Your brand is a window into the heart and soul of your business and should, therefore, be taken very seriously.

Businesses spend a lot of time and money getting a brand established. The harsh reality is that a simple branding mistake can sabotage even the most popular brand in the world.

All branding mistakes are not created equal. When you’re just starting out, repercussions can be much more serious than that of an established business, because chances are, there’s no brand loyalty to fall back on.

For many of your potential customers, the mistake is often the only thing they know about your company, which could stunt growth before it can even start.

Below are the most common branding mistakes that could kill your brand. So avoid these…

1. Not Hiring a Professional Designer.

Nothing can hurt your brand worse than an amateur looking-looking logo.

No matter if you feel OK with the logos of your graphic standards of your brand, it’s always worth taking the time and spending money to hire a professional graphic designer specializing in branding and logo development.

Know why going cheap on your branding is one of the worst mistakes you can make? No. Read this blog article from Entrepreneur.com here.

Ask your designer to create a brand style guide.

A brand style guide is: a simple rulebook of your company’s preferred fonts, colors, imagery, logos, and other visual assets. A complete style guide goes beyond design assets, and also includes a set of standards for your brand’s values, voice, and written elements.

Having a style guide in place is a handy way to make sure you’re presenting a consistent, cohesive message in all the places your brand appears. Think of it as an insurance policy for your brand.

2. Inconsistency Across Different Platforms and Mediums

What's Social Media Marketing?

By presenting a consistent identity to your audience fosters a sense of trust and comfort for consumers, and can go a long way in building an easily recognizable image for your company.

You must follow the brand’s style guide on all your marketing campaigns across different channels, including your website, social networking profiles and printed materials.

Managing brand consistency across all marketing channels sets you apart from your competitors and helps you to accelerate the growth of your brand. A consistent identity for your brand will not only foster a sense of trust and comfort for potential customers, but it also plays a vital role in influencing your customers’ purchasing decision.

This isn’t to say you should slap your logo on everything and just call it a day – to align your visual identity in an efficient, reproducible way, you need a brand style guide.

3. Relying Too Heavily on Design Trends

Keeping up with the latest branding and design trends is a great way to make sure you’re presenting your company in a fresh, contemporary way, but there’s a big difference between modernizing your brand and losing your core identity in pursuit of the hottest new thing.

It can be easy to get swept up in what looks cool at the moment, but remember that your brand will likely need to weather multiple waves of design trends without looking dated. If you commit too heavily to a trend that turns out to be a ephemeral blip in the greater design landscape, you risk making your brand look dated — fast.

As a general rule, use design trends as a source of inspiration, but don’t rely on them too heavily when planning your next big redesign.

4. Straying Too Far From What Made you Successful in the First Place

If you’re considering a brand redesign, don’t stray too far from what made your brand successful and distinct in the first place. You want your current audience to recognize you post-redesign. Big, abrupt changes can alienate even loyal fans of your brand.

There’s no better cautionary tale than Gap’s now-infamous logo redesign blunder. In 2010, the casual clothing retailer scrapped their classic square logo in favor of a drastically different, decidedly minimal new direction:

gap_logo rebranding floop

According to a Gap spokesperson at the time, the radical design shift was intended to transition the brand’s image from “classic, American design to modern, sexy, cool.” Unfortunately, that’s not exactly what happened.

The logo was poorly received. The backlash against the aggressive change resonated throughout the internet, and less than one week after the new logo was announced, Gap decided to go back to their roots and re-adopt their original blue box logo.

The Lesson: recognize your company’s core image and values, and keep them at the forefront of your mind during any redesign process.

5. Attaching Your Brand to the Wrong Things

When it comes to branding, more is not more. In other words, use your company name and logo selectively and sparingly – especially when it comes to branded products, sponsorships, and events.

When you attach your brand name to something, it should reflect and be compatible with your brand’s values and voice. When a brand partners with another company or product that doesn’t directly relate to or mesh well with their own message, it can seem inconsistent and untrustworthy to consumers.

The Lesson: choose your own brand affiliations and products with care.

6. Not Thinking About How Your Brand Will be Received Globally

Number 1 in the World

When crafting your brand message, make sure you take into consideration how it might be perceived around the world.  Like it or not, your message is global.

Even if you’re not currently a company that operates internationally, it’s still worth knowing if you’ve inadvertently created an offensive brand message that could make scaling your brand globally problematic.

The last thing you want your brand to be associated with is ignorance or ethnocentricity. The best way to welcome customers from a myriad of backgrounds is to:

  • Use language everyone can understand
  • Invest in reputable translation services
  • Practice cultural sensitivity
  • Be inclusive and respect feedback from all
  • Do you research when venturing into unknown territories

So view your content not only in terms of how your target audience will see it but also the rest of the world. Keep in mind there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to global branding.

Something that works in one place might spell absolute disaster for your brand in another location. If you think you might one day want to take your brand global, it’s best to sniff out potential issues in advance — and be prepared to localize your message.

