Broaden Your Brand

Scott Bedbury, author of A New Brand World: Eight Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the 21st Century has five smart ways to build intelligent brandwidth:

1. Develop a beneficial cobranding deal with a good partner
Someone who brings something of value to the table that you don’t have. Starbucks’s deal with United Airlines put Starbucks coffee on United flights worldwide and allowed both sides to achieve important brand objectives.

2. Reach out for a brand extension.
Time magazine had a very popular section in the back of the book that featured interesting people. A brand extension turned that section into People magazine. People magazine was a dazzling success — so much so that it launched its own brand extension: Teen People magazine.

3. Leap into new distribution channels.
Putting Starbucks on United flights cobranded the cup of coffee. Putting whole-bean and ground coffees into more than 30,000 grocery stores created a complementary channel for an existing product.

4. Jump into new product categories.
Think about Ralph Lauren’s line of paints, which are now sold in home-improvement stores. The company unearthed a new category and a new distribution channel. Martha Stewart started with a cookbook. Today, if I need garden clogs, I’ll buy them from her. Starbucks became the maker of the best-selling coffee ice cream in grocery stores around the nation in less than six months.

5. Create a new subbrand.
Nike is a big brand — but Air Jordan is a tremendously successful subbrand. Toyota is a big brand — but Lexus is such a successful subbrand that most car buyers don’t even think of it as the child of a parent company (which may be the best compliment you can pay any subbrand).

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