As the fitness marketplace increasingly becomes more competitive, it’s important to ensure you are increasing your brand’s awareness in any way you can. Brand extensions (also known as spin-offs) are a great way to expand your footprint and gain access to new audiences. Finding relevant and appropriate extensions can be a powerful strategy to increase and leverage your existing brand equity and provide additional revenue streams.
There can also be significant risks in brand extensions, however, which may lead to dilution of the brand image. Having recently been part of an extension that was less than successful and, thankfully short-lived, I can attest that in many cases the risk can far outweigh the rewards.
This unsuccessful venture into brand extension drove me to start trying to identify more foolproof brand extensions. Were there areas that could be extended less dramatically, with less investment and diminished risk?
Your environment is the most obvious brand extension. Your space, and the elements that fill it, need to represent who you are. From sight to smell to sound, the customer should have each sense telling him or her about your brand. But it’s the people and their feelings about the space you created and the experience you provide that represents the real opportunity to extend your brand.
Your employees represent the largest brand extension opportunity you have — if you ensure they believe in what they do, are happy and personally participate in the brand experience.
The participation part of that list can be incredibly powerful, so give your employees branded apparel, invite them to take classes and provide them with free training sessions so that they are personally and positively impacted by the brand.
As we know, people’s personal networks can be huge, so the extension possibilities for your brand — with an army of employees that are true ambassadors — are endless.
Christina DeGuardi is the senior vice president of marketing, branding and communications for Crunch. For questions on marketing she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.