I want to have my brand strategy in place when I finally launch my startup. I'm not sure what the best strategy is for a multiple product brand. I see some brands like 37signals have a different website for all their products, but zoho.com has everything linked to one domain. Which strategy brings the best results?
One difference with 37Signals is that "37Signals" is a product itself, just not a software product. They are thought leaders. If 37Signals was just the company behind the products, it would not be as important to market the company. I am sure they get a lot of users for their products because of the 37Signals brand.
With that aside, I don't see any reason for your users to care about your company at this stage unless you expect to cross sell them with all your products. If you have a CRM product, a photo editing product and a product that generates business cards, there isn't much crossover and no need for your customers to know about your company or your other products. If you are like Zoho however and expect your customers might buy more than one of your products (particularly if they intergrate), well now it makes sense to have them together.
If you don't need the synergy, spend your time marketing and branding the product(s).
I think you might be getting ahead of yourself a little bit. No worries though, we've all been there. I'll give you some perspective on the situation and I think that will help you a lot.
37Signals was founded in 1998 as a web design company and didn't create Basecamp, its first app, until 2004. That's 6 years until founder Jason Fried found his big success that essentially put him on the map.
Backpack, which was their next app wasn't released until 2005, Campfire in 2006, and Highrise in 2007.
What I'm getting at is that it took 9 years to build up to what you see now. Imagine yourself as Jason Fried back in 1997 right before he launched his business. Do you think he was worrying about his branding strategy? He wasn't, because it didn't matter. When it did matter, he figured it out. An idea for a startup, or a pre-launch startup, has more important things to worry about and your success depends on your ability to properly prioritize what matters.
Worrying about how many domains you're going to spread your business across when you haven't even launched yet is just silly.