The newest trend in small business is to be a SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR. On the one hand its exciting that so many people can put so many talents to work for themselves. But on the other hand it simply confuses consumers when they try to figure out where to file you in their mental Rolodex.
Here’s how it works! When a person is introduced to your brand they instantly decide if they have an immediate need for your service or product. If they do, then they proceed to find out more information about your company offerings. But here is where it gets tricky…if there is NO immediate need then you go into the mental Rolodex. It works just like a real Rolo, you will most likely file Wilson Plumbing under ‘P’ for plumber just in case you forget the company name. And with all the marketing clutter out there folks don’t retain names as well as they use to, but what they will remember is what you DO! This is what we call being KNOWN for something. You have to hang your brand recognition on something specific to get filed in the brains of consumers for retrieval at a later time.
SCENARIO 1: Wilson Plumbing is known for repairing plumbing issues. But due to the recent sluggish economy they have expanded to include other handy work like bathroom fixtures. Because Wilson’s is known and trusted for plumbing the trust that consumers have in the brand can then be transferred to the expanded services.
SCENARIO 2: Before The Apprentice, Donald Trump made his millions as a Real Estate Mogul in New York City. He built his brand on developing high end properties for NYCs elite. He then expanded to develop properties all over the US that could recreate the same experience for customers regardless of the location of the Trump property. The Donald built such a strong LIFESTYLE brand that he was able to successfully transfer his brand reputation across multiple industries. He became KNOWN for high end real estate development and parlayed into vitamins, pageants and other things that promote the Trump Lifestyle. No wonder he can say ‘You’re Fired’ with such zeal!
So now I bet you are wondering how you can simultaneously build multiple brands. For the most part you can’t until you have ONE really well known brand. But you can house all of your expertise under the same branded roof (if they are related). I recommend segmenting the brands so they can appeal to different audiences (especially the non related ones). Once you have a clear front leader, then use that one to leverage traction for the other brands. I hope this sheds some light for you brandiers!
Happy Branding Everyone…