Your business’ brand is a window into your business and what it stands for, so you need to think seriously about what you want to represent. Branding doesn’t just mean that you run a successful marketing campaign; it’s also more basic. What do you want your customers to think about when they think of your business? What’s hard is adapting your brand over time as your business grows and changes. Here are the biggest errors with branding to avoid.
1. Making the wrong logo
The logo is one of the main aspects of your brand, but if you start off with a logo that’s not quite right, it’s actually really difficult to update it later on. It becomes associated with your brand and changing the logo can really affect the ground you’ve already covered, so make sure you get it right the first time.
2. Not showcasing your value proposition
You have to successfully share with your audience why your brand is special and different from others. If you don’t, they won’t be on your website or sticking with your business for long. From the tagline to mission statement, be clear in your messaging what you do and why it’s important. For this section, avoid using too many buzzwords, vague terms that don’t mean anything concrete, being too similar to competitors’ messaging, and be clear about what the problem is that you’re solving.
3. Not sticking to your brand
One of the worst things you can do for your business is not following your own brand guidelines. According to Rita Keating, a branding expert at UKWritings and Best Writing Services, “these guidelines clarify what your business is about and how it stands out from the crowd. Stick to your brand guidelines from the use of your logo to colour schemes, visuals, voice and messaging style, and fonts.”
4. Following trends
There are constantly new trends in every aspect of our lives, and it can be easy to try to jump on whatever is trending at the moment – a style, event, story, or hashtag. The problem is that trends come and go, but you need to come up with branding that is timeless and that will continue to be relevant in many years’ time. By rebranding or chasing trends, you’ll be spending precious time and resources on what’s unnecessary to your business.
5. Know why you’re distinct
Your target audience might change with time. If that’s the case with your company, you need to make sure to update your branding so it matches your new audience. Don’t forget about your old customers if they stick with you, but make sure you know how to connect with all parts of your audience.
6. Not thinking big enough
Even if you’re a local business with a small, local audience, you need to realize that the world is diverse. With the Internet and the current tech options, you can have a global reach. The last thing you want is for people to think your brand is ignorant.
Be sure to welcome clients from all kinds of backgrounds by using inclusive language, having professionally translated websites, being culturally sensitive, asking for feedback and dialogue from all clients, and doing detailed research before you move your business into new regions.
Gone are the days of small businesses and corner stores. The Internet has made everything global, and there’s no reason your business can’t join in.
7. Putting too much stock in consistency
This might seem a bit confusing because you do want to have a consistent message about your brand and its value proposition, products, and mission. At the same time, having the exact identical message on all platforms or channels like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram is a bit of waste of resources and repetitive. It will cause certain customers to ignore some of your channels.
Ulla Frasier, a marketer at Boom Essays and Essay Services, says to “use each channel slightly differently to show different parts of your brand. You can still represent the same values while putting consistency on the back burner.”
8. Ignoring public opinion
Take public opinion of your brand seriously instead of pointing fingers or shrugging your shoulders. Use feedback forms, research public opinion, and set up polls to find out what you can do better to serve your customers.
Social media isn’t just about staying in contact with your family or your friends anymore. It’s now being used by consumers to ask brands questions about their products, give feedback, and even call out brands that have given bad service or a bad product. According to a recent study, as many as 46% of people have used social media to call out a brand.
As a business, you absolutely must respond to these call-outs or your impression on your customers can get even worse. Any time your brand is mentioned on social media, you should have a response posted in 12 hours. The faster you have an answer, the better your customer experience will be. This all reflects positively on your brand.
9. Blocking out a crisis
If everything goes terribly wrong for whatever reason, the way your brand handles the crisis will have a big impact on how the public views your company. Disasters can have serious effects on a brand that are felt for years and years. You should make sure you know what to do if disaster strikes: the first thing to do is to address the situation immediately, with sensitivity, and in the right way. Own up to what happened and show some empathy – it will go a much longer way than abandoning ship or blaming others.
10. Being too vague
So many brands make the mistake of using bad copywriting so they don’t define the company the right way. Using vague copy is a major branding problem because you won’t distinguish yourself from competitors. Use unique terms and explain yourself clearly so that your brand stands out from all the other ones out there. You should also get to the point – don’t use so many words to say what you mean.
If you’re struggling with this point, remember this: focus on the benefits you’re bringing customers, not the features. Think about what drives your customers and tap into their thoughts. Don’t be repetitive, and be conversational. Reflect how you would actually speak with your customers.
11. Not going the professional route
You have to get a brand and logo that looks professional. If it looks like you drew it on a napkin in five minutes, it probably won’t cut it. Hiring a professional designer can be a worthy investment that you’ll be happy about in the future. Look for one that specializes in branding and developing logos – you won’t regret it.
Take the time to speak with them and great a style guide for the brand that defines the colour use, the type of font, the style and image you want to portray. This will let you stay consistent on all fronts. Bear in mind that the style guide is just the starting point. You need to keep checking in with the designer to make sure the guide is being followed and your vision respected.
There is a lot to keep in mind when branding your company, but by avoiding these major pitfalls, you can set yourself up to having a successful and recognizable brand.
Aimee Laurence, a journalist at Write My College Paper and College Assignment Help, writes about company branding and marketing. She has helped many companies rebrand over the years and seeks to help them avoid that complicated and risky process. In her free time, she is a freelance editor for Do My Assignments service.