Kapferer (2012) opines that line extension addresses the issue of marketing commercial goods. In explaining line extension, Kapferer (2012) defines a brand as a recognized company product or name, for example, Apple and Coca-cola. Therefore, a line extension refers to a process where a business enterprise with an established brand varies the factors of a product or some of its products to appeal to a refined market segment (Kapferer, 2012). That is, using a well-known product brand name to develop a new commodity in a similar product class. Line extensions happen when a corporation comes up with new other items in the same product category having a similar brand name such as new colors, flavors, forms, package size, and added ingredients. A line extension is different from brand extension because, in a brand extension, a new product in an entirely different product range is produced.
There are two main categories of product line extension, that is, horizontal product line extension and vertical product line extension. A horizontal line extension is where the price and quality are maintained, but factors like color and the flavor are altered to differentiate the product (Kapferer, 2012). On the other hand, the vertical extension is where the price or quality is increased or decrease to create either luxury or inferior goods. More often than not, product line extensions are closely related to products that exist in the company’s brand portfolio but target specific market using this strategy.
One of the popular product line extensions is Dove beauty products for women which were extended to produce “Dove for Men”, a skincare product targeting men consumers manufactured by Unilever. In this case, the company attempted to appeal to a different demographic and at the same time maintain the trust consumers have for the Dove brand name. Also, where a soft drink company introduces a new variety such as “Diet Drinks” have the same brand name with other product for example “Coke Zero” from the Coca-Cola Company.
Co-branding is one the marketing strategy where two or more existing brand names are linked to create an identity for a new commodity (Kapferer, 2012). Co-branding is used mostly to promote products from two diverse brands at the same time. Co-branding is a good strategy because of the numerous benefits that will be gained by the different partnering brands.
Co-branding is beneficial to both parties because it increases the visibility of a product and market share of both brands. In the end, this move will increase the revenue of both firms because of the increasing number of sales gained because of co-branding. Co-branding also assists less popular brands to become popular by associating with popular brands.
According to Kapferer (2012), co-branding additionally assists in reinforcement where to enable a company to create a stronger band. As consumers see a particular brand regularly, they will create a stronger association related to it. In a situation where multiple products are co-branded, a company can create a deeper impression on the market. If a product is associated with a wide range of products, it will be able to reinforce a particular brand image in the portfolio than just one product.
Moreover, co-branding is also important when it comes to passively passing information to consumers (Kapferer, 2012). When a brand is associated with another product, the public may be able to conclude that the product has a similar level of quality. This strong impression of quality that a company has gained for itself in the market can therefore be extended to other products through co-branding strategy.
Co-branding present numerous advantages to popular and large established brands at the expense of smaller business enterprises that are not fully established in the market. Large business organizations make use of already popular brands through co-branding in a manner that is difficult for new business to compete against them.
Finally, co-branding may create confusion in the market especially for brands that are less well known. A consumer may be familiar with a brand and is motivated to buy but may be discouraged when it is combined with another commodity that he/she is not as acquainted with. Therefore, it is important for smaller companies to be cautious when they undertake co-branding strategy to make sure that the two brands complement each other (Kapferer, 2012). Also, when a brand is associated with a lesser brand it may damage the new brand.
Apple is one of the most popular brands across the world because of extensive marketing that focused on building a strong brand. Apple Incorporation uses its Apple brand to compete in diverse highly competitive markets. The company brand has evolved over the years and has expanded its product range and services through brand extension and product extension.
The core attribute of Apple brand is “delivering exceptional customer experience through superb user interfaces” (Burgess, 2012). The branding strategy adopted by Apple focused on people’s emotions. The company branding strategy focuses on how Apple products make a person feel. The brand personality for Apple is all about lifestyle, innovation, passion, aspirations and dreams, and finally to empower people through technology.
Apple brand attributes are all about simplicity, easy-going, stylish, cool, intuitive and friendly (Burgess, 2012). The brand personality focuses on being simple, removing complication in lives of people and being wholeheartedly humanistic business having a genuine and sincere connection with different people all over the world.
According to Tim Cook, One of the core values of the company is the belief in deep collaboration and cross-pollination of the company groups that allow them to revolutionize in a way other companies cannot. The company cannot settle on anything less than excellence. The CEO of the company also stated that the company has self-honesty to admit when they are wrong and the courage to change.
Be as it may, Apple brand provides exceptional customer experience by offering distinctive products such as iPhone having touch screen “gestures”, iTunes, iCloud, and App store. The company’s Apple Watch and Apple pay have distinctive features that provide customers with the customer experience of an elegant user interface and simplicity of use.
Burgess, J. (2012). The iPhone Moment, the Apple Brand and the creative consumer: From “hackability and usability” to cultural generativity (pp. 28-42). Routledge.
Kapferer, J. N. (2012). The new strategic brand management: advanced insights and strategic thinking. London: Kogan page publishers.