At a time of stagnating markets, technological disruption, and rapid changes in consumer behavior, where can big brands find growth? One popular path is through brand extension: stretching a brand into an adjacent market where its value proposition is still relevant to consumers. Classic cases include Colgate’s sideways move from toothpaste to toothbrushes, Nivea’s from body care to hair care, and Gillette’s from razor blades to shaving foam.
However, some incumbents are taking this approach a step further by using their brand as a springboard to drive innovation in an entirely new market. Take the Weather Company, which owns the Weather Channel, as an example. It has used its deep weather-data assets to move beyond the TV business, extending successfully into new markets by supplying data and forecast models that help companies make better decisions. Analyzing its data, for example, the Weather Company has learned that insect repellent sells well in the spring in Dallas when there is a below-average dew point, but spring bug-spray sales in Boston do well when the dew point is above Average.
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