If you’re in business, then you definitely know how important your brand concept is. A company’s brand is crucial to the success of their business in all aspects and if you’ve come to this article because you’re worried your company may be making branding mistakes, then you’re in the right place. We’ve created a list of the top branding mistakes that companies make so that you can double check that your business is doing branding the right way.
1. No competitor analysis
Not taking a look at your immediate competition is a huge branding mistake. Whether you’re developing your brand or trying to enhance it, you definitely want to know how your competition’s brand is working. By analyzing their brand, you’ll have a better idea of how to make your business stand out to your clients. Checking out the competition isn’t just smart for business sales–it’s also crucial for branding success.
2. Not identifying your customers
If you attempt to create a brand without customer profiles or target audience’s established, you’re not going to have a very successful brand strategy. When developing a brand, you have to know who the brand is for. Who is going to respond to your brand positively and want to become a customer? This is a crucial step in creating a brand that is successful.
3. Being inconsistent with your brand
Does anyone remember when Heniz came out with their EZ Squirt purple ketchup? This is an excellent example of how important it is for you to stay true to what your business does. Although Heinz recognized that a big portion of their consumers are children who liked to dip their chicken nuggets and french fries in ketchup—there’s a reason you can’t go to the supermarket and buy purple ketchup today: people like their ketchup the same color that they like their tomatoes. Who would’ve guessed?
Inconsistency is a common branding mistake among business owners. Your brand is something your customers begin to recognize on their own, and when you mix it up in a poor way, your branding is lost and your customers can become confused. It’s like a landscaping company hosting an indoor dance party–it doesn’t make sense. Instead, they should host a pool party and show off all their great landscaping abilities around the pool.
4. Thinking a logo is enough
Not that a logo isn’t important—because it absolutely is—but it’s not the only important thing that goes into how you brand your company. A logo means nothing if you don’t have the brand to support it. Your brand is who you are, what you represent, and what you provide, and a logo alone isn’t going to provide that for your customers. Instead, the logo is going to be what customers associate with your company and how they identify you.
Let’s look at Starbucks. Their siren logo isn’t what built their company into the coffee capital it is today. Instead, it was freshly brewed coffee, automated and faster espresso machines, and strong customer service that made their customers associate their logo with coffee. That’s a great example of allowing your logo be your brand’s identifier.
5. Ignoring the brand guidelines
Ah, brand guidelines. They’re these beautiful sets of rules that explain exactly how all of your branding elements should be used and exactly how they shouldn’t be used. If you’re just starting the process of developing your company’s brand, you’ll definitely want to have guidelines created. But more importantly, you’ll want to be sure that every single person on your team implements these standards–whether they’re on the marketing team or not. Again, consistency is the most important part of a successful brand, so do not under any circumstances ignore your brand guidelines.
6. Posting poor content
When people come to your website, they have a certain expectation. They want to understand your company’s purpose, and they don’t want to read a poorly edited “About Us” page. Nor do they want to read a services page that has outdated pricing and is no longer correct.
It’s important that the content on your site be relevant and well written. And while we absolutely recommend blogging for your website (because it can increase your blog’s possibility for higher google rankings), it won’t help if the content you’re posting isn’t good quality content.
If your site’s content is a headache for you, let us help! We have excellent copywriters (you’re reading content from one now!) who can provide high quality website content for you, including consistent blog postings.
7. Not using social media to build your brand
Social media is not only a great way for your to build your brand, but also build your customer base. Engaging with customers through social media is not only something small businesses are doing, but larger corporations are also beginning to interact with their customers with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Social media gives customers a chance to share their experiences with their friends, share recommendations, and review products, businesses, and services. Being active on your social media pages will definitely help boost your brand.
8. Not keeping track of your branding attempts
When a client calls or emails you for a quote, do you find out how they heard about your company? You absolutely should! You might find that majority of your customers hear about your business from google or from your Facebook page where one of their friend’s left a good review. It’s important to keep track of what does and doesn’t work for your company’s brand so that you don’t waste your time and efforts on branding attempts that aren’t working.
Whether you’re reflecting on your own brand’s mistakes or your working hard to try to prevent branding mistakes throughout the brand development stage, our hope is that these eight things will help show you what not to do. And if you need any help with your branding–whether it’s your logo, brand voice, brand guidelines, or content—give us a call. We’re here to help!