If you own a company, or even if you are a one man business show, you need to have a brand. Branding is incredibly important, as it helps to present your company in a certain light, enabling you to connect with prospective consumers. Your brand design will include your logo, packaging, text, font, website – right down to your business cards. Branding agencies can help you to develop a visually striking brand that can really propel your business forward – but if you get your brand wrong, it can spell disaster for your business.
7 branding mistakes that you should avoid.
An inconsistent brand is an untrustworthy brand. Your logo, tag line, company name, company bio – everything that represents you and your company – should be identical across all forms of media, including your website, business cards, packaging etc. Even if you cannot fit everything onto each piece of media, make sure that the images or text that you do use across all media are identical.
Not Utilising Your Existing Customer Base
If you already have loyal customers, ask them what they think of your new brand, how they respond to it and what their family and friends think about it. And once you have their opinion, use it – either to alter or change your brand if it is not successful, or to quote them across your media to promote your brand further.
Trying to be “Hip”
Some companies make the mistake of trying to turn their conservative, classic company brand into a hip, cool, funky brand. And that transition is not easy – especially if your company is not catering to the hip, cool, funky market. If you are rebranding, you should be rebranding for a good reason – to attract more customers due to falling sales, because your company is moving into a new direction or because your company’s existing brand is not successful. You shouldn’t rebrand simply because you want a new image. Always cater to your target market – and if that market is a conservative market, that’s what your brand needs to be.
Not Understanding Your Market
For your brand to be successful, it always, always, always needs to cater to your target market. What does your company do? What does your company offer? Identify what you offer as a company, and then identify who your company is catering to. Your brand must cater to your market, and if you don’t understand your target market, your brand will be unsuccessful. Do plenty of market research – send out questionnaires or do focus groups to learn exactly what your target market wants and then develop your brand around that.
Not Following Through
If your brand is a strong, confident brand that says that you are the industry leader – or if you explicitly say, “we are the best”, you need to follow through on that promise. Too many companies simply say “we can offer you the best service” and think that that is enough. That’s not enough – if you’re going to make a promise through your branding, you need to follow through on that promise through your actions, products and services. Make sure your entire company understands your brand so that you can better follow through on your promises.
Holding Onto the Past
Some companies stick to doing what they’ve always done – their staff might stay the same for years, their services might stay the same, and they might rest on their previously successful laurels. For a company brand to be effective, it needs to change things up once in a while to keep up with modern competitors. Your brand involves your whole company and it is not just the visual impact of your brand that could make a difference to how successful it is – it is the internal workings of your brand. Ensure that your entire company is on board with your brand and if not, consider changing things up – either recruit new staff or retrain current staff.
Not Purchasing New Materials
If you’re a company that uses brochures or other marketing materials such as stickers or business cards, consider purchasing smaller quantities of them, even if they are slightly pricier. This is because your marketing materials can easily turn stale – for example, if you bring out a new range of products every year, an old brochure or old stickers will not be relevant after a year. But some companies will order 10,000 brochures because they are cheap as chips – even if it will take them three years to offload the brochures.
Alternatively, consider changing up the way you send out marketing materials – if you can, design your marketing materials so that they stay relevant for years, or alternatively, for special offers or events, make sure to include dates on your materials so that consumers know when the offer or event ends.
Avoid these potentially costly branding mistakes and your business brand will be all the more successful.