As the old wise marketing guru said “Branding is the Essence of Successful Marketing”. Brand equity is a precious gem. While not particularly rare it can be very valuable. So how do you tap into this treasure? Here is how to make this article really pay off in gold for you. Take a piece of paper and write down your brand name(s) on it at the top. As you read this article think about the principles and see how you might apply them to your brand. Don’t look for the perfect match, just try it out. Put a checkmark on the ones that apply to you.

This is not a football story despite the headings even though the training camps are in full swing. It really is about pragmatic and effective ways of extending your brand equity. In some ways all products have a brand equity. The key is to identify it and then fan the flames so it ignites into a very profitable fire of profitability. It can bring with it very loyal customers who are willing to pay a premium to purchase your product. Once you have it you will want to use it to your maximum advantage and I’ll discuss several ways of doing this

Line Extensions, Flankers, End Arounds and Umbrellas – Extended use

This is the most obvious. You keep the same product name and form but use the product in a different usage area. The best example is Cow Brand Baking Soda. It is used in baking. Every new housewife gets a box as part of her bridal package and that box stayed with her until she died. Cow started promoting the product as a deodorizer in the refrigerator. Open a box and change it every 6 months. Sales skyrocketed and the brand stayed alive. Now it is used in toothpaste and many other areas as well.

Line Extensions

A line extension is defined as a product in the same basic category with the same basic end use as the parent brand. It may be in a different form than the parent. This is different than an extended use. Tide Powder laundry detergent and Tide Liquid are great examples. Procter & Gamble eventually converted all their effort from trying to establish a new brand, Era, to compete with Wisk, to making Tide Liquid a success. It has paid off and the company has a dominant market share of over 60%.

Flankers

A flanker is a new brand, which uses an existing brand name to introduce into a different category than the parent brand. Examples are Clorox liquid bleach, Clorox Clean up, Clorox toilet bowl cleaner and others.

Crest dentifrice is a good example of all of these. Did you know that there are 21 forms of Crest toothpaste? They cover extended use (breath freshening, gum health and whiteness) and line extensions Kids toothpaste and sensitive teeth in paste, gel and even drops at one point. They get you from your first tooth to your last. Customer loyalty remember? It is even better if the flanker can be used as part of a system with the parent brand. Crest Toothbrushes – Crest Complete and Crest SpinBrush go with Crest toothpaste.

Umbrella

This is where you use a common overall name for different product with different uses.

Symantec changed Norton Antivirus into the Symantec suite or family of brands. It fits well with both the consumer and the institutional or business to business market. It is all about security.

The Ultimate umbrella This where you establish your brand well enough that it becomes synonymous with the generic. Here are a couple of examples.