Brand extensions gone awry

Businessweek recently featured an incisive analysis of “brand extensions we could do without.” From Harley Davidson’s cake-decorating kits to Heinz Cleaning Vinegar, brands that “stretched” too far have crash landed for a strong reason – consumer dissonance.

In the travel and hospitality industry, an incongruous brand extension is harder to come by because of the high cost of failure. The perishable nature of the product and unpredictable nature of the industry makes marketers wary of adventurous forays. Ever consider why hotels don’t branch into restaurant chains (a natural fit) or airlines (imagine buying the hotel room + a ticket to get there from the same company). As the Businessweek article proves, it’s hard to convince customers that a restaurant chain can also fly!

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.

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