Is brand extension hurting your brand?

Tims & the new Oreo donut

Tims Oreo Donut

If I asked you who had an Oreo treat available this summer, what restaurant would you say? DQ? McDonald’s? Your local ice cream shop? Nope. It’s Tim Hortons.

Have you noticed Tims continues to get further and further away from marketing what made them famous? What ever happened to their coffee? All I hear and see is marketing for their new Oreo treats or their Greek Yogurt. It makes me wonder if McDonald’s and Starbucks are taking away their share of the coffee market.

A year ago, I couldn’t walk around my office without seeing Tims cups. Now, it’s Starbucks, McDonald’s or the office K-Cup brew. I’ve heard rumours McDonald’s has the contract Tims used to have for its coffee supplier. Does McDonalds coffee taste better? Does Tims coffee taste worst? Or have we stopped thinking about it because Tims has stopped informing us about their coffee?

I don’t know what Tim Hortons stands for any more. Is it coffee? Is it donuts? Is it an Oreo treat?

The same thing is happening with Subway. Since when does Subway have pizzas? I thought they were ‘Sandwich Artists,’ not ‘Pizza Artists.’

Good ol’ brand extension.

You add different items under your brand name to try and lure people to purchase these items because your brand is already familiar to them. Should I get a Tims Oreo treat? “Sure, I like their coffee, so why not try their Oreo treat.” That’s what Tims wants. Unfortunately, it also hurts what made them famous…COFFEE. If you have a bad experience with the treat, you’ll notice you’ll start having negative feelings toward their coffee (or Oreo). That’s the trouble with brand extension.

Why do you think Proctor & Gamble rarely uses their company name when marketing their products? You hear of Swiffer, Tide, Crest, etc… but rarely P&G. You each have feelings about these products, but if you have a bad experience with Tide, you probably won’t have ill feelings toward Swiffer. However, if it was P&G Tide or P&G Swiffer, your thoughts would probably change.

The same goes with YOU and your personal brand. What do people think about you? What are their expectations? Are you being true to yourself or are you over extending your brand? Be careful not to stretch too far or people will forget what made you famous.

Check out this latest example from Amazon and their earnings. They’re trying to stretch too far from what made them famous hurting their earnings: CLICK HERE

Love you,

Jordan

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