Brand Development

Question: Analyze ESPN according to the brand development strategies from the text. What have they done in the past? What would you recommend to ESPN for future brand development? Discussion: Brand development in the past has consisted of creating new and exciting ways to bring the latest sporting events. A company has four choices when it comes to developing brands. It can introduce line extensions, brand extensions, multi brands, or new brands.
Line extensions occur when a company extends existing brand names to new forms, colors, sizes, ingredients, or flavors of an existing product category. A company might introduce line extensions as a low-cost, low-risk way to introduce new products. Or it might want to meet consumer desires for variety, use excess capacity, or simply command more shelf space from resellers. However, line extensions involve some risks. An overextended brand name might lose some of its specific meaning.
Or heavily extended brands can cause consumer confusion or frustration. A brand extension extends a current brand name to new or modified products in a new category. A brand extension gives a new product instant recognition and faster acceptance. It also saves the high advertising costs usually required to build a new brand name. At the same time, a brand extension strategy involves some risk. Now for ESPN. ESPN loves its name. It puts it name on everything. ESPN The Magazine. ESPN2. ESPN News. The ESPN Zone.

To a degree it is fine, as long as it stays within the bounds of extending ESPN’s core value: getting sports into every ounce of your life. ESPN The Magazine is the only one that isn’t worhty of the ESPN headliner. They should have named it something else. It’s not up to the minute, so it isn’t consistent with everything else ESPN promotes. Anyways, ESPN Mobile fits the bill. Every sports fan has been stranded to some degree without being able to access sports info they needed to have. And die hard sports fans NEED their info.
The concept of the insane amount of sports data being pumped over that network is mind blowing. What is also mind blowing is that for what it is, its restrictive. Today, I don’t see the ESPN phone in a family plan or the Mobile ESPN service being offered through standard phone outlets. If Dad or Junior could get a Samsung on Verizon’s network featuring Mobile ESPN? Done and done. And with the move to converged handsets, I see the market for Mobile ESPN as single guys with 40 hour-per-week blue collar jobs who like to watch football at the bar.
If that’s the segment they are targeting, good for them. Love the concept, just wish it fit my profile a little better. The middle class loves the family plans because they don’t have to spend twice as much to get the core function of a phone: the phone. For the small service business: stay focused on what makes your name valuable. If you absolutely need to get into a new business opportunity. Sleep on it. If you still must get in, you need a new name for that new business!!!! Nothing dilutes a brand like the jack of all trades.

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