“Distribution-led” brand extension

A new format of innocent smoothies I snapped whilst shopping got me thinking about the role of core brand extension. The bottle is slightly smaller than normal, and sold at a lower price point. This allows it to be included in "Meal Deal" promotions, where you can buy a sandwich, snack and drink for £3.

Up to now, I've seen two main reasons for extending your core, through formats or product versions, as I posted on here in an extract from the new Grow the Core book. First, they can drive penetration by widening the brand’s appeal to more people, on more occasions. Second, they can deliver ‘premiumisation’, by charging a higher price for new benefits, driving not only volume share but also value share. 

But the new innocent bottle shows an extra possible benefit of core extension, which is driving distribution. It's "distribution-led" brand extension, if you like. Here's a few advantages of this approach.

1. Drive penetration

innocent's new meal deal pack increases shelf presence by securing an extra couple of facings on shelf, in addition to the normal sized pack. By increasing shelf presence, and being part of a meal deal promotion, this should help innocent drive penetration.

2. Solving a consumer problem

The new format solves a consumer problem, by increasing the choice of drinks to have with your meal deal. An innocent smoothie is a healthier option than a soft drink, but until now was too expensive.

3. Solving a retailer problem

The new innocent format also helps the retailer in question, Sainsbury's, by making their meal deal promotion healthier. One of Sainsbury's commitments is to make shopping baskets healthier, and this little innocent bottle is a little step in the right direction. The innocent team have been smart by also doing shelf-ready packaging that flags up the meal deal format.

4. Growing the core

I posted last week on how core extension can distract attention from the core, in a story about Carr's water biscuits taking shelf-space from the original version to offer new flavours. The nice thing here is that innocent's meal deal pack is a new format of their "anchor" strawberry and banana smoothie.

In conclusion, the next time you work on extending your core range, perhaps think about how to use this to drive distribution not just add variety.