View Full Version : BRANDING Dilemma! - HELP Requested Please

08-03-2009, 01:37 AM
Hello to all you great forum contributors! :-)

Please can I have your comments and advice on my branding dilemma for a new business in the pre-startup planning phase.

The dilemma is regarding how I set up the branding / business name that is strong in both marketing/selling the initial service as well as the planned future additional service.

The initial and core service the business will provide is a therapy consultation session that enables a smoker to stop smoking. The therapy is based on NLP & Hypnotherapy processes and has a strong success rate. Target market is smokers (obviously).

Once this quit smoking service is established I want to add an additional service of educational and practical workshops that focus on increasing fulfilment and wellbeing in life generally. Target market is the general public.

So the dilemma is whether I start the business building a "Quit Smoking" brand name eg. 'The Quit Smoking Centre' for example, which will be the most effective at selling the initial service, but then will not be effective at selling the additional future 'fulfilment and wellbeing' workshops to the general public.

The other option would be to call the business a more general name like 'The Wellbeing Center' which won't be as strong in marketing/selling the initial and core quit smoking service (including being much less effective in terms of online marketing and search engine optimisation), but then will enable marketing/selling the 'fulfilment and wellbeing' workshops to the general public at a later time.

Or there may be other options of how to arrange the branding / business that I'm not currently certain about eg. run two businesses (would rather not), use different 'divisions' of the one business etc.

Thank you in advance for your comments and advice!



08-03-2009, 02:46 AM
There's not really a single answer here. You've identified the issue well and the answer will come down to your own choice. As far as running two business you wouldn't necessarily be running two business just because you're branding two different services. They could still both be under the same business.

I'll share my own experience here since I actually rebranded myself a little over a year ago. My original site used the word hosting in the name as it was one of the services I offered at the time. I never really liked it and did want something more general, but it was the best domain I could come up with at the time.

A few years later I realized I didn't want to offer hosting any more and I felt that the word in my domain was taking focus away from what I really did which was web design and development. Even though it likely meant losing search traffic and having to rebuild a new brand I thought it was the right decision to make.

I build a new site on a new domain and relaunched. Most people followed along though some didn't. In the end it was a great move and my business has grown.

The point of the above is not to let this decision keep you from starting your business. A few years down the road you'll probably know what you should have done now, but there's no way to know for certain now. You have pros and cons either way so just do what you can to balance them and make the best choice you can.

I'm guessing you'll be running things on a website so do get both domain names. No reason you can't direct both to the same content and at least you'll have both.

When it comes to branding it's going to take time to build your brand and building one brand will be easier than building two. In general I think it's better to choose the more brandable and memorable name, though it's hard to argue against a good keyword domain. Your two ideas do go together, but there's no reason you can't run them on two sites.

What you can also do is go with the general name and then have the quit smoking stuff either on a subdomain or in a folder so you get all the keywords you want. Not as good as having the keyword in the domain itself, but they'd still be in the URL.

Another thought is where do you see your traffic coming from. If you're thinking your traffic will be primarily search based then it's probably best to go with the quit smoking name and domain. If you plan on building traffic through other means with search being only a part of the traffic then the keyword rich domain probably isn't as important.

Get both domains and decide where your traffic is going to come from and how people are going to find you. If they'll find you primarily through search go with the keywords in the name and deal with the problem of adding the second service when the time comes for that. If people will find you in a way that's primarily not search the keywords in the name are going to be less important and you might then go with the more general name.

In an ad it won't matter if the quit smoking is in the name itself. You can still get that message across in other ways. Look at some products you routinely buy and see how many actually have the type of product in their name. I bet most don't, but I bet most have other ways to let you know what type of product it is.

08-03-2009, 01:19 PM
I would go for the broader name, especially if you think that you will be offering more services in the future. I always advocate going for a name that places as few limits on your business as possible. As Vangogh points out, situations change over time. Having a broader business name allows you to be more flexible.

In this particular instance, I also think it would be very easy to make the case that quitting smoking is part of wellness. So it's not as though you're trying to combine two things that really don't go together well.

08-03-2009, 05:14 PM
you have 2 different business idea's...both are good.....i vote for 2 different divisions..

i wouldnt pass up having 'quit smoking' in your name when thats what you do

same with 'wellness center'

if you dont do 2 names you will be losing the power of your company name

when they hear your company name they should know exactly what you do!

08-04-2009, 07:06 PM
What do you see as the long-term vision of your company? If your company is primarily going to help people quit smoking - then later add in non-core services like overall wellness - then you should focus on the core (smoking). But, if your vision is to be a wellness center that offers non-smoking help - then you should focus on the wellness as your core.

You can always brand as a wellness center that ALSO offers quit smoking help. You can even approach smokers from the point of overall wellness through quiting smoking. This way, you can target your entire market (general public) as well as appeal to the smoking subset.

If in time, you decide to get away from the quit smoking help - it would be extremely easy to just drop that part while still keeping your overall brand in front of your overall market - the wellness piece.

This follows Vangogh's comments:

What you can also do is go with the general name and then have the quit smoking stuff either on a subdomain or in a folder so you get all the keywords you want. Not as good as having the keyword in the domain itself, but they'd still be in the URL.

I guess I am trying to say is stick with your general market - then treat the smokers as a subset.

08-04-2009, 10:58 PM
What do you see as the long-term vision of your company?

That's a good question to consider. Like I said above, I don't think there's a right or wrong answer with how to brand the company. It comes down to where you see the company heading and how you expect people will find you and quite a few other decisions.