The Quaker Oat Company started its business by producing oats. However, the company has engaged in several brand extensions since its founding. Today, the QUAKER mark is used in connection with 80 different hot cereals, 28 different cold cereals, 37 different grain-based snacks, 22 different rice-based snacks, 22 other grain-based products. That is a total of 189 different products.
When 2019 rolls around, The Quaker Oat Company will add product number 190 when QUAKER oat milk becomes available, and why not. Milk has been made of almost every type of nut, so its time to start making milk out of grains. And as long as the alt-milk trend continues, we’re sure to see other brand extensions into the milk category.
What is interesting is to examine the brand extensions The Quaker Oat Company has executed. With the exception of a few products like the REAL MEDLEY line, the only brands used are the QUAKER term and Logo. With respect to the Logo, most of the packaging uses the modern version of the Quaker image, but some packaging deliberately uses older versions of this logo. This is a strategic decision by the company to avoid even the potential argument that any prior rights in the logo have been abandoned. It’s a smart move if a company can pull it off as part of the overall brand strategy.
It is an interesting decision to use descriptive words only on the brand extensions and not name the product or product line. From a trademark strength perspective, extending the QUAKER mark and Logo increases strength. The more opportunity prospective purchasers have to interact with a trademark, theoretically, the stronger their association with the brand becomes. But consumers can and often do rely on more than one mark to identify the source of goods or services. You don’t have to look further than an infant who can recognize company logos before they can read.