I found this Snicker Shake image on my phone. I took this photo back in 2017 to keep it as a memory of yet one more failed line-extension.
It is quite amazing to see big brands falling for the line-extension trap. In The Only Book You Will Ever Need on Branding, we introduced a simple tool to check whether a brand extension makes sense. We called it the Flip Test.
If your brand and category are Snickers candy bars, and you want to see whether consumers could make the stretch and buy Snickers Shakes, then… flip it! Take an established brand in shakes, like Ripple, and extend it to your category of candy bars.
Then ask yourself… does this make sense? NO! So, in this case, the brand Snickers should not extend into Shakes.
Current: Red Bull energy drink
Extension: Red Bull Cola
Current: Pepsi cola drink
Extension: Pepsi energy drink
Does this make sense? No.
So Red Bull should not have extended into cola drinks.
Flip before you stretch your brand!