Organically grow your customer base with a positive brand. Here are the 8 most common branding mistakes companies make and how to avoid them.
A brand is like your business’s personality—an opportunity to show off your values, beliefs, goals and a unique image that people can connect with. Branding is a blueprint for how the world will view your business, which is why you should be utilizing every opportunity to show people why they should choose your brand over your competitors.
Unfortunately, branding mistakes can (and commonly do) sabotage the growth of a startup or cost a lot of money for an established company.
Every business needs a comprehensive and well-planned branding strategy to ensure that it presents its products and services with a clear vision of who they are as a company. It also ensures a business communicates effectively to consumers to improve brand recognition, profits, customer loyalty and experience.
Here are 8 common branding mistakes we see far too often that you should avoid:
Mistake #1: Poor brand guidelines
A business that lacks clear brand guidelines is most likely to look inconsistent and appear to be untrustworthy and unprofessional. Proper brand guidelines should cover the following aspects:
- How, when and where to use the logo
- Tone, voice and writing style
- Color palettes
- Brand voice
- Visuals and imagery
- Fonts and typography
Having clear brand guidelines will enable you to coordinate your content assets on every platform representing your company, such as social media pages, websites and digital or print advertising. By creating a unique brand style guide, you can ensure that your messaging is consistent and cohesive across your communications channels. It also reinforces your brand credibility and identity.
Mistake #2: Mistaking logo for the brand
The logo is the most recognizable feature of your brand and the face of the company. It needs to be properly designed right from the start as changing it in the future can cause problems, especially if your business is not well established in the industry. Your logo is synonymous with the brand and creates a lasting impression while offering a glimpse of the brand’s identity.
Remember when GAP decided to change its logo in 2010?
It caused an outrage from the loyal customer base and the company was forced to go back to the old logo.
However, a logo is not the brand of the company.
A brand is so much more. One of the mistakes companies make is confusing their brand with their logo.
Yes, your company needs a captivating logo. But an effective brand is more meaningful. A brand is an identity and it’s included in all aspects of the business, including the colors on the walls, employees’ conduct and the products and services offered.
Mistake #3: Defining brand strategy inefficiently
First, you need to define your brand strategy by understanding the environment, including your competitors and their strategic positions. An efficient brand strategy needs to focus on your business objectives instead of only coming up with a beautiful logo. A business is doomed to fail if it only relies on aesthetics.
A brand strategy should align the organization’s vision with its customer’s experience. It’s about what resonates more with your target audience. When developing a brand strategy, you need to have a creative partnership with the designer and strategist to perfectly define your business objectives.
Mistake #4: Using cheap branding
Another common branding mistake is when a company opts for cheap logo design services. In an attempt to cut budget costs, a company may use a cheap logo design of poor quality. A thoughtful and professional logo might cost you more money upfront, but it will benefit you in the long run.
Mistake #5: Engaging the wrong audience
It’s important for a company to connect with the right audience—both practically and emotionally. Most people base their brand on personal preferences rather than strategy. Failing to take into consideration how your brand will appeal to your target audience may hurt your branding. You must know where to draw the line and focus on your competitive advantage and target audience.
You need to know your target audience, including their location, occupation, age, income and needs. Connect with your audience in a personal way to get ahead of your competitors. In this day and age, content personalization is key in ensuring your consumers buy your products or services.
Mistake #6: Brand inconsistency
As important as it is to create a captivating brand identity, you must implement it in a reliable way. Many businesses struggle with brand consistency leading to an ineffective or confused identity. Consistency cuts across all aspects of the business, including the voice on social media platforms, marketing materials and the staff.
Once you find an effective branding strategy, make sure that you stick to it and remain open to improvement. However, improvements need to be approached carefully to make sure they align with the brand. A detailed brand guide can help you remain consistent.
Coca-Cola, for example, has maintained its classic script logo since 1887. They have made slight changes but maintained the original look.
Mistake #7: Lack of differentiation
Your consumers are presented with many marketing messages from your competitors. For you to stand out, your brand needs to be unique. You stand to lose your customers if your brand looks like all the other companies. Customers need to see the difference and compare it with their competitors. Differentiation will help you to communicate your brand value effectively.
Mistake #8: Failure to offer a great brand experience
A negative interaction with a customer can cause a bad brand experience. Staff who lack adequate knowledge or have a poor attitude can play a key role in creating bad experiences. Other factors that may result in bad experiences include failure to understand individual needs, delivering the wrong products and poor customer care services.
Companies that underestimate the effects of bad brand experiences may end up losing consumers. A great brand experience extends beyond quality staff and website experience to every opportunity where the customers interact with your brand.
Your brand is a powerful tool to help craft an emotional connection with your customers. Delivering on your brand consistency builds a respectable reputation, while consistent failure leaves people feeling disconnected.
If you’re looking for an Atlanta branding agency that can help you transform your business – look no further.
Reach out today so we can get started.