Brand identity work isn’t always about creating new brand identity strategies. Oftentimes, it’s about determining how far an existing brand identity can stretch – deciding if there’s room to include a new product or if a fresh brand identity strategy needs to be developed.

Every case is unique. That’s why each one needs to be studied for past brand performance, current brand perceptions, and prospective new product performance expectations. In short, a decision needs to be made: Can a new product fit under the wing of the existing brand identity strategy, or is it best to send that product out into the world with its own, unique brand identity?

Determining if a New Brand Identity Strategy is in Order

Our branding experts bring many years of experience to the brand identity strategy process, but there are questions you can ask yourself (as the proprietor of an established brand identity), in order to determine if adding a new product to your current brand identity strategy holds the possibility of success:

  1. Does your current brand enjoy a positive image, a solid reputation, and healthy public brand awareness? If your current brand identity is still in a fledgling phase, there may be no brand awareness benefit for your new product, meaning that you should either wait until your existing brand identity is better established or devise an entirely different brand identity for the new product(s).
  2. Does it fit into your current brand identity strategy? If your current brand identity is well-established and brand awareness is high, revisit your brand’s values and image (which you should be doing regularly anyway) and ask yourself if the new product adheres to those values and fits well into the image. If not, you may want to consider creating a new brand identity for the new product. Remember that this process isn’t only about how the new product can benefit from the existing one(s); it’s about how the new product will affect the existing ones. If the new product doesn’t fit, if its quality is lower than your company’s values demand, or if consumers will have questions about why a company like yours would move to a product like ‘that,’ then a separate brand strategy may be in order.

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  1. Is the addition consumer-centric? If your two favourite things are coffee and antique automobiles, that doesn’t mean they should both be marketed under one branding umbrella. Some pairings make sense – like coffee and news or gardening and patio furniture – but other pairings can negatively affect the entire brand identity.
  2. Are you thinking with a marketing a branding focus? It might make great marketing sense to sell whole, organic, hormone-free milk under your all-natural breakfast cereal brand, but does that milk idea adhere to the values you’ve established for your cereal? If yes, your milk sales could benefit. If not, both milk sales and cereal sales may suffer.

Every brand identity strategy case is unique, but we like to reference the way in which Arm & Hammer added products to its brand identity. They started with baking soda, which is known for its cleaning and deodorizing abilities. From there, they’ve only added products that either clean, deodorise, or do both – and that contain that well-known and trusted baking soda. Deodorant, kitty litter, laundry detergent, and toothpaste are a few examples of where the company has gone under the umbrella of one brand identity.

Not sure if your new product can be supported by your current brand identity strategy? Contact How to Build a Brand on [email protected] and we’ll help you to decide. You may also wish to subscribe to Brand Brain Monthly or get your daily branding tips by liking our Facebook page.

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