Will brand extension kill the ThinkPad?
Even though this blog is about software revenue acceleration, we'll use hardware as an example to discuss the effects of brand extensions.
The literature is full of warnings against extending a successful brand, for example Coke into New Coke, Classic Coke, Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, etc. - the risk being that the brand will represent so many things that it loses its original positioning and becomes more or less meaningless.
In an article on CNN Money Cyrus Sanati argues that the Think brand is best kept under the same roof as the rest of the Lenovo line. Because if it becomes autonomous, it will have a great incentive to try to cover a broader market. Which will water down its own positioning as THE brand for the Excel- and Powerpoint-toting MBA's of the world.
In my view, it would also water down whatever brand value Lenovo might have built up in the consumer segment for its namesake brand of PC's. Anyway, the article is well worth reading, I THINK.