Jeff Hardy performing a low dropkick on Umaga....
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The background

To get to the point about product extension, I have to set the groundwork, so bear with me a moment. Brand Thunder’s core business is helping brands talk to their online consumer through our interactive browser themes. It’s an affinity marketing tool where we leverage the powerful connection an audience has to a particular brand.

That connection was vital in helping us solve part of the distribution puzzle. Most online businesses need to drive an audience to your product. If you require the download and installation of software like we do, that’s an additional hurdle. Affinity to a brand can help overcome that.

For any business looking to grow, it considers natural extension to its product lines and for us that direction was to look beyond the brand affinity and see what else fit.

When to Extend

The idea originated when we were analyzing user adoption and the sales cycle. We were seeing great market response from end users with each product launch bringing a spike of new users. There was also great response from our business development efforts as well, but getting an executed agreement always seemed to take longer than a young company would like. Those two were the pain points we were trying to eliminate – shorten the time to market for new releases.

Solving for X

Brand affinity helped build our business, but affinity isn’t related to brands. Since our early success was with sports teams, it made sense to look to more broad offerings in the same category. Naturally, we went for the general fans of baseball, football and basketball. Then we branched into holidays. What both categories did was provide us with themes that had strong following plus a high rate of search and discovery. We knew these topic would be sought out and balance the distribution we were losing from not having a supporting brand.

This decision to create a product extension has been a good one for us, and we continue to build out the offering to this date. This week we just released the Pro Wrestling theme, Golf theme and the recently released Movie Premiere theme. All combine the solid visual elements of our product with the interactive components that keep them engaging over the long term. They are also evergreen in their popularity with their audiences, which gives each a great deal of promise.

These topical themes have been a big win for us. What product extensions have worked for you?

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