7. Using Copy That Doesn’t Accurately Describe Your Brand

To position your brand in a way that distinguishes you clearly from your competitors, you can’t rely on the same buzzwords everyone else is using. Find one thing that makes you truly unique, and run with it.

But be wary of going over-the-top. For example, if the product or service you’re offering doesn’t truly revolutionize the industry, don’t use “revolutionize” in your brand message. Find something that’s unique and accurate.

When it comes to writing good brand copy – if you aren’t in a position to hire a professional copywriter (try someone from Fivver) then use this old advertising and sales trick: Focus on benefits, not features.

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8. Using Vague Copy to Describe Your Brand.

Too many brands fall victim to poor copywriting that doesn’t accurately define the company. Using vague copy to describe your brand can be a major setback when it comes to positioning your brand in the market and distinguishing yourself from the competitors.

To make your brand stand out, understand the one thing that makes your brand unique and explains it clearly and accurately.

While it’s always difficult to be succinct, you can always follow the age-old marketing advice to good copywriting – focus on benefits, not features.

Below are a few more tips that you may find helpful when describing your brand:

  • To make a positive perception, get to know what makes your customers tick, and try to tap into their psyche.
  • Avoid language that’s repetitive.
  • Use a conversational tone of voice that reflects how your customers actually speak.

9. Neglecting Public Perception

The public’s perception of your brand might not be the rosiest, but instead of chalking it up to bad luck or pointing fingers, it’s time to get serious about turning that frown upside down.

Run polls, gather feedback, conduct research, create some positive media, whip up a great new campaign idea or head back to the drawing board. Just be sure to steer the ship in the right direction before it hits a giant iceberg.

10. Ignoring a Crisis Instead of Owning-up

Crisis management is a huge facet of how a brand is perceived by the public. Equifax, anyone? Or how about that Kylie Jenner Pepsi campaign?

All too often, these types of disasters can have long-term impacts on a brand. And while the right infrastructure should be put in place to minimize potential mishaps. For the ones that slip through the cracks, addressing the situation properly becomes a brand’s only line of defense.

And the best thing you can do is own up to it by showing some humanity. So throw yourself into the flames instead of sacrificing the well-being of your customers.

Even a single mistake can derail your branding efforts. If it’s not fixed sooner than later, it can be harder to reverse your branding efforts. If you catch yourself doing any of the above mistakes, you need to make sure to fix it before it starts eating at your brand.

What branding mistakes have you witnessed that you would include on this list? Please share them with us in the comment section below.

We are here to help. If you want any help with any branding issues, just Messenger us (Private Message Us) at our Facebook Messenger link – http://m.me/EasyOnlineBizSolutions

Talk Soon,
Nicky & Dave

Businesspeople often get confused when talking about their marketing, particularly with regard to brands and branding.

There’s a lot of confusion out there about brands and branding.

What’s a brand?
What’s the difference between your brand and branding?

Well, allow us to clarify things for you.

What is a Brand?

Brand = Branding + Interaction/Experience

Strategies to Improve Your Branding

A brand isn’t a logo. Or a brand name or product name. In fact, it isn’t any one thing.

Your brand is everything. It’s the perception of your company, products, and services in people’s minds. It’s how people think and feel about who you are as an organisation and what you do.

Your marketing and branding clearly influence that perception, but your brand exists whether you actively market your business or not. If you’re out there and people are interacting with your business, you have a brand.

It’s our job to use marketing and branding to manage the perception of your brand – to change the way people think and feel about your organisation and, in turn, change their behaviour.

What is Branding?

Branding is the act of creating a brand.

The Process Involves:

  • Positioning your company or product in the market (carving out your own place)
  • Devising brand strategy (how you will reach your goals)
  • Creating your name (your verbal identity)
  • Designing corporate identity or product identity (your visual identity)
  • Writing brand messaging (verbal and written tone)
  • Setting brand standards (how you keep your brand consistent and strong).

When branding (brand development) is completed, most businesses will not have to undertake the branding process for roughly 10-20 or more years if they worked with an experienced professional.

branding process

In the life of a 50-year business, branding the company occurs only 2-3 times total.

When a company’s brand becomes outdated in 20 years, then you may once again need to take on the branding process. If you create new products or launch new companies, you get to enjoy the exciting process of branding on a more frequent basis.

Branding is Done by:

  • Creating an affinity or emotional connection with the consumer
  • Providing justification for paying a premium price for a service or product
  • Creating loyalty to the product or organisation
  • Demonstrating the quality and benefits of a service or product and the company behind it.

Once the branding process is completed, the word ‘branding’ has no continuing relationship to your brand (unless you work with cattle).

Acquiring loyal customers is what many successful businesses strive for, and that’s what the marketing strategy called branding is all about.

Confusion Around Brands and Branding!

Brand vs Branding

Much of the confusion stems from two scenarios:

  • Branding Consultants with a limited understanding of marketing; and
  • Advertising and Marketing Consultants with a limited understanding of branding.

