Merchandising vs Brand extension

[:en]Still, quite a few brandowners and sadly even licensing agencies are confusing merchandising with true brand extensions. Recent example, the two Fender licenses as reported here.

It is obvious, that a brand for amplifiers and guitars has little competence in apparel and accessories and posters. Calling posters “wallart” does not change that. And if you look at the list of apparel and accessories products – t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, socks, headwear, wallets and key chains – it becomes obvious, we are talking about fan- and merchandising articles. There is a reason for those, and a market as well. But those products are unlikely to make it into traditional distribution. Distribution – availability – is still a core brand issue, and even today a website is no replacement for store distribution.

Many car manufacturers learned this the hard way.