May 12, 2009

$6 Million Man Touts $200 Hearing Aid

Leemajors The Web site says it all: “The Lee Majors Rechargeable Bionic Hearing Aid combines digital hearing aid technology with the ultra convenience of a rechargeable battery, so you can enjoy noticeable, digital quality hearing improvement without the hassles of traditional battery-operated hearing aids.”

The hearing aid is available for a one-month trial for $14.95; if you choose to keep it, it’s yours for an additional “three easy payments” of $66.65 (plus $7.95 shipping and handling).

A good or bad brand extension? On the one hand, it is an appropriate use of the word “bionic” (enhancing biological functions through technology); on the other, the device had better give bat-like hearing to humans to merit the moniker of Lee Majors. For the official site, click here.

March 16, 2009

The German Touch

Obamafingers While American hucksters wasted no time in cranking out the Obama T-shirts and memorabilia, it took a German company to come up with the questionable idea of marketing Obama-branded fried chicken.

German newsweekly Der Spiegel reports that frozen-foods firm Sprehe wanted to ride the wave of Obama-mania and nothing could appear more natural than chicken fingers (with curry sauce, by the way).

The magazine quotes the firm’s marketing manager, Judith Witting, who remarked that, “It was supposed to be an homage to the American lifestyle and the new US president.” When asked by the magazine whether they might be playing off traditional racial stereotypes, Ms. Witting remarked that the thought had never occurred to her. More here.

January 07, 2009

Hard Rock Theme Park Shuttered

Hardrock The Hard Rock theme park lived an intense, all-too-brief existence like one of its idols. It opened in Myrtle Beach this year, only to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy by year-end. Hard Rock International was apparently guaranteed an annual minimum of $2.5 million for its name; the park covered 55 acres and was built for $400 million. More coverage here. Visit the theme park’s site, while it lasts, at www.hardrockpark.com.

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Burgerkingcologne Burger King men’s apparel was one of the extensions which raised eyebrows in TippingSprung’s fifth-annual survey. Just after the survey results were released, another questionable Burger King extension made headlines, in case you missed it: Burger King cologne (titled "Flame"). The $3.99 stocking-stuffer, available over the holidays exclusively in New York City at novelty shop Ricky’s, sold out in the first three days. More here.

December 28, 2008

The Results Are In...

2008survey What do Burger King underwear, Kellogg's hip-hop street wear and Allstate Green insurance have in common? They all were voted among the worst brand extensions of 2008. Earlier this month, TippingSprung polled 689 Brandweek readers and other marketing professionals, online, about this year's flurry of brand extensions. Among others voted thumbs-down: Coca-Cola's RPet clothing at Wal-Mart, Playboy energy drink and Disney Sleeping Beauty executive fountain pens priced at up to $1,200, particularly ill-timed in this economy.

Accentuating the positive, Campbell's V8 Soup was selected the top beverage extension. Nearly 77 percent of marketers said it was a good idea. Coppertone sunglasses and Mr. Clean performance car washes were named the best brand extensions, according to 31.2 percent and 25.7 percent of respondents, respectively.

For Ken Hein’s full coverage in Brandweek, click here. To receive a full survey report (available in the first half of January 2009), email us.

This is TippingSprung's fifth annual brand-extension survey conducted with Brandweek. Past winners include Iams pet health insurance and Huggies Little Swimmers sunscreen; past losers include Precious Moments coffins, Hooters airlines, Cheetos lip balm and Salvador Dalí deodorant (yes, these are/were all real products). Feel free to write us for past results as well.

November 23, 2008

Participate in Brandweek/TippingSprung's 2008 Brand Extension Survey

Extension_survey_header_small_3Brand extensions seem to be everywhere these days - footwear from Harley-Davidson, a baby stroller from Jeep and, yes, even the kitchen sink from Jacuzzi.

But which ones are smart, well-developed ideas and which ones are just taking up space?

TippingSprung, a branding consultancy based in New York City, in collaboration with Brandweek, the newsweekly of marketing, invites you to participate in our fifth annual survey to rank this year's top brand extensions.

We're sending this confidential survey to you as a branding professional and thought leader. It should only take five or 10 minutes of your time to complete - if you do, we'll send you a set of complete results, and include you in a drawing for some attractive promotional items from Brandweek.

Click here to take the survey. Please respond by December 2, 2008.

February 01, 2008

Precious Moments Caskets?!

The results are in for the fourth-annual TippingSprung brand-extension survey.

  • PetSmart PetsHotel was named best overall brand extension with 34.3% of the vote. Huggies Sunscreen came in a close second with 29.0%, followed by Disney Wedding Gowns.
  • The ASPCA Collection of pet travel and safety products was named best nonprofit extension, edging out the Smithsonian Home Collection.
  • Preciousmoments_2

  • Worst brand extension, for the extension that seems least to fit with the brand’s core values, was won by Precious Moments urns and caskets (33.9% of respondents). The Humane Society Dog Lovers Wine Club came in a close second with 28.4% of the votes.

Top-rated brand extensions in past years include Iams pet health insurance and American Red Cross emergency radios. Prior “worst” extensions went to Hooters Air airlines and Cheetos lip balm.

Complete survey reports are available upon request. We’d also love to receive ideas for brand extensions that you think merit consideration for next year’s survey. Email us here. For Brandweek coverage, click here.

About This Blog

Brand extensions are all around us — clothing from the Sierra Club, furniture polish from Steinway and, yes, even the kitchen sink from Jacuzzi. TippingSprung, a New York-based brand-extension consultancy, publishes an annual survey on brand extensions with Brandweek. If you spot a noteworthy extension for the blog or survey, email us.



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