Testing Your Brand Limits

Duckler, Mitch
November 2003
Marketing Management;Nov/Dec2003, Vol. 12 Issue 6, p28
The article gives advice on how to ensure that new products or services complement and ideally enhance, the current equities of the brand. Most companies know how to extend their brands by leveraging organizational competencies and determining unmet customer needs. However, surprisingly few have a strategic approach in place to ensure that potential new product areas are consistent with a brand's identity. Many new products and services fail to survive, much less meet or exceed the expectations of their respective organizations. The first step in determining brand relevance is to begin with a comprehensive assessment of what a brand and those of key competitors in the category currently stand for in the minds of customers. Once the six to eight key associations have been identified for the brand and category, proxies should be carefully chosen for each one. Once brand and category associations have been determined and representative proxies selected, it is imperative to go back to customers to solicit their input. During focus groups and in-depth interviews, customers should be systematically presented with the proxies identified in the previous step and asked for their opinion as to how well each product, service, feature, or benefit fits with the brand in question.


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