Home – New Forums Marketing mastery One Business VS Multiple Brands

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  • #968312
    FionaFell
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    Hi,

    I was wondering if any other operators here work under mutliple brands.

    Example:

    1 – Metal pole manufacturer

    OR

    1 – Metal Pole Wholesaler
    2 – Fencing Provider
    3 – Out Door Art Supply Vendor

    I was thinking of going down the second route and breaking off my ‘products or services into smaller chunks’ and spreading them across a few websites to target folks who do not need all of the services in one package.

    Do you have any thoughts or experiences that you could share?

    #1032370
    peppie
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    I have been grappling with a similar question/problem in recent months, thinking about diversifying and consolidating (yes and at the same time) with some new ideas etc..

    I had a few competing thoughts going, the old question of whether I needed to look at branding/what is my image etc. and also new (but related) possibilities. In the end, and partly after a bit of open chat with a friend in the marketing game, I decided to do a bit of a phase shift with my main Aureola Productions name and turn it into a parent identity to a few other things. A side benefit is that I am open to adding other threads to this further down the track.

    I did wonder about trying to create my first new idea as a visually different thing but still under the Aureola name and url. In the end it seemed easier and neater to register a new name and url but to marry that into my present website. Similar to above but sort of everything working under one umbrella business.

    This will not work the same for everyone, my friends advice was nothing more than there is no easy answer and you need to go with what you would be most comfortable with. It is you after all that will control the style and identity of the whole thing.

    Such is my thoughts. Time will tell if I am on the right path and there will always be the option to modify.

    #1032371
    JohnSheppard
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    It’s tempting to do that kind of thing. I think the practical problem is that it ends up diluting your focus. It’s fine for big business to do, but for small business/solo operator, I’d question whether you would have the resources to pull it successfully.

    I think one of the hard things with small business is keeping your eyes on your initial plans instead of getting side tracked, and I’m pretty sure that’s what would happen with multiple brands.

    Personally, I think you are better off strategic partnering…the gains are there without the work.

    My 2 cents.

    #1032372
    peppie
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    As I said, it won’t work the same for everyone.

    In my case I think the circumstances will probably make it worthwhile. It would take a long time to explain why and it has been many months thinking it all through, but my marketing friend suggested these days the ball park has changed a bit and it seems (for my situation at least) as it will be governed more by how I build the image rather than what structure I am looking at. In fact he kept telling me to not think about the structure.

    If you were thinking of just splitting off parts of the one business into separate bits of the whole I would think twice. My conclusion is that there needs to be good reason from the customers perspective to go that path.

    #1032373
    FionaFell
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    Thanks for the feedback so far.

    I am not as big as Coke-a-cola Amital (Or whatever they are called at a corporate level here in Aus) but I want my only divisions like Coke, Sprite,MountFranklin etc.

    Putting some steps in place right now to make that happen.

    #1032374
    web3k
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    One of the major challenges we saw when looking into multiple brands was the ability to support them with a marketing and advertising spend that would each successful in their own right.

    You need to build and foster multiple brands, and you may find yourself having to do this at the same time.

    Are the brand values of each of the products different? (quality, price, target market etc). If they’re the same, then there’s probably no point in trying to build 3 different brands which will overlap anyway. Best to put all the eggs in one bucket and position the company. A much more effective way IMO.

    #1032375
    Chris Bates
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    If they’re different products with different niches and different target markets, then separate them.

    Some good points were raised here though – can you still afford to market both brands?

    I run into this with my clients quite often, and I almost always suggest separating them. BECAUSE they target different markets. I am strongly against having a website offer 50 things. If you want it to be effective, it has to be designed and worded towards your one target market.

    But we always run into the problem of the price doubles, the ongoing costs double, etc etc. So it really does come down to the products, the demand, and your ability financially and with time.

    #1032376
    mike@engagemarketing
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    Hi Fiona,
    You have probably seen that we have done this, creating The Blog Designer rather than offer it as just another service under the Engage Marketing banner. Our research and feedback suggests that this was a really good move.
    It had fantastic SEO benefits and customers reacted well to having the Blog Designer brand positioned precisely for a niche market rather than attempting to be everything.

    Now the downside: When we market, everything works well, but you really are doubling the time & cost of your marketing (if you are to get the most out of your new brand). At the moment, we are spending all of our time on the Engage Marketing side of the business and only getting Blog Design business that comes to us. We are fixing this by bringing in another staff member next month that will be solely devoted to the second brand.

    To sum up: Good idea, but as a micro business, probably not worth the stress.

