10 Unexpected Products From Famous Brands That Are Sharply Different From Their Usual Products

When we encounter a familiar brand, it often triggers an immediate mental association with the products or services for which that company is primarily recognized. Typically, a brand is synonymous with a specific niche, which benefits the brand by preventing consumer confusion and fostering brand loyalty as people make purchasing decisions based on the established reputation.

However, many renowned companies have ventured into unexpected side projects that deviate from their primary focus, challenging our conventional expectations of their product lines. For instance, Toyota, primarily known for manufacturing cars, has explored diverse ventures. How does a tire manufacturer like Michelin become linked to the restaurant industry? And why does Volkswagen seem to dabble more in sausages than automobiles?

What other companies have developed or are still involved in the production of products that, at first glance, appear unrelated to their core business?

Lamborghini tractor

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Lamborghini Trattori was created by Ferruccio Lamborghini, who also founded the famous automobile brand.

Toyota sewing machine

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That same car company Toyota Motor is part of the Toyota Group, which also has a branch that produces weaving machines, spinning machines and sewing machines.

Colgate Meals

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The company, known for its toothpaste, dabbled in frozen processed foods in the 1980s, but that industry was quickly phased out.

Cosmopolitan yoghurt

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The famous fashion magazine released the branded yoghurts in the late ’90s, but like Colgate’s lasagna, the product was pulled from shelves after a couple of years due to poor sales.

Cheetos Lip Balm

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In the 2000s, Cheetos did release a chip-flavored lip balm, but it was another unsuccessful experiment.

Samsung excavator

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How far Samsung has moved away from TVs and smartphones! But this is really an excavator from Samsung Heavy Industries, which, as in the case of Toyota, is part of the Samsung Group of companies.

The Michelin Restaurant Guide

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Surprisingly, the same Michelin company famous for its tire production across a wide range of vehicles and its tire stack mascot has successfully ventured into the realm of the restaurant business, and this venture has endured for quite some time.

Published in 1900, the Michelin Red Guide has evolved into one of the most authoritative publications for rating European restaurants, including those in Moscow. The guide’s influence is so significant that even a mere mention of a restaurant within its pages, even without the awarding of stars, signifies recognition of the chef’s exceptional skill and provides a substantial boost to the establishment’s commercial success.

Volkswagen Sausages

Julian Stratenschulte

Since 1973, Volkswagen has been producing Volkswagen Currywurst sausages, and for one of the world’s most renowned automakers, this endeavour is no laughing matter. In a curious twist, these sausages bear the label of a “Genuine Volkswagen Part” and have even been assigned their own unique part number, 199 398 500 A.

Yet, the robust sales of these sausages suggest that Volkswagen could almost be perceived as a sausage manufacturer with a side venture in automobile production. Astonishingly, for more than the past five years, the company has been selling more sausages (approximately 7 million annually) than its automobiles or any other automotive components.

Peugeot Pepper Shaker

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Surprisingly, Peugeot had been crafting salt and pepper mills since 1840, long before the company ventured into car manufacturing. To this day, these mills remain an integral part of the company’s product range and are celebrated for their exceptional reliability.

Zippo Perfume

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The renowned manufacturer of lighters, Zippo, has ventured into the world of perfume, catering to both men and women. Interestingly, the design of the perfume bottles didn’t require much contemplation; they are stylized to resemble the iconic Zippo lighters.

Bonus: Guinness – A Renowned Beer Brand and the “Book of Records”

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Guinness is one of the most prominent examples of a brand with wide-ranging influence. While still producing its world-famous beer, the company unexpectedly took on the role of founding the renowned “Book of Records,” with its first edition published in 1955. It was only nearly 50 years later, in 2001, that Guinness decided to sell the rights to the publication, deeming it no longer aligned with their core brand.

In fact, when you think of the word “Guinness,” does it conjure up more associations with beer or with the famous record-keeping publication?