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!