From the Clever to the Bizarre: Auto Brands Make the Darndest Things

We live in a world of brand extensions—espresso machines from Starbucks, cooking utensils from the Food Network. There’s little wonder why. Parallel products launched under a major brand name can generate both revenue and increased visibility. In recent years, luxury auto brands have gotten in on the act. “It’s a good way to give people a chance to buy into a little bit of the dream,” explains Martyn Tipping, principal of brand-extension firm Tipping Gardner. “You might not be able to buy a Tesla, but, hey, for $15 you can have Tesla golf balls.” Fair enough. Tipping is quick to point out, though, that some extensions are just “gimmicky,” and may do more harm than good. “If it doesn’t get buzz to do anything to reinforce the brand,” it may be an “extension too far,” he says. Here, some of the wares hawked by pricey auto brands and our take on them.