What Is Brand Dilution? (+ Brand Fail Examples)

What Is Brand Dilution?
(+ Brand Fail Examples)

Whether you refer to it as squash, cordial, syrup, or even by brand-name like Ribena, these icy juice drinks are a go-to for millions on a hot summer‘s day.  

But, you have to get the water to Ribena ratio just right.  

Overdilute your drink, and your drink loses some of its pizazz, it doesn’t meet your expectations, and it fails in its very purpose to deliver a certain experience.

Brands, just like squash, can also be diluted in the same way..

In this article, you’ll discover what brand dilution is and how it impacts brands, with some examples of brand dilution to help demonstrate.

What Is Brand Dilution? (+ Example of Brand Extension)

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What Is Brand Dilution? 

Brand dilution is when a brand loses some of its value from overuse or overextension. 

The core purpose, idea, and message of a company’s brand gets lost somewhere along the way – it gets watered down. 

Let’s look at this from the point of view of a brand manager’s brand strategy. 

A brand strategist’s job is to shape the brand’s perception in the audience’s mind. 

Brand dilution happens when businesses decide to create products or services that don’t align with what their customer base wants or with the reputation or brand equity they’ve built. 

This is how it works: 

  1. A brand manager takes time to build a brand image and brand name based on quality products. They create brand equity over time. 

  2. The company launches a new product line that doesn’t live up to customers’ expectations in some way. 

  3. The company confuses, overlooks or disappoints its audience, or worse, breaks its brand promise, leading to diminished brand value. 

  4. Multiply this effect over many customers – what you’ve got right there is extremely damaging brand dilution. 

In short, brand strategists must make well-considered decisions to protect the reputation, equity and value built up over time, or risk diluting the asset they work so hard to develop.  

How Can Brand Dilution Happen?