Horizontal brand extensions

Horizontal brand extensions

The horizontal extension is a growth strategy of brands. It occurs when a brand enters a new product or service category but keeps the original brand name. Luxury brands often invest in horizontal extension and usually in categories of similar aesthetic sensibility – hospitality, fine dining, and home décor. This way, the brand equity is transferred to a new category enabling a solid brand value foundation. Luxury brands have used this strategy often in the last decades, and we are exploring the paragons.


In March 2023 Prada announced the opening of its very first Prada Caffè at Harrods in London. The unique café will be open until the end of 2023 to celebrate the brand’s 100-year anniversary. The café is not only a place to drink coffee in branded Prada porcelain cups, but rather an engaging exhibition to showcase the brand heritage and Italian cultural legacy.

The café offers an outstanding engaging experience to customers and reconceptualizes the Prada universe in its design interior, menu, wine list, décor, tableware, and atmosphere.



Photo credit: Prada



The luxury jewellery icon ventured into the business of hotels in 2004 with an aim to offer ‘unique hotels in unique locations.’ Founded in 1884 in Rome, Bulgari quickly established a strong reputation for quintessential Italian craftsmanship and unapparelled style. The matchless expert in the field of jewellery nowadays owns 8 hotels located in the major cosmopolitan cities in the world – Milan, London, Dubai, Bali, Beijing, Shanghai, Paris, and Tokyo, with Miami, Rome, Maldives, and Los Angles hotels to be opened in the next five years.

The hotels uniformly convey the intangible magic of the Roman brand, its timeless class and Italian heritage. Each property features iconic Bulgari iconographies, Serpent symbols and eight-point stars in interior and exterior design details. Respecting the local culture, each hotel is designed In an Italian contemporary architectural style.



Photo credit: Bulgari



Giorgio Armani is one the best examples of how to build successful brand extensions and create a lifestyle brand.

Armani stepped into house décor to express its lifestyle image in 2000, enabling its clients a touch of Giorgio Armani design for their homes. Featuring simple lines, perfect proportions, and exquisite textiles, the Armani Casa products apply to bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen concepts. Two years later, the designer entered a new category – the chocolate and pastry industry. With a desire to ‘marry the fine ingredients with Giorgio Armani’s style’, the Armani Dolce line was born. The sophisticated chocolate line preserves the brand DNA in product shapes, box design, communication, and service.


Photo credit: Armani


Horizontal brand extension is a fruitful growth strategy that generates new markets and new customers, while seducing existing customers with new products and services. It helps reinvent the persona of the brands, communicating the brand DNA in a new shape. When investing in a horizontal extension business, luxury brands must differentiate from nonluxury counterparts to keep the aspirational value alive and protect the brand DNA. (Ashok and Blanckaert,2015).

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