THE BRAND EXTENSION AS EXPERIENCE

I've written a number of posts on the branded brand, or the notion that authentic brand experiences can be communicated through innovative brand extensions and co-brand partnerships (think Nike+).

In my next book, I examine the branded brand even further, using learnings from the Chinese counterfeit and pirate scene as a glimpse into the future of branding.
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P&G is doing the same. It has been perfecting the notion of creating experiential places to drive home brand equity and brand extensions. The Charmin Potty Pallooza campagn is a great example. So is the Tide Clean Start program.

Now, the WSJ reports, P&G will be forging a new business model: franchising car washes.

To jump-start plans for a nationwide chain of Mr. Clean Car Wash franchises, P&G in December acquired the franchise assets of Atlanta-based Carnett's Car Wash, which has 14 locations.

P&G is under mounting pressure to find new sources of revenue growth, particularly as more cash-strapped shoppers think twice about buying its premium-priced products. Wall Street is increasingly skeptical that the mammoth company can garner meaningful gains in its slow-growing product categories and a tough economy.

Known for exhaustively testing new ideas, Procter & Gamble has been quietly experimenting with service businesses in recent years. Since 2007, it has operated two Mr. Clean Car Washes near its Cincinnati headquarters. Last year, it unveiled three Tide dry-cleaning shops in Kansas City, Kan., area….

…P&G marketers are also eager to see if Mr. Clean Car Washes dotting roadways will help boost the image and exposure of the overall brand. Mr. Estruth puts it whimsically. Expanding into franchises, he says, is "broadening Mr. Clean's shoulders as a magical helper."

What do you think it will do for the brand? And don't you be surprised in other P&G brands are incorporated into the car wash experience.

One comment

  1. P&G is doing the same thing in Dry Cleaning.
    Dry Cleaning is a very fragmented. When you think of grocery stores in Atlanta, you think Publix and Kroger. Dry Stores? Walgreens and CVS. Fast Food? McDonalds and Chick-fil-a. Dry Cleaners? . . . .
    There is a lot of room in the market for someone to build a noticeable brand in Dry Cleaning. I think the car wash industry isn’t much different.
    I’m taking another approach of building up my own unique brand in a fragmented market.

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