Is that really Alyson Hannigan?  I don’t get it.

What I do get is ingredient branding.  In the book Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, Jack Trout and Al Ries espoused the idea that a brand can only mean one thing, or be good at one thing.   Coke is the best cola, but it shouldn’t be a brand for spring water.  Tide is a good laundry detergent, but the brand shouldn’t be used for dryer sheets.

This hypothesis is quite depressing to European brand gurus like Jean-Noel Kapferer, who thinks brands have the capacity to stretch into many different product categories, as long as there can be a logical association drawn.  Kapferer felt the stretch could happen without having to resort to ingredient branding or “borrowing” another brand’s equity.

Cascade brand managers obviously did their homework when they decided to borrow its sister “regular” dishwashing liquid Dawn’s point of difference (grease fighting) and use it as an ingredient brand in a line of Cascade products.  They probably did their research where people responded “I love Hershey’s Chocolate Chips in my Betty Crocker Cake Mix, so OF COURSE I will love Dawn inside Cascade!”

So Dawn became part of Cascade.  Or did Cascade become part of Dawn?  As you can see from the back of a Canadian pack, the way it’s communicated is a bit of a dog’s breakfast (or dog’s breakfast bowl that needs a good hot wash).

Powered by Cascade?  I thought it was Cascade...

Powered by Cascade? I thought it was Cascade...

I know I shouldn’t make fun, but why is Cascade powered by Cascade with the grease fighting power of Dawn?  Does that mean that regular Cascade didn’t fight grease as well?   Other pieces of this dog’s breakfast include “ShineShield(tm)” and “Action Paks(tm)” (that’s the name for the soluble-I-can’t-be-bothered-to-spend-1-extra-second-pouring-powder-from-a-box-so-I’ll-pay-twice-as-much-for-each-wash pouches of detergent).

And Alyson, you were the second-best-vampire-fighting-babe & the best vampire-fighting-witch of the 1990’s, as well as every boy’s favourite band camp girl.  You have the power of Willow!  You didn’t need Buffy to get things done; so please stop confusing me with the dishwasher loading videos and this overly branded product.

I know Cascade with the Grease Fighting Power of Dawn(R) is a good product, but my brand morals and simpler approach to life have forced me to move to Finish.

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Brand Architecture, Brand Identity