When launching a complementary, add-on product or service or distantly related service, should we create a totally separate company or brand, or an in-house division?
Should we create a new brand or stand-alone business, or should we tack it on to the existing business? The way I see it, if we tack it on, the existing customer base may be happy to purchase the additional services--or it may give the impression that we are too broad and not specialized enough. How do we decide, and how do we communicate our new offering or new company to clients?Look at your current database as your greatest asset and keep your new brand under the existing business for the time being--but only if it is truly complementary to your current product or service offering.
Depending on your product or service, it may be a great add-on to your existing line and could encourage larger purchases. If, however, it is not complementary (which you will discover soon enough by marketing first to your existing database, either by phone, walk-in or via opt-in e-mail), you may want to explore a new brand that exists as a stand-alone.
Trying to push a new product or service to your customer base that is too far outside your current business scope does cause you to lose focus. In that case, you are better off going after a new audience under a new brand.
All the best.