Extensions and souvenirs


This post is by Seth Godin from Seth's Blog


When a brand is successful, there’s often a desire to extend it.

Disneyland was an extension of Disney movies. It reflected some of the magic of the movies, but created something new and valuable as well. Disneyland had some of the Disney essence and then built something additive and new.

Apple did the same thing with the iPhone in extending the brand of the Mac.

On the other hand, the new Leica watch is simply a souvenir. It’s not a better watch. It’s not more of a Leica than any of a dozen other overpriced watches could be seen to be. It’s simply there to remind you that you liked the original. It’s a souvenir of a feeling, not the creator.

Nothing wrong with a souvenir. I’m sure Leica will make a profit from their watch with little damage to the promise that the brand itself makes. But make too many souvenirs and you become a hollow shell, wasting the chance to make the change you seek.

The crappy t-shirt you bought at your favorite musician’s concert is a souvenir, but they shouldn’t count on that as their legacy or the engine of their growth.

All day, individual creators have to make choices about what they’re going to do next. Sometimes we can create an extension. And sometimes, we decide to make a souvenir instead.