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Hummer extends into new territories

August 3, 2005

GM’s Hummer is clearly looking to use brand extensions to help leverage the brand’s image and generate awareness.

In the fall, Hummer will launch an additional line of fragrances to add to its existing line. Despite cynical comments from the media, this line appears to have done well for pretty obvious reasons.

There’s a danger that Hummer dilutes its core equity, with this adventure into fragrances and the recent “trading down” of the model line (from military assault vehicle to Jeep competitor).

However, the brand is wise to this and at the same time the new fragrance is announced and everyone feels the brand has gone soft, Hummer goes ahead and surprises everyone with the launch of its night vision scope. A night vision that was originally available for the military, but can soon be purchased by anyone at their local Hummer dealership.

Branding is all about managing seemingly conflicting interests; the desire to be cool and mass at the same time or driving awareness and changing perception. The most successful brands, and the managers behind them, know exactly how to balance these seemingly conflicting interests.

Hummer and their team appear to have their fair share of challenges, but seem to be coping with them well. Last month, Hummer tripled its sales.

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