Expanding a product line, and risks they pose

Expanding a product line.

(1) If McDonald’s had been relatively unknown to French diners when the company entered that market in 1972, would it have made more sense to use a different and more “French-sounding” brand name? Why or why not? (2) Would a consumer-products manufacturer ever want to create more product extensions and variations than it could explain in terms of pure market appeal? Why or why not?

(1) Citing specific examples, how has branding helped you as a consumer? Think about the assurance you have buying a known and trusted brand, for example. (2) Think about some of the consumer products you buy frequently, such as cereal, painkillers, or snack foods. Do you appreciate the range of choices available to you when you shop for these items, or do you wish that companies would narrow the options to a handful in each category? Why?

A product line can be expanded by filling gaps in the market, extending the line to include new varieties of existing products, extending the brand to new product categories, and stretching the line to include lower- or higher-priced items. Two of the biggest risks with product-line extensions are losing brand identity and coherence (weakening of the brand’s meaning) and cannibalizing of sales of other products in the product line

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