March 19, 2015

Copper Fit Gel

Description: A topical pain reliever
Main Pitch: "Fast-acting relief for sore muscles and joints"
Main Offer: $14.99 for one
Bonus: None
Brand: Copper Fit
Marketer: IdeaVillage
Producer: Blue Reef
Watch the spot

This project illustrates the difference between a brand extension and a line extension. IdeaVillage's last Copper Fit item, Copper Fit Back Pro, was another compression garment. It was a line extension. This project has nothing to do with compression -- or garments for that matter. It's Copper Fit in name only; i.e. a brand extension.

IdeaVillage has tried this before. Finishing Touch Smile had nothing to do with hair removal. Word is the project did well at retail, but it did not make my 2012 True Top Spenders list (although it did make the Jordan Whitney Annual that year). Regardless, I doubt its course had anything to do with the brand name.

Generally speaking, I subscribe to the teaching of Ries & Trout: Extensions weaken brands by diluting what they stand for in the mind. Finishing Touch means hair removal. Copper Fit -- or more precisely "copper" since two other heavily advertised brands share that common word -- means compression garments. Trying to broaden it to mean pain relief in general risks weakening the brand while it is still taking root.

S7 Analysis: Adding to the above, the crowded nature of this category makes it even harder to have a brand stick. There are many, many topical analgesics on the market, some from powerful brands. This is probably why no topical analgesic has been successful in short form for decades. Even the gel stick idea won't be new to consumers thanks to those annoying but effective commercials for Head On a few years ago.

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