.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} Making Sense: e-Digest of Brand Thinking

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mr. Clean finds his feminine side

“Well, the funniest woman I ever seen
Was the great-granddaughter of Mr. Clean.”
-Bob Dylan

It’s great when a brand comes out of hibernation and finds there’s plenty of new ground to cover. For years (since 1958, in fact), Mr. Clean® was Mr. Muscle. He handled tough jobs like those dreaded black heal marks and greasy, grimy stovetops. But in the last few years, he’s started to extend himself with innovative products—from Mr. Clean MagicErasure™ products to Mr. Clean MagicReach™ tools to Mr. Clean MagicDry™ carwash. By the way, I bought the carwash product nearly two years ago. Unfortunately, it’s still in the box, so I can’t report on its performance.

What does Mr. Clean do in his off time? One can only guess. But based on the latest P&G brand extension,
Mr. Clean Multi-Surfaces Liquid Cleaners , he might have been watching Oxygen, HGTV or Lifetime. Because these new products come in five fresh scents that according to the Mr. Clean Web site, “will leave your home and all the items in it clean and smelling great!” The scents are Ultimate Orange, Sparkling Apple, Summer Citrus, Invigorating Breeze and Spring Garden. Think household cleaner meets aromatherapy.

The point of all this? It just goes to show that brands can’t grow by being one-trick ponies anymore.

Another good example of how far you can extend a brand is
Newell Rubbermaid's Sharpie® brand . They are in the midst of a brand renaissance, taking what was once a somber permanent black ink marker and raising it to a colorful, cult-like status.

When it comes to brand extensions, both Mr. Clean and Sharpie are good models to study.

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