then competitive alternatives?  Certainly, there are benefits to the Corporation.  Efficincies in marketing dollars, leverage with the trade, possible manufacturing benefits, etc.  But the central question remains whether the product would be good enough to make it on its own merits and, if yes, what benefits are present if it adopts your current products name?  

Remember there must be logic in the line extension from the beginning.  A great example is Dow’s Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner.  S C Johnson (now the owner of this Brand) recently developed and introduced a line extension for this product which hangs on the shower and automatically cleans the entire shower on a regular basis.  This seems to me to be a perfect match.  Logical from a consumer point of view, with a new and innovative approach to cleaning the shower.  I will bet it will be a winner in the marketplace!

So, examine all aspects of a line extension possibility including the market size, growth, uniqueness of the line e


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