Brandspeak: Misguided Brand Extensions

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Brandspeak Joe Pantigoso

The following is a guest post by SAP senior director Joe Pantigoso.

As Gary Armstrong and Philip Kotler comment in their book Introduction to Marketing, “for every sensible and successful brand extension, there are puzzlers that leave you scratching your head and asking, ‘Huh? What were they thinking?’”

For some end-of-summer fun, here are some brand extensions that missed the mark, beginning with BIC women’s disposable underwear and hosiery:

BIC Touch hosiery

• Colgate Kitchen Entrées (1982) — The toothpaste brand’s frozen food line hoped to capture the growing US market for ready-to-eat meals.

Colgate Frozen Entree

Gerber Singles (1974) — The baby food maker tested single servings of mushy food for adults.

Gerber Singles

Frito-Lay Lemonade:

Frito-Lay Lemonade

Life Savers Soda: A 1980’s misfire that included Wild Watermelon, Blue Raspberry and Tropical Fruit flavors.

Life Savers Soda brand fail

• Zippo cologne — The Zippo for Men Eau De Toilette Refillable Spray is still available.

Zippo men's cologne

These examples underline the importance of knowing what your brand stands for so you can align business decisions, including line extensions, accordingly.


Joe Pantigoso is a Senior Director in Global Branding at SAP, a leading enterprise software company and top globally ranked brand. Read more from Joe in his series on Brand Tips for Branders.

Read more columns in our Brandspeak series.

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