A brand leveraging strategy is the broadening of a company’s product ranges through the power of an existing brand. Brand leveraging is helpful because it creates a specific image about your product before it is even tried. Customers will most likely stay loyal to their brands until proven disappointed. Brand leveraging is important form of product introduction because it provides your customers a sense of familiarity with your positive brand characteristics and attitudes into a new product category. Leveraging is also useful because the products are in different categories, you don’t have to worry about losing market share and competing against your own brand, creating a successful brand strategy.
Retail outlets are full of consumers with perceptions about brands. For example, Arm & Hammer has a long brand history of being known for their baking soda, but today they can be found in the toothpaste aisle. They\'ve built their brand on the foundation of consumer loyalty and applied it to similar products that would extend their brand with the help of an existing product. Arm &Hammer used its brand name to strengthen the launch of their toothpaste and it was successful because of the correlation between the two items having a powerful impact on consumers of both categories.
Although brand leveraging can be a great asset, there are some precautionary measures to take before extending your brand. To avoid disappointing your loyal customers, the greatest risk to brand leveraging, is maintaining a consistent level of quality throughout the brand product lines. It is also crucial to keep in mind that too many products in too many categories can harm your brand. Selling too many diverse products will dilute the brand name and show poor results. For example, Frito Lay lemonade did not succeed because it is too far from the original brand. However, M&M ice cream and Reese’s peanut butter, proved successful because the brands held logical connections to the new product categories.
Brand leveraging does present challenges for any brand. To avoid brand dilution, leveraging should be limited to products that are directly related to the original product. If your new product fails it can potentially taint your brand perception with loyal customers, so proceed with caution.
Websites are the new power platform and should be taken advantage of by creating your own social experience platform-building social experiences directly into your online presence. Social media presence in branding has become prominent; examples can include blogs, support forums, or idea exchanges. Trust factors are highest among customers interacting with qualified experts, social connections, and others who share similar motives and needs to themselves. By building your on-domain social experience platform you can tap into and leverage the customer flows in and around the large social sites. That is smart marketing that builds on a strategy that you can control.
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