What are you doing when it comes to branding your own business? Branding strategy plays an important role in business growth. It’s the roadmap for how, where, when and to whom you are going to communicate your differentiated messaging.

1. Do you have enough brand-building money to afford multiple brands?

Building a brand takes time, patience and money. Would you be hurting your umbrella brand by siphoning resources away from it to start a new brand? Sometimes, pooling your money to achieve the brand equivalent of an economy of scale is the best option.

2. Do your brands have significantly different target markets?
It is sometimes hard for brands to make the leap from one market to another. You might consider a different brand if you are concerned that your existing brand won’t have permission to enter a market.

3. Are there significant brand risks that could badly damage your business?
The classic case of this is the 1982 Tylenol scare where seven people died from taking Tylenol capsules that had been laced with cyanide. Sales of Tylenol immediately plummeted, but Johnson & Johnson (a house of brands) was able to avoid significant damage to revenues of their other products because these products had no brand association with Tylenol. If risk is one of your primary concerns, sometimes creating a house of brands is a good (but expensive) mitigation strategy.

For most small businesses, a branded house strategy is probably the safest bet because you can centralize marketing dollars. And many companies today are actually considering a hybrid model. No matter the model that’s right for you, ask yourself the right questions and make a plan for your brand.

Source: Chris Grams is president and partner of New Kind, the author of The Ad-Free Brand: Secrets to Successful Brand Positioning in a Digital World and is the community guide on the Management Innovation Exchange.