We want Clear Books to be known as brilliant cloud accounting software. So what happens to your brand when you launch a new product such as payroll software? Can a brand be two things?

This is a tricky decision to make because it requires a lot of effort to build a brand. You need to get it right from the beginning.

You could take a similar approach to Zoho and have Zoho invoices, Zoho CRM, Zoho mail etc – but then what does Zoho stand for? It is no longer good at just one thing. The advantage however, is that you only need to promote one brand, Zoho.

This approach seems to work well when you can get leverage from the name of an already established brand. Google is a good example, with Google Docs, Google Adwords and Google Analytics. Each is a leading brand in it’s own field.

We took the approach of developing completely new brands for our products. Our accounting software is called Clear Books and our payroll software is called Open Payroll. Each brand has a clear purpose but the downside is it takes double the work to maintain.

You need to consider different websites for each brand, marketing materials, logo, email addresses and social media accounts.

If you sell multiple products or services, what decision did you make on branding?

Posted by Tim Fouracre

Tim founded Clear Books in 2008. Like many small business owners he worked from home for 15 months to get his startup off the ground. Today Tim enjoys helping Clear Books, its customers and its growing team innovate and achieve. Tim did his GCE O Levels in Ghana.