Enterprises utilizing the connections and energy grow with less investment and structure. The challenge is that many enterprises do not use the power and scope of the business to attract and engage customers and prospects. The Internet (web) is the perfect partner to empower the enterprise.
Take for example General Electric. Their site www.ge.com has integrated all of the websites in several easy to navigate formats including an A – Z listing with links. Each company under the GE umbrella has a stand-alone website with similarities in style and navigation that helps promote the feeling that you are doing business with the same company. There is not much about the parent company in any of these sites except that you can get to the company site by clicking on the link at the bottom. While some of these would never share the same customers, there is the opportunity to port a positive customer experience throughout the GE branded sites.
It was not long ago when many NBC shows such as the Today show co-branded NBC with GE as a parent company. Today under NBC Universal, GE still has a 49% ownership share however there is little if any utilization of this major ownership stake from either the media companies or GE. The question that has to come to mind is with that large of an ownership state, it would seem like an opportunity for continued cross branding and customer experience.
Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. is highly diversified in its portfolio. What is interesting is that the featured product on its website http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/ is GEICO Insurance. You have some digging to do for other companies but you can buy Berkshire Hathaway Activewear on the homepage.
Prudential www.prudential.com leverages brand name across its business interests. No matter where you click on the site, you will be aware of the expanse of the enterprise. However, once you are transacting business or viewing a company related site separate from the corporate site, the enterprise is lost to the business you are viewing or working with. Customer experience and leverage are immediately limited. These become like electrons orbiting the nucleus of an atom, each on its own path but not necessarily interfacing with any other electron, orbit or even directly with the atom.
These are all examples of fairly large and diverse enterprises used as examples that will apply to even the smallest enterprise. One customer who buys two things through the same enterprise is worth double a single customer with a single purchase. A customer who buys from many companies within the enterprise is a lot more valuable especially if some of the products or services will create a repetitive purchase (annual renewals, upgrades, add-ons).
If the enterprise can leverage trust, consumer experience, value, quality and integrated needs, marketing and sales are less costly and more profitable. If we were to look at you enterprise, would the customer find many paths or find themselves in a dead end wherever the first point of engagement with your company occurred?