When you create your company you set out with ideals and build on a promise to the customer or client, this grows into your brand promise and becomes your position in the consumers mind. Use our service or product and you will receive a level of quality that isn't offered by our competition, we are what you want, because we are better than anyone else. If you are wise early on your will already have established dominance in your domain and niche in the marketplace, either being first to market or by solid marketing.
Sadly though as you grow and think of investment and future positioning it is tempting to consider something that isn't exactly aligned to your current business. It offers riches and success beyond your wildest dreams, and surely everyone else seems to be making the changes. Trouble is though that this probably isn't exactly in the your domain of expertise. So you go ahead and make the move as company anyhow, whether through acquisition, investment or merger. The reality is that what you have started to do is blur your companies boundaries, take it out of focus. This not only causes confusion within your own company for employees but more importantly it affects the mind of your customers. Your brand maybe known for reliability or safety and the wrong growth in the wrong area may make people start to question what your brand stands for. You may offer one very successful product, but then start to offer alternatives not quite in alignment. What happens, you muddy the waters of all that you had laid down before. It can lead to short term gains, but ultimately alter the brand perception.
So how to avoid this. Stay Focused. Keep to your company goals and brand values. Keep to your core products and improve all that surrounds them. Of course disruption comes along and times change, but think how to integrate the right opportunities that continue with the right brand voice. Don't be tempted to blur your company or brand for the sake of a quick profit, the damage maybe hard to undo.