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Branding, Positioning and Differentiation

by Dhriti

Why identical twins don’t have identical first names

Though they may look the same, they’re not. Just ask their parents. Even as newborns, they could tell them apart, and as they grow up, they’re distinctions become ever more pronounced. This is why we don’t give twin babies the same first names. thebusinesssuccesslibrary In the business world, this idea would seem to carry over as the foundation for a common sensical approach to branding –that different products need to be different brands with different names. However, the only thing common about this sense is that it’s all too commonly ignored in the hopes of cheating risk and the possibility of failure.

Overextended brands are like overstretched rubber bands

Everyone’s heard of a company called Kraft. “Hey, those are the cheese people.” Yep. For years, Kraft and cheese were synonymous. It was a Corporate Branding with a position competitors would have been hard-pressed to erode had company brass been content in their cheesiness. They weren’t. businessideaso Like many companies blessed with strong brands, Kraft began to think their brand name was invincible and that any product introduced under its banner would dominate their markets simply because of its name. So, Kraft began offering jams, jellies and mayonnaise among other things.

The numerical truth about Kraft’s brand extension strategy

Ohio-based Smucker’s owns 35% of the jams and jellies market. Kraft has 9%. Hellman’s mayonnaise has 42% of the mayo market. Kraft has 18%. The plan for equal domination didn’t quite work out as planned. Despite its dominance in the cheese market, Kraft was relegated to bit player status in these other categories. Their strategy of trying to leverage a great brand name into being all things to all people resulted in few real winning products.

Why doesn’t being all things to all people work?

In your family, you may have been the smart one. If you had brothers and sisters, there may have been the “social” one, the “rebellious” one or the “athletic” one, too. businessfortoday And invariably, those attributes seem to stick with a person throughout their life, often regardless of whether they change.

In Japan, Honda is known as a motorcycle company that dabbles in cars. In America, it’s a car company that dabbles in motorcycles. Despite the fact the company is equally prolific makers of both, the two different markets have Honda pegged as either/or. One name, one product. Burned-in and branded for life. cashbackhut This is because motorcycles and motor vehicles are two different product categories. It proves that conquering multiple different categories with one brand name doesn’t work. Rather, companies who wish to expand into other product areas, or a first product area for that matter, need to do so by using a strong brand identity as the foundation of its marketing strategy. Either that or create new product lines that somehow relate to your old product line, such as cheese companies putting out a line of pre-made cheese and cracker snacks. What Ritz did with Mini Ritz sandwiches, Kraft could have easily done by focusing the product’s marketing slant on the cheese in the cracker.

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