Tango shower gel: one for the extension graveyard?

Tango shower gel is likely to end up in the already over-crowded brand extension graveyard, if you ask me. The fizzy soft drink brand has signed a licensing deal to produce a line of shower gels based on Tango flavours: orange, apple, cherry and lemon, according to reports here

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Here's why Tango shower gels are likely to lack fizz when it comes to sales.

1. Lack of added value

There are plenty of good shower gels on the market today. And Tango lacks much added value versus these existing offers. There is little in the way of any product "sausage" to offer functional benefits versus existing shower gels like Radox and Original Source. Indeed, it sounds like Tango shower gel is relying on emotional "sizzle". Richard Shonn, managing director of 151 Products who will make the Tango shower gel is quoted as saying it will be "an irreverent brand with a cheeky personality". Well, this sounds like a me-too version of Lynx/Axe shower gel who does this much better.

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I call this sort of extension a "brand ego trip", where the brand mistakenly and rather arrogantly believes that slapping its name on a mediocre product will win people over. 

The only thing Tango shower gel really has going for it is that its dirt cheap. A 400ml pack will sell for £1.49, versus £2.49 for 250ml of Lynx shower gel. That's around 1/3 the price per ml. But then if what you are after is a really cheap shower gel, you can buy own label.

2. Lack of capability

There is a bigger issue that the lack of added value in Tango shower gel, to do with the "ability to win". Tango shower gel is up against the likes of Unilever, for whom shower gel is a core business. Tango shower gel will lack economies of scale, category management expertise, route to market expertise and shelf presence. And from the website of 151 products, it doesn't look like they have much expertise in shower gel R&D. The company website says: "Our range covers a diverse number of categories, from DIY to Pet; Automotive to Arts and Crafts; First Aid to Gardening." Mmmm. 

3. Lack of leadership

The final issue with Tango shower gel is that the mother brand is not that strong. Tango is a sorry tale of a once strong brand that lost its way, being overtaken by Fanta, as I posted on here. I think Shonn of 151 products may be over selling the brand equity in Tango when he says the shower gel, "will hopefully resonate with consumers and build strong brand association with the product based on previous purchasing power and customer loyalty."

In conclusion, this is an example of where brand licening leads to lazy brand management. Britvic probably think that they can make a bit of cash from 151 products, and get some free PR for the brand. But it leads to the shelves being filled with products we don't need, adding complexity and not adding value.

We'll check by in a year to see if its still alive, or lying next to Bic Perfume, Colgate Ready Meals and Levi's suits in the extension graveyard.