Very generally, your brand probably falls into one of two categories:
You are either a single brand or a collection of brands under a single umbrella brand.
Warner Brothers has many brands under its control. Disney, on the other hand, is a single strong brand. Both are in the same entertainment industry and both have been able to succeed in most of their ventures.
But there are some key differences.
You generally don’t, after establishing your brand in the marketplace, go out to purposely dilute your influence. Most of your endeavours are all under the same name. You use these strategy to re-enforce your brand as you grow organically and expand.
But what if you were to expand by acquisition? What happens if your expansion plans include the takeover of another well-known brand. What if Disney were to take over Warner Brothers. The risk of Warner Brothers losing its identity and being rebranded as Disney just means that Disney, although increasing its own nett brand value has lost significantly more by dropping the Warner Brothers name.
But there are risks. Umbrellaing under one name means that if one venture fails, the impact is felt across the whole brand. If the Cool Ridge water brand was to be hit by a recall, then the impact to Coca Cola (the Cool Ridge owner) would be minimal, almost insignificant; and might become a recovery exercise in launching a different water brand, maybe with the opportunity to more closely align it to Coca Cola, to pick up the vacated market.
This leads to what should you do. Generally, if you offer goods and services across a common theme, there are definite advantages to moving with a strong single brand. If, on the other hand, you want to expand by acquisition or want to explore unrelated industries, then protect your primary brand and move forward with a new identity.
Fortunately, it is very easy to move between camps, so if one strategy does not quite fit then, after considering the associated costs and brand write-offs, flip to the other one.