Think we’re about to talk about compliments? You know, those nice things people say about you and your brand? Nope. This complement is not only spelt differently, it has a whole different meaning.

brand-buildingWhen something complements your brand, it supports it, it harmonises with it, it improves it, and it helps to create a mutually beneficial relationship with it. In some cases, another brand will complement your brand—like Oreos and California milk, Jif peanut butter and Smucker’s jelly, Barilla pasta and Ragu, Redbox movies and Jolly Time popcorn, or Corona and Florida limes. These are advantageous relationships; however, imagine if your business provided both sides of that agreement? If you sold both the original product AND the complementary product or service?

Today, we’re talking about how you can make that happen.

Complementary Products, Created and Offered by YOUR Brand

Your brand was born of one product that solved one big problem. You built your business on and around that product. Now, you’ve landed yourself in a situation where growth is the next logical step, and you’re wondering in which way(s) your brand should expand.

You might explore the option of creating an entirely new product, exploring new markets for your existing product, creating new uses for that product, or finding out if your target audience can be expanded.

All of these are viable options; however, there’s something I don’t want you to overlook:

You can create a new product or service to accompany your original product. This new offering might expand on the original’s capabilities, or usher it into a new market, or make it more appealing to an entirely new segment. Here are some examples:

  • Repurpose/Reuse: If your product comes in a container, for example, make it so that it can be refilled or reused, and provide instructions for doing that. This will appeal to your audience if they are eco-conscious; they will be more likely to buy from you. It can end here, or you can take it farther by selling what they need to reuse or refill it. Refills can come in different scents, colours, flavours…or just be sold at a discount because you don’t have to provide the original packaging. This follows the classic razor/blades sales model (in which the razor itself is just a housing for the real money-makers, the blades).
  • Offer a Smaller Size: The beauty and snack food industries are good examples of how well this can work. Consider reducing your regular-sized products to travel sizes, sample sizes, snack sizes…whatever you think will encourage your ideal customers to take your product out of their homes and on holiday, to work and school. This not only solves their problems in a more convenient way, you get the social proof your brand needs when people see your customers using your product in any number of away-from-home situations.
  • Solve a Tandem Problem: After you solve a customer’s original problem, you may find that they experience other subsequent problems. For example, if you help them to lose weight, they may need help with designing a new wardrobe. If you help them to save money, they may need investment advice. And if you provide arrangements for parents’ nights out, they may need babysitters. These are just a few examples of how you can swoop in and solve the problems created by your own problem solving, and how you can create a profit whilst doing so.
  • Improve Comfort Levels: Often, when we sell our products and services to new customers, there are some fears they will have to overcome. Maybe your customers have been struggling with public speaking, and so you’ll not only offer training, but supply them with the professional-grade products (high-end sound equipment or fashion consulting, for example) they’ll need to feel more confident in their endeavours.

These are just a few examples of how you can complement your main product(s) with other products and services. As you can see, you’re creating the same mutually beneficial relationships that you would with other brand pairings, except your brand gets all the benefit. You’ll expand your expert reputation and create a product/service family that attracts a broader range of ideal customers.

Do you have some ideas for complementary product branding that you’d like to bounce off other smart, motivated business owners? The perfect place to do that is in the Brand Builders Club, where freedom-focussed, purpose-driven entrepreneurs gather to network, share opinions, learn, absorb expert advice and participate in monthly 90-minute mastermind sessions. Are you ready to give it a try? Simply click here to learn more.

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