Questions

Is it feasible to start a company that offers three services under one umbrella?

We're a company that has historically provided bleacher and stadium seating for sports venues of all sizes. The name of our company has the word "Sports" in it due to this profession. About a year and a half ago, we started a marketing campaign to create a brand around our name. Pictures of bleachers weren’t very exciting. So we filmed “hype” videos for high schools that have purchased our bleachers to showcase what a typical Friday night atmosphere is like at stadiums we helped construct. We got thousands of YouTube views within the first day. Schools we haven’t provided bleachers for started requesting our “hype” videos for their programs. We charge those schools a modest film fee to cover our costs as our goal was to still increase our name recognition and now we have a foot in the door for bleacher work with these schools. Our YouTube channel, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook have all gained a following because of these hype videos. Our company’s name is now recognizable with schools. We completely redid our website to include hype videos. Due to the success of the hype videos and the quality of production, we began getting requests to film commercials for other, non-sports related business such as a dentist, jewelery company, etc. We’ve kept this arm of the business under the original name of our company which includes the word “Sports” in it. None of the companies that have requested our video services have minded that our core business is still stadium construction or that our name has the word “Sports” in it. We are wanting to pursue more of the corporate video services on a larger scale. An idea we have is to have a landing page for our website that an individual can click bleacher side or video side. From there they would land on pages that have more information of our video services or bleacher services. What are the positives and negatives with keeping the same business name, using the same social media profiles, and one website for for all three services?

3answers

I'd strongly advise splitting into 2 brands with separate websites and names. Both can advertise and link to one another; so you'd be losing none of the benefit of cross-promotion.

Obviously, you're offering 2 services that barely overlap. Installing stadium bleachers is very different from producing video ads for dentists and jewelers.

Today the overlap seems like a real connection because those dentists and jewelers had seen your earlier sports-themed videos. But once you begin promoting the video service itself, you will be marketing to people who don't know about your bleachers. Those new customers will have seen your later videos – the ones about dentistry and earrings. Coming from that angle, they'll find the connection to sports and bleachers to be bizarre, confusing, distracting.

Here are a few disadvantages to keeping 1 brand with 1 site:

1. If Jack or Jill wants to hire you for video, then finding "sports" in the brand name will harm your conversion rate online and offline. Don't give anybody an excuse to click away from your site, forget your name, or deem you less professional than the competition.

2. Some day, you might want to separate the 2 businesses – keeping 1 and selling the other. If you brand them separately and market distinct websites, then they're easier to disentangle. That way, each can thrive on its own.

3. Position yourself so that neither service gets in the way of the other. Suppose you get a negative review for the video service. (Disgruntled customers don't need to be right to make a stink.) If you've only got the 1 brand, then this negative review affects your stadium business. Better if they can be separated.

4. So you're dividing the screen. That may look OK on a laptop. However, more and more, consumers are viewing the internet on tiny mobile devices. Half of a tiny screen doesn't give you enough space to pitch EITHER of your services adequately. A phone is barely enough room for a small picture or video. Don't throw half of that away. Your competitors won't.

My own professional specialty is naming and domains, in case you'd like advice or feedback.

Good luck!


Answered 2 years ago

This is a pretty awesome story!

Positioning your business with a narrow focus is, in fact, a way of marketing, but needn't restrict your whole business to that one product or service you're known for. Think of Coca Cola. They make a lot more than that one drink.

It seems, though, that you are targeting two very different markets: the school video market, and the stadium builders. Not much crossover there. You could have a single overarching brand, but that could be tricky, because you'll be tempted to be preaching the same message to two different audiences.

Mind you, if you took the video angle and told your story of how you became accidental heroes from what is (let's face it) a pretty boring product, I think there's a great story there. Even better that you're making the school children the heroes!

It would be great to see how you progress with this.


Answered 2 years ago

I love the serendipity of that! I suggest keeping it separate since the industries most likely won't cross over. Start a new brand....name it something "hype" since that is the word you used to describe the new offering. Hypeshot or something fun. Best of luck- if you inspiration: http://specialmoderndesign.com


Answered 2 years ago

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