Yes, I confess, I am a huge fan of the Al Ries, Jack Trout, Laura Ries thoughts on marketing, branding, and brand extensions (egad!). But somehow Maglite introducing LED lights works for me, I am excited about it and I LIKE the Maglite brand as part of the LED world. I buy it and WILL buy it no problemo.
So first here is the Ries position on Kodak and film versus digital cameras (as a counter point – just being fair and all….)
Kodak bought Sterling drug, including Bayer drugs and pharmaceuticals and in essence became an unfocused company. In the last few years they have gotten out those businesses and focused on imaging products. But there are two types of imaging products, photographic and digital. At the moment, most of their business is photographic. But the future is going to be digital. Kodak is making a serious error by putting their photographic name on their digital products. What they need is a separate name for their digital products.
And here is the Maglite post on MAG-LED Technology. For some reason I buy the putting the same brand on both. I don’t view LED lights as a completely new category. Just a better way to make a darn flash light that doesn’t go dead when you drop it.
If these products have been a long time coming, it’s because the MAG-LEDâ„¢ Technology has taken a long time to develop to the point where it is feasible to make an LED flashlight that meets Mag Instrument’s high standards of quality, durability, style and function.
Now, after years of research & development, testing and refinement, Mag Instrument is committed to introducing, in early 2006, a line of MAG-LEDâ„¢ flashlights. Like Mag’s incandescent-lamp flashlights, these newest members of the Maglite ® flashlight family will have the style, performance, benefits and features that both professionals and consumers have come to expect from a Maglite ® flashlight, including the fact that they are built for a lifetime of service. The Maglite ® design tradition will be instantly recognizable in them, and they will offer the beam-focusing capability that has always been a feature of Mag ® flashlights, AND MORE!
Again, thank you for your interest in Mag Instrument and its products. We look forward to the rollout of the MAG-LEDâ„¢ flashlights in the near future.
The Maglite Team
So this is all do-able marketing and branding news. I don’t view it as a brand extension; we will all ignore the Mag-LED moniker and just call the darn thing a Maglite anyway. What I *really* want is the green laser LED version for snipe hunting.