Harley Davidson stars in extension chamber of horrors

Came across an absolute train crash of a brand extension on the brand express blog, who had brought to my attention a survey of best and worst brand extensions. This was done by the strange sounding US-consultancy Tipping Sprung (sounds like a bed repair company), who got 400 or so marketing execs to vote.

Top of the list of extension horrors was one that has to be up there with the worst of all time: the Harley Davidson Cake decorating kit. Yup, that’s right. The hard-core, hairy biker brand for rebels stretching into cake decoration. My guess and hope is that this bit of brand vandalism is done by pirates who didn’t have approval from the brand owner. Although they have launched the odd official extension that is also suspect, such as Destiny perfume for women.

Best overall extension was Iam’s pet insurance, which sounds OK? Taking equity in pet-care, and using it to stretch into a new market where these attributes add value.

Stefan has gone to the trouble of finding the weblinks to the key extension losers and winners here. And if you want to download the full document, click on the link below. And feel free to comment on whether you agree or not with the winners and losers.

Download BrandExtensions.pdf