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Don’t Make the 'Worst' List
By: Janet Kalandranis
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No kid wants to be on the naughty list during the holidays, just like no brand should strive to be on any “worst” list. There’s just no future in the “worst” list. People and brands alike want more; they want the “best” lists. They want a future. They want success. Okay, that might be a bit dramatic, but understanding the reasons behind a “worst” list can give any brand a little insight. It’s not rocket science, it’s brand science. It’s how to extend a brand without making an industry mistake. That’s the difference between being on the “best” list and ending up on that “worst” list.

Many brands are successful enough to be able to extend beyond their current reach. The ability to create something new from something that’s already providing brand success: the infamous brand extension plan. Many times this new brand doesn’t make sense — hence the “worst” list — but many times that brand extension is happily welcomed by customers. But a brand must follow some steadfast rules in order be a best-in-class instead of a bottom-of-the-barrel.

According to John Parham, President of Parham/Santana, a brand extension agency, there’s no need to think too big or too far out from the current brand. It’s important that the extension is within reach, logical, and plays somewhat off what the brand already does really well. Let’s be honest; it would be a shame to completely disregard the current success of the brand. How about three simple pillars to understand if those board room ideas will actually work?
  1. The new brand should be a logical fit with the existing brand
  2. The parent brand should give the new extension an edge in its category
  3. The extension brand should be able to generate significant sales
The idea is that it’s an all-or-nothing set of pillars. A brand’s new extension can’t satisfy two out of three because in order to be successful all of these must be accounted for; it’s the difference between being on the “worst” list or proudly celebrating the top spot on the “best” list. Customers love a new idea from one of their brand favorites. Just make sure it follows the rules and gives them something to vote onto a “best” list.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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