    #1032377
    JayTurn
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    Hi Fiona,

    Before breaking off into separate groups, I would assess your current promotion/marketing approach. Are you doing everything possible to market your current brand?

    Obviously you are at the forefront of your business with your name however you don’t seem to be marketing your business that way. “The Profit Maximising Web Geek” is a really catchy slogan/byline, in fact I think it’s great. I want to see that “Geek” and have her project her “Geekdom” by telling me how she can benefit my business with her knowledge/implementation.

    The first thing I did when I visited your site was to look for your blog. I was a bit bummed that I couldn’t read the musings of the “Profit Maximising Web GeeK”.

    The reason I am bringing these up is because so many people shift focus instead of refining their existing focus. There is a huge market out there for people needing complete solutions. The net is getting so much more technical with content management systems, social media integration, managing stores, RSS feeds… the list goes on.

    Most business owners I speak with don’t want to know about the hosting, SSL certificates, dedicated IP’s, domain registration. They want us to just get it done for them. Convenience is king right now as can be seen by our ridiculously overpriced supermarkets.

    If you are starting a completely new service unrelated to your current one, it is definitely a good idea to branch off. Unless you have staff running your first business or have taken on a new business partner, it is going to be difficult to find time for a second business.

    If you are just breaking off your current business, I would say offer the services separate on your existing site (touch and go whether or not this works for a business). That way your time is not divided between separate sites giving 50% to two sites instead of 100% to one.

    #1032378
    travelmaster
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    Hi Fiona,

    Some time ago I “divided” my business into three “divisions”. The idea was that I will be able to do do separate marketing, each one targetting these distinct, separate markets. In my case (travel) the logic was, that people interested in cruising will not be interested in rail holidays etc… etc.
    Our website also reflects that logic with a front page showing the three “divisions”. But having tried this approach for over three years now, I have come to the conclusion, that it actually dilutes the value of the “core” brand. I think it is best to concentrate on ONE message and that trying to appear as a separate “entity” or brand confuses the punters. I think that it’s best to create one good brand and push it to the max. Of course if you were a multinational company and the budget was unlimited it would be a different story, but for a small business or a soloist I now think it’s best to keep it simple (one logo, one brand). So a major surgery is on the way with my website appearance ( when I get around to it..) .

    rgds

    #1032379
    small business marketing
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    ok, so obviously others disagree with me.

    my 2cents is

    one brand per target market/ideal client.

    one marketing strategy per brand.

    your marketing strategy simply answers who you are, what you do, who needs it, how you plan to get their attention, when you plan to do it and how you plan to pay for it…in a way that everyone in your business, network, and client base can clearly understand.

    Heres an article I wrote that touches on this – http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/marketing/business-marketing/marketing-tools-a-business-marketing-plan

    #1032380
    Alan Maddick
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    We have three brands,

    Small Business Works http://www.smallbusinessworks.com.au business services & business accounting

    This brand is highly effective at targetting our niche but for variuos reasons we decided we wanted more individual tax work so we created a seperate brand MAS Tax http://www.mastaxaccountants.com.au

    And we are now in the process of rebranding our financial planning site (not ready yet)

    The multiple brands are working, the biggest headache I am finding is to have seperate phone lines or not? Different sites and marketting works extremely well although it is easy to neglect one brand while another excels.

    If you do go ahead do it 100% and commit but think it through it is a lot of work and more time consuming and costly than you would imagine (or at least it has been for me!)

    #1032381
    IgniteDM
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    We are already in this situation of multiple brands. We already owned one, and then bought another – and decided not to re-brand as the area we are in is quite a niche area with a different mind set of customer.

    As for our main brand (Total Microsystems), we are looking at diversifying that somewhat, but mainly for the reason that I believe people will think that one company can not claim to do everything well. i.e. we do IT support and computer repairs etc… but we also have a web team and do websites. But Ive found that our web solutions get kind of lost in the IT support and it looks like just another IT company jumping on the website bandwagon. For that reason we are going to set up another trading name and website just for the web stuff (website/SEO etc) and focus on developing them separately.

    As I can do the website, the seo and all the marketing for all 3 businesses myself, we are saving alot of money in the cost of marketing across the board. Having said that, it can be a headache sometimes!!

    #1032382
    travelmaster
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    Hi everyone,
    Have alook what even some of the very very large corporations are facing and doing on that front on:

    “In the wake of a massive downturn in profit forecasts Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd is set to reduce or cut services to Fiji and Phuket, newly appointed CEO John Borghetti has told newspapers.
    The airline may also reduce its three brands – Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and V Australia to a single brand name – Virgin Australia Airlines.”

    I say one brand is the way to go.

    rgds

    VL

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