So you’ve sat down, stressed out about your logo, decided on what colors you’ll use, and now you’re finished, right?
You couldn’t be more wrong.
If you want to have a successful brand, you’ll need to make a whole host of other decisions.
These decisions will determine the direction you’ll take, how you’ll market your new brand, and maybe even the future of your company.
Yes, this may sound difficult.
No one ever said setting up your own company was going to be easy.
Brand Architecture: One New Brand or Many Brands Under One Roof
You will need to think about your brand architecture.
You will need to decide whether to use one brand—Ford—or a whole host of brands—Unilever.
The advantage to the former is you’ll only have to manage one brand, while the latter means you’ll need to think in terms of a whole portfolio of brands.
With just one new brand, you won’t be able to differentiate.
With several brands, you’ll have many targeting possibilities, including differentiating products and market segments.
So which is right for you?
More brands means you’ll spend more money on marketing.
Each brand will need to have separate exposure.
If you have a small budget, you’ll want to restrict the number of brands as much as possible.
Does that mean you should only use one brand?
If only it were that easy.
If you have several products that do not directly relate to one another, (motor oil and soap or anti-viral software and a content creating program), selling them under the same new brand isn’t going to work well, as you may confuse people as to what exactly you are selling.
In this case, you may be better off creating entirely different brands, or creating subdivisions of the same brand, in order to avoid any confusion on the part of the consumer.
Your company may sell products you won’t want associated with one another.
For example, you will not want to be known for selling diapers AND French cheeses, as these two products do not complement one another.
You won’t want people picturing diapers when they’re buying your French cheese, or vice versa, because if they do, they may move on to a different product altogether.
If you’re selling any product that is high quality, it should not be marketed under the same new brand as another product of lesser quality.
Any negative user experience a consumer may have with that lesser quality product will be associated with everything else your company puts out there.
Negative reviews associated with even one product can contaminate all other products under the same brand.
To broaden your consumer reach, you should approach several different target markets.
The best way to do this is to use different brands.
For example, Toyota created Lexus in order to break into the luxury car market.
Follow a similar strategy if you’re marketing your product to different groups, for instance, single young mothers and retired couples (an undervalued market, I might add).
With either segment, you can differentiate by using different colors, different photos, and different models.
Then there are the different cultures to think about.
The same branding strategy in terms of logo, color, and such may be perceived differently in other parts of the world.
After all, different cultures enjoy different combinations.
For example, in India or China, you could get away with using gold in your logo, while in the U.S. or Europe it may be looked upon as tacky.
What This Means for You
These are just a few of the topics you shouldn’t think about somewhere down the line.
You need to start thinking about these things today.
Otherwise, you may find yourself forced to abandon your marketing strategy to a specific segment, or to start selling one of your products under a different new brand name, thereby losing all that effort you put into winning that market share in the first place.
I advise you to start thinking about these topics today.
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