Brand Variations – Extending the Brand to Related Products

Some basic questions to ask when considering a brand extension, sub-brand, or other type of brand variation.

1) What is gained by the variation? Does it add-to or cannibalize the strength of the core brand?

2) Does the variation signal a distinct set of brand features that represent a different brand experience to the customer than the core brand? Does it stand alone as a product, service or brand experience? What is the desired “new meaning” suggested by the variation? What emotions is the variation designed to provoke?

3) Are there resources dedicated to propagating and promoting the brand variation as a separate brand experience? Does the variation have “legs?” Will it be a valid sub-brand for a long period of time?

4) If the variation includes different fonts, colors or layout grids, is there a standard for how, when and why the variations are employed?

5) If the design elements that express the brand variation are seen in conjunction with the design elements of the core brand, are they harmonious, or do they clash? Is there redundancy?

6) How much audience cross-over is there between the core brand and the brand variation? In other words, are both brands appealing to basically the same audience, or does the variation appeal to a fairly distinct audience with separate needs and interests from the main audience of the core brand?

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