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
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:
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
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
Nicky & Dave