“An adaptable company is one that captures more than its fair share of new opportunities. It’s always redefining its ‘core business’ in ways that open up new avenues for growth.” – Gary Hamel
The core aim of any business is to earn a profit, and this can only be achieved through continued success and growth. In today’s ever changing markets, it is important for companies to adapt and fill new upcoming segments to stay relevant.
The question is: how do you identify your new avenue for growth? The answer lies in three easy steps:
- Analyse all the growth strategies available.
- Investigate current and upcoming market trends.
- Pair the most feasible trend with your brand and relevant growth strategy.
DelVecchio (2000:457) suggests three extension strategies for growth. Line extensions is when a known brand introduces a new product that is similar to its other products. For example: Simba introducing new flavoured chips. The benefits are more options given to your customers, possible profit increase and increased brand recognition. However, should the extension fail, it could cause negative perceptions around the main brand.
Brand extensions involves the main brand introducing a new product in a different category. For example: Harley-Davidson selling clothes. This allows consumers to experience their preferred brand in a new offering and also reduces their perceived risk as they trust the main brand. Ultimately the brand can make profit in various departments. It is important for the extension to make sense though, as it can lead to brand confusion otherwise.
Concept extensions is an existing brand offering a new product in an irrelevant market. For example: Samsung smartphones and microwaves. Here the brand has the opportunity to serve various categories, but is in danger of causing brand confusion.
Lastly, co-branding is an alliance between two separate brands. For example: McDonald’s combining with Disney toys for their Happy Meals. When both brands are strong, it could increase their quality perceptions. It is important though that both brands gain benefit from the alliance.
Riezebos et al. (2003:234) suggest multi-brand strategies. Here you market various products under separate brand names, for example Unilever selling Lipton and Dove. The benefits include reducing competitor awareness, targeting different markets and market experimentation. The risk however is cannibalisation of your other brands.
Lastly, brands can follow endorsement strategies (Bhat et al., 1998:41). Here the corporate brand, such as Bakers, can give positive associations to its sub-brands, such as Romany Creams and Tennis biscuits. This strategy is cheap and makes introducing new brands easier through brand trust. There must, however, be a strong link between the endorser brand and the sub-brands.
What’s next for Old Khaki?
A brand on the rise and ripe for growth is Old Khaki. Old Khaki is a clothing brand founded in 1999. The brand sells men’s and women’s apparel that don’t define them, but reflect who they are. The focus is on durable, affordable and well-made apparel.
Already expanded into the online market, the question is what’s next?
Kissane (2016) exclaims children’s clothing. This market is on the rise showing more significant growth over the past five years than its men’s and women’s clothing counterparts. Furthermore is a shift in the market’s needs. Parents want their children to be on-trend and consequently splurge on trendy, adult imitating clothing. Therefore, if you are thinking future, what better way than to invest in those that represent the future themselves?
The growth strategy speaking to this upcoming trend is line extensions. Old Khaki’s strategy would be to extend their current apparel offering by introducing a new product line, namely kid’s clothing. By doing so, the brand offers their customer’s new options that can be extended to and beneficial for their whole family. It also provides Old Khaki the opportunity to increase their current profits by adding an extension that will meet new needs as well as new types of customers.
By tapping into this new line now, Old Khaki will be at the start of an upcoming market, opening their fields to even greater growth opportunities. Through their already strong brand name, customers will invest in the new offering as they trust the brand. This paves the way to a greater future where the brand will serve a segment that could possibly become just as big as their current customer base.
Some competitors already have a head-start such as Truworths acquiring and selling Naartjie and Earthchild in-store and Cotton On offering stand-alone Cotton on Kids stores.
The future is here and entails dressing the future generation in stylish clothing. A brand, such as Old Khaki, should see this rising market for the growth avenue it is and invest in this future through line extension. Dynamite comes in small packages and boy is this one ready to be lit up. Brace yourself. Be part of the boom!
Bhat, S., Kelley, G.E & O’Donnell, K.A. 1998. An investigation of consumer reactions to the use of different brand names. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 7(1):41-50.
DelVecchio, D. 2000. Moving beyond fit: The role of brand portfolio characters in consumer evaluations of brand reliability. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 9(7):457-471
Kissane, B. cited by Abnett, K. 2016. The Childrenswear market comes of age. Available: https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/intelligence/the-childrenswear-market-comes-of-age [2016, December 08].
Old Khaki. 2016. About Us. Available: https://www.oldkhaki.co.za/about-us/ [2016, December 08].
Riezebos, R., Kist, B. & Kootstra, G. 2003. Brand Management: A theoretical and practical approach. Essex: Pearson Education Limited.
Smith, C. 2015. Truworths aiming at one stop clothing emporium. Available: http://www.fin24.com/Companies/Retail/Truworths-aiming-at-one-stop-clothing-emporium-20150109 [2016, December 08].