If I’m not mistaken, isn’t the Lancair Certified company a >different entity from the kitplane company? I thought they >operated as two completely separate things.
(And given their success in kits, I can’t blame them for not >wanting to give up their kitplane business!)
My comment is the result of a business philosophy of mine that you can’t have two companies, with the same name, same logo, and for all practical purposes the same management, and be as successful as if you concentrated your effort on making your brand mean something special. Lancair, to me, means high quality, fast, relatively easy to build and safe kit planes (fast kit planes). I suspect that many of us think of Lancair the same way. There success in brand extending the name into the Certified Aircraft business might not be as succesful in the long run. And here is why I believe this.
For a period of time, they can get away with brand extending the name for the certified aircraft. However, in the long run, the brand will be confusing to the market as to what it stands for.
The big conglomerates and consumer products companies still learn (or don’t) this painful lesson all the time. At the sales meeting, a person stands up and says, “hey, we can sell more beer if we create a brand called bud light!”. Sounds good, its even logical to capitalize on your good name… the only problem is that you typically do not gain market share, you only dilute the sales of your existing product line (i.e. Budweiser).
There are countless examples of this mistake and subsequent languishing sales in industrial and consumer product companies. From cigarettes to mayonaise to cars. What’s a Chevrolet? During Alfred Sloans days it was the entry level car to the GM cradle to grave philosophy (start with a Chevy and get buried in your Caddie). Now Chevrolet stands for a cheap, fast, car, truck etc. Caddie hasn’t recovered since the Cimmaron debacle.
Why doesn’t brand extension work?
Consumers are bombarded with so much information today that they will put you and your company (product) in a one word category. words like - cheap, expensive, value, fast, slow, boring, exciting. You get pigeon-hold based on perception and once you get labeled, you are generally stuck in that label. When a consumer can’t figure out, in simple terms, waht you are all about, then they put you out of their mind because you are now confusing. I am afraid that this is where Lancair is headed, and particularly why they probably will not be as successful as Cirrus
Sorry for the long winded post completely unrelated to airplanes but I wanted to fully explain the philosophy and rationale behind my remark.