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:
• Colgate Kitchen Entrées (1982) — The toothpaste brand’s frozen food line hoped to capture the growing US market for ready-to-eat meals.
• Gerber Singles (1974) — The baby food maker tested single servings of mushy food for adults.
• Frito-Lay Lemonade:
• Life Savers Soda: A 1980’s misfire that included Wild Watermelon, Blue Raspberry and Tropical Fruit flavors.
• Zippo cologne — The Zippo for Men Eau De Toilette Refillable Spray is still available.
These examples underline the importance of knowing what your brand stands for so you can align business decisions, including line extensions, accordingly.