Sunday, February 14, 2010

Brand Extension

According to the textbook, a brand extension is where a company extends its brand name to encompass new or modified products in a new category. (Kotler pg. 218)

I found an example of such brand extension when I went to the grocery store and tried to find chapstick. I never really realized until now how the familiar lip balm product known as Burt’s Bees® is a perfect example of brand extension. I first became familiar with the Burt’s Bees® brand when a friend suggested its original beeswax lip balm that leaves behind a minty and refreshing feeling. However, although Burt’s Bees® lip balm is the company’s most familiar and popular product, the company itself did not start with that in mind. In fact, when Burt’s Bees® first started in 1984, Roxanne Quimby and Burt Shavitz, its original founders, had begun the company by selling candles made from the by-product of Burt’s honey business. Later as Roxanne became familiar with personal-care recipes, Burt’s Bees® began branching out from just candles to items such as lip balm.

Now in the present day, the Burt’s Bees® brand has extended to cover all sorts of facial and skin product categories, from items such as soap, toothpaste, and sun lotion, to hand lotions and specialized goods, such as shaving crème, for men. So when I went to find my lip balm at the store, I was met instead with row after row of different Burt’s Bees® products. In fact, the brand has so many extensions that there is now permanently designated wall space for this company and its many different products. Who knew that a company could extend that much?

-Michelle Choe, Section G

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