Brand Extension 101

Over the years of growing our restaurant consulting business, we’ve learned a thing or two about not resting on our laurels. From branding and rebranding to product launches and line extensions, we’ve concentrated on creating successful brand development concepts and launching new products for our clients that leverage (and stay true) to their brand.

For example, we spearheaded the successful two-fold extension of the Founding Farmers farmer-owned, scratch-made concept through:

  1. The publication of The Founding Farmers Cookbook: 100 Recipes for True Food and Drink From the Restaurant Owned by American Family Farmers; a collection of farmhouse favorite recipes from the restaurant.
  2. And building upon their award-winning, craft cocktail bar programs with the launch of proprietary spirits and wine.

What brand extension guiding principles do we put into play?

Know the Brand/Concept. A strong foundation is the start. A great brand with potential for extension success is comprised of an authentic and solid message, and a convincing and compelling story; all wrapped inside a clear concept identity/image/logo and branding so that the next product or service to be added can be packaged and sold.

Determination. We can tell when a client is hungry for more and has the capacity to take on a project for brand extension. A fierce determination to make the concept not only work, but grow feeds our creativity, which is essential to generating a full-scale, realistic go-forward plan using the brand concept as our model.

Foresight. We make it clear to our clients that a brand extension is more than just creating a product to sell – it’s an investment in the future longevity of the concept. It is important to emphasize: success comes from comprehensive knowledge of the brand message, while staying true to the experience or product offered, and having the foresight to see past the first product.

Finding Your Niche. Is there a market for your brand extension? What feedback are you getting from guests about your concept and the messaging behind it? Are they interested in one specific aspect of your business? If the answers to these questions are clear and positive, then you’ve found your product niche. Although concepts will evolve, the basic principles of the brand will ultimately stand the test of time as long as they connect back to what brought guests to you in the first place.

Marketing & Media Strategy. Since much of marketing and guest/customer outreach and communication today occurs online and through social media, it is vital to utilize these platforms as part of your marketing and promotional strategy for whatever new feature you’re sharing. As the strong story behind your brand attracted and engaged over time, the more guests and consumers identify with your brand message means the more successful your marketing campaign strategy will be.

Farm Gin label on bottle

*photo courtesy: Founding Farmers: Farm Gin