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Thinking inside the brand: Brand extensions that work

Posted by: Helen Gould on Tuesday, April 20 2010 09:37 AM

Brand extensions always delight me. It shows that somewhere, someone is actively thinking about what the core of the brand stands for, and how it can be transmogrified. The results aren’t always what you’d want to buy, but at least someone’s trying.
Two brand extensions recently caught my eye:

Hot Tamales gum.
Like the candies, the gum is red, cylindrical, chewy, and has a hot cinnamon burst that tingles the tongue. The flavor lasts two to three minutes–gum designed to be consumed serially.
Maybe this new form is really Hot Tamales Lite. All the taste and texture with one-third the calories. (Surprised the gum is sugar-free? So was I.)

The gum doesn’t budge the brand—it basically reinforces the chewy cinnamon candy profile—but it does give us a less caloric cinnamon treat to enjoy at the movies. Sometimes the best ideas are in your own back yard.

OXO Good Grips retractable ballpoint pen.
OXO and Staples really nailed the co-branded packaging. The genius is the window that lets you feel the matte pen barrel. The cool factor is upped by the clip that retracts as the pen point extends.
To the question, “How does it write?” I say, “Did you feel the pen?” Like other OXO products, it’s above average quality, but not top of the line. The pen is part of a fairly extensive co-branded line of office supplies, from staplers to push pins.


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