Managing Brand Extensions
Extension evaluations will depend on what kind of information comes to mind about the core brand in the extension context, whether this information is seen as suggestive of the type of product that the brand extension would be, and whether this information is viewed as good or bad in the extension context in comparison with competitors.
The salience or accessibility of the core brand associations depends on their strength in memory, as well as the retrieval cues provided by the extension context. Some associations may be salient when consumers evaluate some extensions but not others. The relevance of the salient core brand associations depends, in part, on their perceived similarity to the proposed extension product. When overall similarity is high, consumers are more likely to base their extension evaluations on their attitude toward the core brand
When multiple product extensions are associated with the brand, the congruence among their associations becomes an important determinant of the consistency and cohesiveness of the brand image. It is often argued that an extension can help the core brand image by improving the favourability and strength of associations and clarifying the business definition and core benefits for the brand.
It can be said that in some circumstances brand extensions can help to fortify the brand image.
It can also been argued that successful brand extensions may potentially harm the core brand image if they weaken existing associations in some way. If a brand becomes associated with a disparate set of products (goods and service)s, product category identification and the corresponding product associations may become less strong.
Dilution effects, with potentially adverse profit implications, may be especially likely when the existing associations for the core brand are already fairly weak.