Successful branding is ongoing and doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long game, so it’s important to be proactive in order to create positive feelings about your company. Being passive about brand-building could mean the difference between success and lagging sales.
The good news is that many branding mistakes can be avoided with some planning, research, and commitment. Here are a few tips that will help you sidestep these mistakes on your way to an effective brand with clear messaging.
Not Defining Who and What Your Brand Stands For
Invest time in planning how you want your brand to be perceived. Dig deep into the insights that define what you do better than your competitors, who your clients are, and how you will present the look and feel of your brand to the world.
Branding lives within the minds of the consumer, and they will form their perceptions about your business if you’re not intentional about the quality of your products and services and how you present it through every interaction.
Confusion Between Marketing and Branding
Branding and Marketing go hand in hand. Branding represents who your company is, and marketing shows the world what your brand offers. This can happen through various platforms. If you have an established brand, focus on marketing. If you’re just getting started, define who you are and why you do what you do, then quickly pivot to your marketing strategy to drive sales, which will strengthen your brand as you gain more loyal clients.
Trying to Appeal to Everyone
You can’t be ALL things to ALL people, and you shouldn’t try to be! Aiming to appeal to the masses won’t attract the right clients, and will only dilute your message. It might even confuse your existing clients who are listening closely to how you can make their lives better with your offerings. Don’t suffer from an identity crisis! Embrace your brand and walk the talk. This clarity will help the right people find you.
Not Having Brand Standards
Nothing says forgettable like a business that doesn’t have its standards clearly defined. Brand rules show what you speak to and what separates you from your competitors. Loose guidelines make you less recognizable in the market due to inconsistency. If your competitors have their act together, they’ll win. Clarity equals success.
Once you’ve clearly defined how your brand should look, sound, and feel, you’ll want to be consistent across all channels and materials, including your in-house team, since they’ll be helping outside vendors promote, create content, and design visuals.
Not Being Clear on What You Offer
Whether it’s your tagline, statement of purpose, or the content on your landing page or social channels — not conveying what you do and how your company helps people survive and thrive will have potential prospects bouncing from your site before you know it. Reinforce what you do and why it makes a difference—and avoid:
- Unclear language
- Mixed messaging
- Not stating the problems you solve
- Copying your competitor’s Unique Selling Point (USP)
Following Every Trend
This trap is easy to fall into. While it’s common practice to look for inspiration from others, copying other company’s strategies without seeing how it works into your brand strategy could cause you to look wishy-washy. You’ll build a stronger identity if you make decisions that are right for YOUR brand versus bouncing from trend to trend.
Building a strong brand foundation requires consistency. Predictability builds trust and confidence from buyers and builds positive perceptions about your company. A disorganized brand feels amateurish.
Once your visual and verbal brand is established, you’ll need to ensure that it is broadcasted to the world consistently through all media and platforms using your Brand Style Guide. Create brand evangelists internally so that your team feels comfortable speaking about the company’s values. Offering incentives can help foster dedication and mindfulness with all employees.
Aligning Your Brand With The Wrong People or Causes
Be aware of who and what you connect your brand to. Not every affiliation is a good affiliation. There are some people and connections that can be toxic to your company.
For each great strategic partnership that helps get extra exposure, new business, and additional income, there are ten more that can have negative effects and have your clients scratching their heads as to why you’re choosing to do business with them, or why you’re supporting certain causes.
It’s very important to be proactive with your branding. If you’re not intentional about the direction of your brand it will result in low brand awareness and loyalty. Successful brands are constantly evolving and trying new things. For more tips on how to create a successful brand that resonates with your customers, download our free e-book at https://bit.ly/modernluxurybrand
Which mistake do you think is most detrimental?