When start-ups branch off and develop subsidiaries, it can be tempting to have all your brands represented on one site or share a social media account. Bad idea!
Having your brands mix can cause a whole slew of problems that can cost your business customers, revenue and even your reputation.
1. Brand confusion
The #1 problem that comes with not separating brands is confusing your customers. When a customer visits your site, they're expecting the brand that's reflected in the URL. Having other brands represented on the site makes them look tacked-on.
Visitors to your site might end up confused, or may want to learn more about the subsidiary, only to find that there's no separate site to provide more information.
The same goes for social media accounts. Customers looking for more about your brand will end up confused by the mixing brands, and likely won't be able to find more information about the subsidiaries.
Most importantly, lots of people turn to a brand's social media for customer support. If multiple brands share one account, customers might not know if they can contact you through the parent company's social.
2. Extra work
It may seem like you're saving time and effort at first having all your brands in one place, but you're actually creating more work!
Having all your brands on one social media account means extra work for the person managing your social. They'll have to specify in each posts what brand is being represented, answer any questions coming in for any brand, and ultimately take great pains reaffirming each brand's separate identity.
In addition, if your brands all take orders/purchases, it can be hard to divide orders or keep invoices from getting mixed up.
Big mistakes such as that can be easy to make when brands are mixing, and can be time-consuming, embarrassing and expensive to undo. Which brings us to...
3. One mistake takes everyone down
When brands are separated, customers may not even know that sister companies have the same parent. This means that if you have a PR nightmare with one brand, it won't bleed into the other brands.
This isn't the case when all the brands are tied together online. When it's easy for customers to see that multiple brands are connected, any big problems can affect all sister companies and the parent. It can be hard to repair the reputation of one company, let alone several.
So be sure to separate your brands! Even if you think it's unnecessary, do it as a precaution. The results can be disastrous if you don't.