Brand extension occurs when a company intentionally takes a well known brand and applies it to another product category. Companies extend their brands quite regularly.The objective is to take advantage of the awareness of the brand, reach new audiences, and ultimately make more money.
For example, Arm and Hammer moved from Baking Soda into Dental Hygiene products. They utilized their association with cleanliness and fighting germs and odor and found a space in a new market (though their competitors are aggressively fighting back).
I believe the reason for this success is that there is overlap in the market segments of people who like Lego and those who like Star Wars. i.e. mostly male, but with an age range skewed much higher than the typical target audience for Lego.
Those of us who grew up playing with Lego and saw the original Star Wars movies in the theaters can now spend some more money on the combination of those two passions, or introduce our children to them.
But this kind of combination doesn’t always work. Lego recently announced a new game for the Wii, entitled Lego Rock Band.
There is whole family of Rock Band games including:
- Rock Band (2007)
- Rock Band 2 (2008)
- Rock Band Unplugged (2009)
- The Beatles: Rock Band (2009)
- Lego Rock Band (2009)
Who is the target audience for Lego Rock Band? And will this game appeal to them?
The songs provided with the game are a curious mix of hits from various decades, with music from:
- Jimi Hendrix, The Jackson 5
- The Police, David Bowie
- Carl Douglas (gotta love “Kung Fu Fighting”)
- Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi
- Spinal Tap (set the volume to 11)
- Queen, Pink
- Iggy Pop (yeah, this guy ===>)
- Elton John, Korn
- Counting Crows
- and KT Tunstall (Who???)
to name just a few.
Forget about the video game for a second. Who would be the target for that group of musicians????
Now combine the Rock Band portion, and maybe you’ll get some eclectic rocker/video game enthusiasts.
Now combine in the Lego theme, and who’s left? Young videogame playing, Lego fanboys who like 1970s punk rock?
Perhaps I’m not the target audience for this? I do own a Wii, and I actually do like some of the musicians listed above, and I did like Lego as a kid. But combining them all into a Rock Band game? I don’t think so.
Am I wrong here? Let me know.