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Hello Kitty Beer? Brand Extension – A Smart Move or Foolish Decision?

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Hello Kitty Beer Japan – Branding in Asia

About three years ago, my family was out shopping for a washing machine at one of the largest electronic goods stores in Singapore. Top-of-mind brands for us include Whirlpool, LG, Panasonic and Maytag (we were initially considering Whirlpool), and as we were browsing, we were really surprised to see many Samsung-branded washing machines displayed brightly and prominently in the showroom.

When we asked the sales manager about it, he did not hesitate to recommend the sleek looking Samsung washing machine and confidently remarked that the Korean powerhouse brand is very innovative and we can expect the same quality standards similar to their phones and TVs.

Well, we were quickly sold (we own Samsung phones) and the washing machine now sits snugly in our home.

Later, it got me thinking that Samsung had made such a smart move in brand extension into home appliances. However, today with last year’s news that Samsung is recalling 2.8m washing machines in U.S. after top-load models ‘exploded’, is this brand extension really that smart after all or is it a foolish decision to spread your name across multiple product categories?

What Is Brand Extension?

Brand extension is taking current brand name associated with a product and applying to new product categories. This new category to which the brand is extended can be related or unrelated to the brand’s existing product categories. One example of a related category would be McDonald’s extending to McCafe (both related to F&B). An unrelated category…

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