What if You Have Too Many Brands?
We recently got this query from a reader, T. T. “Mitch” Mitchell:
“… You mention that if a person provides more than one type of product or service they should have an additional website. However, if you’re trying to brand your name or your business name, aren’t you going to dilute the process by having an additional website for it?”
That’s a question I get a lot. What do you do if you have more than one brand?
Well, I have several – Get Known Now, howmuchjoy.com, Blog Your Way to a Bestseller, and Licensing Revenue Secrets. And actually, it was only in the past few months that I could seriously see how and why I should have more than one brand. Because, like Mitch I once thought having more than one brand was a problem.
In fact, having more than one brand can be good for business.
It all boils down to life purpose. Each brand needs to be assessed in terms of how it fits into your master plan. Does it serve an integral part or is it just a gratuitous addition that is kind of fun but doesn’t seriously move the ball forward?
Ideally, your brands should intersect right at the point of your ‘Soul Purpose’. Do they all support one common goal? They may simply be different ways to support that bigger, overriding vision for your company. And cumulatively, they add up to a much bigger Web presence, which is always good.
In other words, I connect with life coaches who want tools for creative breakthroughs over at How Much Joy. But then they and their clients get to the point where they really need to get known for this dream work they’re creating. So they get directed to my Get Known Now site for this kind of marketing help. The other brands give them specific tools to use to that end.
See how it all fits together?
Are you confused about your varying brands? Here is a specific list of guidelines you can use. (And by the way, this is just the kind of work we focus on in my Get Known Now Blast Off program.)
If any of your brands don’t fit the following criteria, be brave and consider abandoning them. It will only strengthen your more targeted, focused work.
1. Do they all serve the same audience? Critical for efficiency … and serving your purpose. There’s a little give for slightly differing audiences here. For instance, Get Known Now is more likely to attract small business owners than How Much Joy. But they both serve speakers, authors and coaches.
2. Is there a logical sequence or relationship among the brands? With mine, people move from general dream-creating, joy work towards leading joy workshops. Then they need publicity and branding, so Get Known Now steps in to serve them.
3. Are the sub-brands clearly identified with the ‘big’ brand? For instance, I recently re-branded the blog associated with my Get Known Now site as …. The Get Known Now Blog! Boring? Possibly. But still far more clear. And whenever someone drops in, they are more likely to remember my brand, tell others about it, etc.. Go ahead. Be boring. Keep on restating your brand in all of your related products. I have the Get Known Now home study course, Get Known Now Blast Off group coaching, even soon a Get Known Now Unplugged podcast. (If you want to live a little, you can throw in additional qualifying words like ‘Blast Off’, for instance.)
4. Does the brand solve a problem that your target market has? Seems like a simple question – but it’s deceptive. Be tough with yourself and your business here. And get some outside feedback from a coach or friend if you’re not sure.
5. Does the brand serve your purpose … honestly and truly? Think hard, because Soul Purposes tend to be broad and general. (I define them as that service or gift you’re meant to give to other people, not a specific task, like writing or coaching.)
6. Does the brand still excite you? I’m not talking about the set of words here, but the larger job of the brand. Is it still alive for you? Sometimes we lug along a brand for years without acknowledging that its usefulness has ended. It’s really OK to abandon brands that no longer work for you; think of them as having served their purpose. Then let them go and move on.
Think about your brands … even write them all down and re-evaluate them one more time. Then I invite you to take anything off of your plate that simply no longer fits the scheme of what you’re up to.
Oh yes … and did I mention you’ll probably have lots of brands in life? Go forth and conquer!
© 2006 Suzanne Falter-Barns LLC
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