Consequently, it has confused audiences by coining often self-contradictory buzz-words and using them superficially or out of context. Not surprisingly, the marketplace is left confused and sceptical.

The difference between brand and branding is that one is a marketing tool and the other is an action.

It’s as simple as that.

Branding encompasses much more than the visual realm.

It’s the process of influencing the perception of a business or product, and any sensory experience can be used as a branding opportunity. Audible and emotional communication are very much part of the process. It can play a significant role in forming an impression of a company.

It’s better to implement some level of strategic branding than none at all.

brand-strategy-wheel

By creating a real marketing communication tool you can empower your entire organization to communicate with greater purpose and clarity.

Knowing this enables people to be well-informed, and to impart better understanding, which leads to less confusion, clear communication, and better customer service.

Understanding the difference between brands and branding helps you have a stronger brand because you will be more personally invested in the brand development process.

Your understanding also helps your employees grasp the full significance of the brand, so they learn how to best utilize it in marketing, selling, and supporting your goals and initiatives.

If you’d like to have instant access to even more branding and marketing tips, as well as a way to generate conversion-ready online marketing prospects each month, click here to learn about our done-for-you system.

We are here to help. If you want any help in your Entrepreneurship endeavors, just Messenger us (Private Message Us) at our Facebook Messenger link – m.me/EasyOnlineBizSolutions

Get ACCESS to the best FREE tools and resources for entrepreneurs and business people by going to our tools and resource page or Subscribing to our Entrepreneur Newsletter.

Talk Soon,
Nicky and Dave

In our last two articles we talked about the difference between Branding vs. Marketing and Which Comes First – Marketing Or Branding. In this article we promised to go over The Importance of Understanding Branding vs. Marketing when applied to your business.

So here it is…

The Importance of Understanding Branding vs. Marketing

While branding and marketing are distinctly different, there may be one area where they overlap. When choosing imagery to be used on a continuing basis, branding and marketing become one in the same. As the saying goes “An image speaks one thousand words.”

Knowing that, when you select your organization colors, images, and logo–remember that they need to first stand for your brand–but that they can also play a considerable role in your ongoing advertising campaign.

Think about the number of images we see everyday—on our Facebook feeds and Twitter timelines, on websites we visit, in the games and apps we use on our phones. Though billboards and print advertising prove that brand imagery has always had a place in marketing, it’s undeniable that it now plays a much more important role, because of social media. If properly used, images can deepen a customer—or potential customer’s—attachment to your brand. Read more

As promised in our last article Branding vs. Marketing: Finding the Difference this article will answer the question of:

Which Comes First – Marketing Or Branding?

If you haven’t worked it out it yet…
It’s Branding

After all Branding reaches the key of your online marketing strategy, so branding must come first. Even though you are a set up, it is vital to obviously determine who you are as a brand–before you get started to devise your unique marketing techniques, tools, strategies, and techniques.
Your brand is exactly what will maintain your clients returning for more, it’s the foundation after that you will build consumer devotion.

Think about restaurants and stores near where you live – either independently owned, or major companies. It’s the brand that retains customers returning generation after era. Read more

Have you ever before contemplated the difference between branding and marketing?

If so, you aren’t alone. As the two are doubtlessly linked, there are small variations between your two.

As a business owner, it is vital that you realize branding and marketing both in great depth, so as to effectively use them mutually.

Below is a closer go through the dissimilarities between marketing and branding.

WHAT’S Branding?

The bottom line is, branding is who you are.

Read more

People will put more trust in what you have to say if you are well known in your field. The real skill that well-known authorities have is self-promotion. It’s a skill you should develop as well.

The more celebrated you are in your niche, the easier it will be to both get bloggers to allow you to submit guest blogs and convince readers to act on your product recommendations.

Think about the accomplishments you can point to in your past that will reinforce your image as an expert. Keep track of any awards or recognition that you have received so that you can use them to promote yourself. Don’t be bashful about promoting yourself as an expert at every opportunity.
Read more

A domain name is the web address people click on when they want to visit your website. You need to choose your domain name before you begin building your website.

Your domain should be easy to remember, tell your customers what your website is about, be inviting, and get the customer excited about visiting your website, as well as be related to the name of your business or niche.

It’s also a good idea to include keywords that help users understand what services your business provides. For example, if you own a small business called “The Comic Book Store,” choosing the domain name ComicBookStore.com meets all five of these criteria. Read more

Today’s marketplace is now increasingly becoming more mobile. Statistically almost 50 percent of business is now completed with a mobile device. It is time to improve your website and make it mobile friendly if you haven’t already.

The main element term you will need to keep in mind is mobile. Mobile tourists are buying a streamlined version of your site. They don’t want to visit a lot of unproductive information like personnel bios and quest claims. Their goal is to enter, get the info they want, and get out.

Our Easy Tips to Optimise Your Website for Mobile Users… Read more