WPblab EP96 – Pros and Cons of Brand Fragmentation

Tonight on WPblab, Jason Tucker and Bridget Willard speak with James Tryon about the pros and cons of fragmenting your brand. Should you keep all of your products together under a company umbrella or have separate identities? Let’s talk business goals and marketing tonight.


James Tryon is Lead Ambassador for Wapu.us – helps promote brand recognition for the WordPress project

His company: Easily Amused Inc.



Salesman Rick – Rick and Morty affiliate links store



BlocksWP – resource for learning about Gutenberg blocks



Runs @TheGutes twitter account (Gutenberg related)



A lot of his companies are DBA’s under his main company


It seems to be a relatively common practice for businesses to ‘fragment’ their brand and keep separate social accounts for each part of their business – Bridget thinks this is a really terrible idea…


Don’t launch a product on a squeaky clean account with 0 followers and no brand recognition!!!


Sometimes it makes sense to fragment yourself, such as splitting business and personal accounts where something is not appropriate or doesn’t belong on your single account.  But remember, you are doubling your work!!


Bridget – it’s like a ‘stock split’ – you have twice as much stock, but it’s worth half as much


If you have lots of products and each product has its own accounts, then every time you launch a new product, you have to start over from scratch!  


James doesn’t necessarily like being as fragmented as he is, but it kind of made sense to do so. The current brand he is working on now happens to be in a different industry. Sometimes fragmenting makes sense as a way to protect each of your ‘products’ or ideas from each other.


If you are selling a very low value product with one part of your business but then also selling custom site development for several thousand with your agency, you may want to separate them to the cheaper solutions don’t devalue your main brand


Sometimes there are also business, financial, tax reasons to separate out as well


Bridget wonders what happens if she changes her name – her brand uses her current name, so can she keep her brand name or does she need to change it? …Should you have a company name instead of using your name? Should you consider using a middle name instead of a last name?  There are many factors to consider!


The same thing happens with your company – The company, the product, and you are all identities – what is the best way to brand yourself?


Do you want to be a house of brands or a brand of houses? (Chris Lema)  


When you’re a giant company – you can have multiple separate teams for each of your products, but if you’re a small business, it’s hard to have the necessary resources to work on building each of those separate brands successfully and it likely makes more sense to concentrate your efforts on one brand!


You don’t want to find yourself in the position where you realize you haven’t tweeted or posted in several days on one of your brands – fragmenting yourself creates that risk


If you have 5 different plugins and you’re only 1 person with maybe a couple helpers, you would start stretching yourself too thin. If you’re questioning whether to fragment your brand with separate social accounts – go ahead and reserve the twitter (social media) handles and/or website domains and then you can phase in your efforts later as your company grows. Essentially ‘flag planting’.


If you’re going to fragment – go ALL in. Be cognizant of how much time it takes to build an account from scratch; it takes a LOT of time!


If you are fragmented with 2 or more accounts, another question is whether it makes sense to merge them and delete one of the accounts.   The risk from merging is that you’ll lose followers from both accounts.


James has an individual domain name and social account for all of his brands


CONS: Money, resources, obscurity (starting from scratch can be good if you have a bad reputation, but not so great if your reputation is a good one)


When you have multiple brands, sometimes there is brand confusion – where clients will say “oh, I didn’t know you did that too” …. They could have used you to help with another need, but the brand recognition wasn’t there


Last 15 mins

James –  https://minddoodle.com/ – mind mapping tool, completely free!

Jason – https://pasteapp.me/ – manage your clipboard on your Mac

Bridget (tool/tip requests)

— starting to use Windows computers more often – wants a Mac standard keyboard that works with a Windows computer!

— stop using crappy CMS’s!

— ask people (customers) where they come from and don’t accept “the internet” as the answer!

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