Every organisation should have a goal to expand and grow their brand. If you’re in the process of developing a potential growth strategy or considering one for your brand, you might be familiar with some of the concepts and terminology used in this post. If, however you are completely new to these concepts or strategies, but understand the importance thereof, then I hope this post equips you with further insight which enables you to implement an effective strategy for your brand.

Some of the available growth strategies that we will discuss include extension, co-branding, multi-brands and endorsement strategies. Before an organisation considers any of the above mentioned strategies, they need to consider how it will impact their customer base and how they’ll respond towards it.

Before a brand can launch an extension strategy, it needs to take into careful consideration the role of the consumer and answer the following questions:

  • What does the consumer know and feel about the brand?
  • How will the brand extension add value to the consumer and the parent brand?

There are elements of risk involved with any NEW product purchase. A Brand’s responsibility is to eliminate as many of these risks as possible. The following three strategies looks at ways brands can mitigate this risk:

  • Line extensions
    Line extensions are used when an existing brand name can be extended to accommodate new forms, sizes, colours, ingredients or flavours of an existing product range. A perfect example of a line extension for the Body Shop brand would be to introduce a new sun protection lotion to their existing range of sun protection lotions. The difference is that the new product would include a bronzing element which gives the body a perfect bronze shimmer. This is a low-cost, low-risk way to introduce new products and to grow the brand. The advantages of using a line extension is that it creates more awareness for the brand and could potentially increase profits.
  • Brand extensions
    A brand extension strategy relies on an existing brand name, but combines it with a new product category. This gives the new product instant recognition and faster acceptance – an example of a brand extension strategy for The Body Shop brand would be to launch a range of bathrobes, sleep- and beach-wear. This type of strategy can also save substantial advertising costs for the organisation as it would market the new product range under the existing brand name.

The risk on the other hand is that the extension may confuse the image of the main brand as the brand is not a fashion retailer. When introducing their organic range of apparel they should stay as true to the parent brand as possible. Staying true to their business values and objectives of sourcing organic, chemical free products their range of apparel should be made of 100% silk, hemp and cotton.

  • Concept extensions
    A concept extension refers to the extension of a brand to a variety of different product types that aren’t related to the main parent product. An example would be if the Body Shop decides to produce ergonomically designed furniture for instance. Now their brand would be associated with “beauty products” & furniture. The making of these two products requires two different types of production processes. Therefore, concept extensions are often done through licensing agreements.

A co-brand is an alliance involving two brands from different organisations that engage in effective, strategic or tactical brand-building programmes (Simonin & Ruth, 1998:30). An example would be if The Body Shop partnered up with a brand like Faithful to nature in order to bring about aware.

A multi-brand strategy involves the marketing & management of many different brands in a given product category. A really great example is Unilever as they have a multitude of brands in similar and or different categories all under one corporate brand. The Body Shop has a variety of product categories but they market and manage most of their products under “The Body Shop” brand. For them to consider a multi-brand strategy they could acquire or develop new brands under their corporate brand. The table below takes a look at the advantages & disadvantages of applying a multi-brand strategy to your brand.

This strategy can assist brands to gain faster acceptance from consumers. Endorsed brands are boosted when they’re launched due to the associated qualities thereof. If the Body Shop signed Joanne Strauss as their brand ambassador the first association would be that she prefers using their product range. The second might be that the product makes your skin as flawless as hers. Reason why this strategy is effective is that people want to know that they are purchasing high quality products and secondly its generally cheaper to implement than other brand growth strategies.

Brand growth strategies are highly dependent on the makeup of a brand’s portfolio. If a company has more than one brand in its portfolio, then it is likely that the two brands will need to be managed cohesively. When a brand is unable to be extended into a new product category using its existing brand name, then a new brand growth strategy is required.

The extent of a brands portfolio determines the type of growth strategy that needs to be applied. For companies with more than one brand in its portfolio it needs to manage both brands cohesively. Brands who understand their core values and what makes them unique have a better change of offering the same products in new markets or new products in the same markets.




Simonin, L.B & Ruth, J.A. 1998. Is a company known by the company it keeps? Assessing the spillover effects of brand alliances on consumer brand attitudes. Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 35, February: pp.30-42.

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