Questions

Branding vs marketing effort?

I currently run my own business full time that does well. I then started a consulting business and blog around my past experience running the first biz but it wasn't a priority and didn't take off. My partner and I are developing an app on a new domain and at the same we decided to move my consulting biz and blog to a subdomain of the app's website because both app and consulting target the same audience. The strategy was to be able to market both app and consulting at the same time because it would be a crazy feat to market 3 separate businesses (I am mostly a one person marketing team but I do have outsourcing experience). The consulting is taking off and recently I've been questioning rebranding as my own website. This will cause lost backlinks and social media counters will all go back to zero (I have several posts with over 500 pins on Pinterest). I don't have consistent social media handles which is mostly what has prompted this question. If I am confusing myself, my customers are surely confused too. Should I pursue consistent, separate branding for the consulting business at the cost of months worth of marketing and also make it harder for me to focus marketing all 3 ventures because I'd be spread too thin. (Also, app and consulting go hand in hand because the big picture would be to offer paid upgrades to the app for ecourses/ebooks that come from the consulting side).

3answers

It sounds like you have a lot going on. I think you might find some better momentum if you chose one to focus on. In the mean time I'm sure you face the dilemna of supporting yourself while your app gains momentum.
I was recently in a similar situation with developing and selling a CRM software tool while also running a service company. For us, it was very helpful to keep distinctly separate brands for each company. It helped to provide a laser focus with our marketing messaging and didn't blur the lines between the two entities. Even though our service business provides consulting services that include the software product we're selling we don't want other service providers to be scared away from promoting the software brand thinking that we have an unfair advantage in access to client sales. Overall the more focused your brand messaging is the better you will be overall, even in terms of SEO and traffic. I think it is definitely worth it to lose a little momentum to refine the focus of your branding and marketing.


Answered 5 years ago

As I understand things, you are your own person as a consultant but part of a partnership when it comes to the app.

Your consulting practice has gone from self-contained blog to a subdomain (tied to the app and partnership). And now that this is thriving, you're thinking of making the consulting / blog autonomous again.

Question #1: Is your consulting thriving now BECAUSE it's tied to the app? Or are your own independent efforts paying off in their own right?

You're attached to the app officially as a subdomain; so maybe, as a consultant, you're reaping the rewards of the app's marketing. In that case, you might lose more than SEO juice by splitting off.

If, on the other hand, you yourself are the engine of this success, then you ought to separate the consulting from the app.

To my mind, it's a strategic blunder to bind your reputation as a solo consultant to another product and a partner (even a great partner) who doesn't share in the consulting. What happens if the partnership ends – bitterly or amicably – and you want to go your own way? What happens if the product fails with your consulting practice tied to it as a subdomain? What happens if your blog really ought to expand beyond the app or the app moves in a direction foreign to your consulting work?

If it were me, I'd want these activities / roles / brands separate. Even if your blog is chiefly monetized through the app today, that might change tomorrow. You'll be better prepared for change if your identity as a consultant is separate from the reputation of a single app.

You've also noticed some inconsistency in branding across social media handles. Depending on how you use those venues, this might be more or less important. But you'd still want to evaluate this moment as an opportunity for thorough rebranding. Some publicity might come with the relaunch, as well.

If I can be of any help with naming, domain advice, or branded copy, let me know.

Yes, there might be SEO losses initially. But sometimes the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term costs. You'll want to weigh the pros and cons yourself.


Answered 5 years ago

Branding is commitment to go that extra mile to cut the chaos, Marketing is a vehicle that takes you there. It's not sales but enabler to sales. You earn good reputation by doing something better that can't be done by everyone. Branding is just like that reputation. It's much more than just running some campaign or using hash-tag. It's strategic objective and clarity of thought that one brings to table. As an entrepreneur your product/business could be either distinct brand or a distant one.

On that note, why don't you provide further insight on marketing initiative (s) that you till date and how does that integrates with your brand strategy? I am assuming you have two such documents with you.

Secondly, what aspects does your consulting service focus on and how is/are those related to the app you're building?

Have you given a second thought to the tactics you should adopt to market a product (App) and Services (Consulting) at the same time through same online mediums and channels?

Whether you should pursue a separate branding/marketing exercise for your businesses could be answered only after receiving above bare minimum details. Otherwise, it would be like making some generic statement in the dark.

Feel free to DM me any further query that you might have. We can always hop on a quick call as well.


Answered 5 years ago

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