What is PRODUCT LINE EXTENSION? What does PRODUCT LINE EXTENSION mean? PRODUCT LINE EXTENSION meaning - PRODUCT LINE EXTENSION definition - PRODUCT LINE EXTENSION explanation.
Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
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A product line extension is the use of an established product brand name for a new item in the same product category.
Line Extensions occur when a company introduces additional items in the same product category under the same brand name such as new flavors, forms, colors, added ingredients, package sizes. This is as opposed to brand extension which is a new product in a totally different product category. Line extension occurs when the company lengthens its product line beyond its current range. The company can extend its product line down-market stretch, up-market stretch, or both ways.
Product line extensions are a process where companies with an established brand alter the factors of a product or products to satisfy a refined segment in the market. There are two types of product line extensions, horizontal and vertical. Horizontal extensions consist of keeping the price and quality consistent, but changing factors like flavour or colour to differentiate the products. Vertical extensions consist of increasing and decreasing the quality and price to create inferior and luxury goods. These product line extensions are often closely related to existing products in a brands portfolio, but targets specific brand consumers through this approach.
Product line extensions help companies identify and tend to the needs of refined target markets. This approach is a way to try and increase company sales, as well as expanding their brands product portfolio within the desired market. This expansion of a company’s product line also increases their competitive impact, and if applied appropriately, their advantage within the intended market.
Practically, when brands apply a product extension strategy they can often benefit from the new addition or additions. This is as extending their product line enlarges their product portfolio and as a result provides the consumers with more variety to choose from. This is positive, as consumers tend to enjoy being able to have choice and through expanding a brands product line, the brand is providing this choice.
Investing in this approach is commonly pursued by companies due to their desire to create revenue and to advance their competitive status against rival companies. The advantages when undergoing product line extensions is that the new product or products are commonly closely related to existing products, so the company often has the appropriate production process and capacity to produce the new product or products.
Issues facing product line extensions can include company’s investments in the new products without the desired return. The product may come at a loss or may not be able to make enough of the return the company was forecasting for. The new addition could also send confusion to the company’s customer base, and in turn negatively affect the loyalty they have for the brand. This can evidently become a long-term risk in terms of brand image, as consumers may have a new view of the brand as cheap, in the case of downward extension, or unrealistic and unreasonable in terms of upward extension. An issue also connected to the extensions, could result in the production process becoming more and more complicated as a result of new products, this could affect the company’s efficiency and quality in the production of the brands product range.
An advantage of extending company product lines is the likely rise in sales, demand and market share. Product line extension increases the amount of different products available to consumers, and through adding more products into the market it keeps consumers interested. This can be helpful in avoiding customer base loss.