Many of the decisions you will make when launching an extension revolve around your parent brand (your main brewery’s name, identity and story).
Does this new extension carry the same values and promises as your brewery’s parent brand? Does it mesh comfortably with the same activity or occasion as your parent brand? Does it speak to the same people as your parent brand?
Protecting the Parent Brand
When we make Brand Architecture decisions, we’re most concerned with protecting your parent brand’s equity. How will this extension add value to, or detract from, the parent? How can you protect your reputation and positioning? To what degree should the parent brand be present on this new beverage? How can your parent brand give credibility to the extension? How many categories can you credibly expand into?
Other questions we’re working to resolve through this process can include:
- How far can we extend this brand without losing its core meaning and relevance?
- Can your parent brand credibly enter this new space?
- How can you safely grow your overall portfolio?
Without a strong parent brand, you have nothing to extend. No equity. No goodwill. No reputation. No secret sauce. Nothing.
Your parent brand is likely your biggest source of revenue. It’s what brought you to the dance, so you need to be careful that you don’t damage it when launching new products. To put a fine point on this, when launching a new extension, you have to always consider how it impacts your parent brand and positioning.
It is our job as brand builders to determine to what degree the parent brand comes through on new products, whether or not this is strategically-sound, and what approach will give you the best chance for success.
Your Parent Brand as a “Purchasing Driver”
A purchasing driver is the primary reason someone buys a product. Your parent brand and new product brand can both play this role depending on how you position the relationship.
An important question here: are people buying this product because it is explicitly from your brewery? In this case, your parent brand is the primary purchasing driver.
Or, is someone buying this new product because of its own specific style or brand (and the fact that it’s produced by your brewery is either a nice bonus or doesn’t factor into the decision at all). In this case, your new brand is the main purchasing driver.
We will explore how the parent brand and subsequent extensions can shift positions from purchasing driver to supporting role (to being removed from the equation entirely) when launching new products through the remainder of this book.
Now that we’ve discussed Brand Architecture and the importance of your parent brand, let’s zoom out and look at the Beverage Brand Architecture Continuum to get a broad view at the various approaches you can use for launching an extension and scaling your business.