Product Line Extension- 5 Things to Consider
Customer demand fluctuates with every passing trend, sometimes resulting in unexpected stockouts. In these scenarios, brands often consider the option of expanding their product lines to drive sales further and capitalize on the item's momentum.
A product line extension can optimize brand exposure by providing variants to fulfill different customer preferences.
Product Line Extension versus Brand Extension
Although they sound very similar, line and brand extension are two very different things.
Product line extensions involve adding new product variances, such as flavors, colors, ingredients, models, or packages, to a brand. This means that the original product had enough market value and customer interest to justify adding more models to the line, presenting a relatively low risk.
On the other hand, a brand extension involves venturing into completely different product categories. This gives firms the chance to engage completely new customer demographics and penetrate new markets. While the company still retains its reputation from the parent brand, there is a much bigger risk involved in brand extension, as it faces competitors who have already established a customer base.
5 Things to Consider for Product Line Extension
Brands debating whether or not to extend their product lines should first consider-
Actively Monitor the Progress of Existing Product Lines
Before crafting an extension strategy, businesses must monitor how existing products are performing in the market. Firms should specifically keep an eye on-
- Market growth
- Return on investment (ROI)
- Market share
- Competitors'' products
Companies should also assess the product's momentum to determine if it is in a downward or upward swing. Ideally, goods should be gaining a steady momentum to justify an extension.
After evaluating the market performance and current demand, brands can determine if it is the appropriate time for a product line extension.
Generate Customer Feedback
Gathering customer feedback allows businesses to accurately gauge what consumers really think of a product. Brands can monitor online reviews or launch customized surveys that ask buyers about their product preferences and suggested alterations.
By carefully crafting a questionnaire, brands can pinpoint what type of product variations would have the highest demand. They can also find what initially attracted shoppers to the original item to enhance their marketing techniques.
Without insight into customer feedback and preferences, companies remain unaware of how they can improve their extension launch, marketing strategies, and product development.
To ensure that there is enough market demand for a product, brands need to assess competitors that offer similar items and line extensions. Companies should take note of their-
- Unique product features
- Different variants
- Variant range
- Popular models
After running a detailed competitive analysis, companies can determine what to include in their product line extension.
Evaluate Finances and Available Resources
While market research is essential, businesses must also study their own performance.
First, companies should assess their finances to determine if there are enough funds to launch a line extension. If so, there must also be sufficient available resources for strategizing, manufacturing, and distribution. Firms will need experts in marketing, product development, and logistics to develop a thorough plan of action.
Consider Product Exclusivity
If exclusivity is a primary factor in a product's success, businesses should think twice before launching a line extension.
Product line extension should be used to meet overwhelming customer demand, not to stay relevant and competitive. Therefore, companies should consider how expanding a product would affect its appeal and the customers' perception.
Pros and Cons of Product Lines Extensions
Before launching a product line extension, management should review the possible positive and negative outcomes-
- When a business develops a product line extension strategy, it can attract the same target audiences who purchase items from similar categories. By providing more variances of popular products, companies can improve customer satisfaction and service.
- Extending a product line allows retailers to also extend their shelf space in stores. This can significantly increase their market share and brand exposure.
- Building off an established product line ensures that there is already a consumer base for the item, reducing the risk of wasted marketing and promotional expenses.
- Offering product variances gives businesses a competitive edge as they are able to provide customers with several options, including different sizes, flavors, features, and prices.
- Product line extensions enable companies to target smaller segments of customers who prefer specific product variances.
- If a business does not carefully research their market to ensure there is a consumer base for the item, investing in a line extension can result in wasted profits and poor brand perception.
- Overstating product extensions can lead to high marketing costs, increasing the company's overhead expenses.
- If customers do not receive the product extension well, it can negatively impact retention, satisfaction, and the original product's value.
- Sometimes the allure of a product is that it is one of a kind. Therefore, adding product variances may tarnish the brand's value.
- Even if there is a market for a specific product line, if competitors' extensions are more thorough and have a better range, businesses may experience a drop in sales.
When planned and executed correctly, a product line extension can attract new customers, generate more sales, and increase brand exposure.