Figure 61: Failure factors for brand extensions in Visual Studio .NET

Generating Code 128 Code Set B in Visual Studio .NET Figure 61: Failure factors for brand extensions
Figure 61: Failure factors for brand extensions
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Source: brandgym research with marketing directors
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Figure 62: Nescafe Hot When You Want
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Reproduced by permission of Nestle UK Ltd
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consumers referring to it as Warm when you want (1) Other aws in the execution banged further nails in the cof n The quantity of liquid inside the can was much smaller than the size of pack suggested, creating a poor impression of value for money Unclear variant differentiation meant that people often picked up the one with sugar rather than without, or vice versa Penetration reached 15 per cent after ve months, but tailed off when people failed to buy the product again The plug was pulled and the Nescaf team went back e to the drawing board
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Brand damage
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Delivering a poor product experience is not only bad for the extension It can also make people re-evaluate their opinions of other products in the range that they already use, as shown by a brandgym study with UK consumers A whacking 86 per cent of consumers said that they would feel more negative about other products in the range after trying a poorly
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BRAND STRETCH
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Effect of bad experience with extension on product/service you were using before 13% 37% No effect Feel more negative, but carry on buying Less likely to buy 26% 23% Stop buying
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Figure 63: Effect of poor extensions on other products in range
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Source: The brandgym, April 2003
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performing extension Even more of a concern is the 39 per cent who would go as far as re-evaluating their purchase of these products (Figure 63) The closer an extension is to the core of the brand, the bigger the risk of undermining consumer con dence in the masterbrand promise In extreme circumstances the effects can be catastrophic, as with the Audi 5000 s sudden acceleration problem that resulted in fatal accidents Brand sales imploded, falling from 74 000 in 1985 to 21 000 The Audi 5000 was of course the worst affected, but adverse publicity had a damaging spill-over effect on other models (2) When the stretch is further away, the negative consequences are less severe For example, the appalling service record of Virgin trains may make you think twice about ying Virgin Atlantic, as the two travel businesses are closely related However, it is less likely to stop you using Virgin Telecom or Virgin Finance
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Bouncing back
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One of the major bene ts of a strong brand is its ability to recover from a life-threatening extension, such as the phoenix-like performance of the UK s leading laundry detergent, Persil The ill-fated Persil Power extension in 1994 was supposed to be Unilever s ultimate weapon in the ght against arch-rival Procter & Gamble However, Procter was quick to jump on rumours that the manganese-based accelerator in the new Persil product could rot clothes under certain washing conditions Television presenters were soon holding up pants full of Persil Power-induced holes on the evening news In the three months following the launch shares dropped from 274 to 242 per cent, a $45 million hole in retail sales However, within a couple of years the brand had clawed back the share losses, and in 2003 it was a healthy market leader again with a share of almost 30 per cent (3)
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Brand and deliver
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The good news is that delivering against your promises pays off Most importantly, this generates better levels of repurchase and loyalty It also creates positive word of mouth, which is invaluable in boosting trial The brandgym stretch study quoted earlier shows that over 70 per cent of consumers that have a good product experience feel more positive about other products in a brand s range Almost half of people would be more likely to try other products in the range as a result (Figure 64) One company that seems to be crystal clear about the importance of product quality in protecting brand integrity is BMW, as described by Chris Bangle, global chief of design:
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I often appeal to a deeply held, almost nonverbal sense about BMW-ness A certain pride of product shared by everyone in the company that expresses itself in the classic quality of our cars, from the purring engines to the buttery seats Every employee here knows that if a car doesn t have these things, it s simply not a BMW and customers won t buy it (4)
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One example of an extension that has delivered extensively against its promises is the Apple iPod MP3 music player
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