The brand is one of the cornerstones of any successful business. It can dictate, in part, how easy it is to catch the attention of your customers, to urge them further down the conversion funnel, and the kind of reputation or attitude that develops around the business, as well. However, if you think it’s as easy as slapping a few design elements together and calling it a day, you could be making the first of the mistakes that undermine how people discover and interact with your business. Here are some of the other branding mistakes to avoid that make your brand invisible that you should avoid, to boot.
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What Is A Brand?
A brand is an intangible marketing or business concept that helps people identify a company, product, or individual. People often confuse brands with things like logos, slogans, or other recognizable marks, which are marketing tools that help promote goods and services. – Investopedia.
Brand Mistakes #1 – Not Thinking About What Your Brand Identity Is
If you start trying to put together a brand, including brand content like advertisements, a website, packaging, and so on, without any kind of consistency to tie it together, you’re going to find it hard to communicate anything at all. You need to make sure that you start from the basics, building a brand identity that the rest of your branding grows out of.
However, this might mean writing a brand story and thinking about the values and ideas that you want your brand to be associated with. Or it means even making sure that your unique selling proposition is a focus.
Otherwise, all of your marketing efforts are going to feel haphazard and inconsistent since you have no foundation to keep coming back to.
Brand Errors #2 – Making It All About You
Your brand should not be about you. It should not all be about your business, your story, or the creative spirit that drives you. You can make use of these elements, there’s no doubt about that, but they shouldn’t be the core of the brand.
Make sure that your brand’s focus is on the value that it can offer the customer or client. What problems can you solve for them? What lifestyle can you help them achieve? How can you improve their quality of life?
Make sure that the customer focus is the key, as then it will seem like your brand is talking directly to the customers that are most relevant to it, helping you build stronger connections more easily.
Branding Mistakes To Avoid #4 – Cheaping Out On Your Brand Design
If there’s one thing that can undermine any kind of brand strategy or identity that you’re aiming for, it’s making your business look unprofessional. You might not have the budget of bigger businesses, but you need to make sure that you at least set some aside from good brand appearance design.
A business that looks amateur is going to get treated as an amateur when compared to others in the market. Invest in things like your logo design, your website design, and the other visual aspects of your brand that are so often going to make the first impression of your business for you.
Brand Errors #5 – Not Thinking Carefully About Your Name
What’s in a name? Quite a lot, actually. Your name is one of the first identifiers of your brand that your customers are likely to see. You might come up with a name that sounds good, but does it actually communicate anything about your business? Does it give an idea of your products and services or at least the qualities that your business is trying to represent?
If not, you should start from scratch with some brand naming tips in the back of your mind. For instance, you may want to ensure that you check for domain names, and social media availability, as well as whether or not you might be clashing against any other prominent brands that you might not yet be aware of.
Brand Mistakes #6 – Not Researching Your Competition
As mentioned, you want to choose a name that isn’t going to get your target audience thinking of another business entirely. This should be a key that you keep coming back to time and time when designing different elements of the brand, be it the logo, color scheme, main messaging, or otherwise.
Take the time to do competitor research so that you know who your competitors are, near or far. Then, make sure that you’re doing enough to differentiate your brand. You don’t need to do absolutely everything different from them. As there will naturally be some areas that you’re competing more closely than that, you should ensure that you have your niche as well as differences in style that help you stand above the rest.
Brand Errors #7 – Not Having Your Own Set of Brand Guidelines
As mentioned, if you don’t have your own brand identity mapped out, then it can be hard to stick to anything that’s meaningful and consistent. Consistency is the key and there is another way that you make it hard to embody it in your own brand: by not having your own brand guidelines. These are also commonly known as brand bibles.
Effectively, it lays out the different elements of your brand, from the color scheme to the imagery preferences, right down to typography and the different kinds of language used. It means that if you ever work with someone who is going to be doing marketing for you.
However, then you can pass them your guidelines and make sure that they’re sticking to the same elements that you are, giving you that much-needed consistency.
Brand Mistakes #8 -Failing To Proofread
We get it. Mistakes can happen to anyone and everyone. Even if you read over your own work, you can find it hard to pick up every single mistake. However, the truth is that if no one reads over your content before you publish it, you are almost guaranteed to have some pretty glaring errors that your audience is going to pick up on it.
This doesn’t just apply to spelling mistakes, either. If you’re working with others, you need to make sure that you’re proofreading to make sure that they’re not too edgy, not doing anything offensive, or using language that’s too vague.
In Conclusion of Branding Mistakes To Avoid
Your brand is a tool that your business is going to use for as long as you’re running it. Make sure that you put effort into getting it right so that you don’t have to change it too soon.
What branding mistakes to avoid have you learned? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.