What is Line Extension?
Line extension refers to an addition to the product line of a specific brand, usually in the same category.
How does line extension affect a brand?
In this article, Al Ries states that
“Line extension always weaken a brand but sometimes a brand is so strong it doesn’t matter.”
What is an example of line extension?
Ries cited a few examples, one of which is Apple. One of its latest line extensions is the HomePod. This is a smart speaker that was released early 2018.
Apple is a strong brand. Therefore, based on Reis’ analysis, it shouldn’t matter. The possibility of over-extension is non existent.
Image retrieved from Apple.com
What are the benefits and advantages of line extension?
Line extension may allow a brand reduce volatility, diversify risk and take advantage of its established reputation. Apple’s line extension in this case is no exception. The HomePod was designed to compete with Amazon Echo and Google Home. After its release, it capitalized on Apple’s strong reputation and consumer loyalty, because consumers would rather purchase a new product from a brand they’re already familiar with. Many Apple product enthusiast pre-ordered the HomePod before its release date. According to online reviews, it is efficient and all together a great product.
What are the cons of line extension?
One of the cons is the consumer’s trust is at stake. This line extension capitalized on Apple’s established reputation, so any issues with the product may impact consumer trust in the brand as a whole, which further dilutes the Halo effect, that is, consumers’ favorable bias towards Apple as a brand.
Another disadvantage with this specific line extension product is its exclusivity to Apple products, which further isolates non Apple users, instead of drawing them in. It is not the only smart speaker home system from a reputable brand in the market. Therefore, the chances of converting non Apple users to Apple users, specifically for the HomePod, is minimal.