If you’re running a business right now, then you may or may not understand the importance of building a strong brand. A key part of achieving success for your business is having a brand that is developed with intention and a clear strategy. Unfortunately, in the chaos of running a business, some key branding strategies can fall to the wayside.
Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for decades, here are 6 branding mistakes you should avoid:
1. Not Understanding the Meaning of Branding
With so many definitions of branding out there, it is easy to get confused. The biggest misinterpretation is thinking that your logo is your brand. We are not trying to undermine the effectiveness of a logo, but a brand is much more than that. A logo is a visual representation of a business, and a brand is an emotional experience that people get when they interact with a business at any level.
2. Not Having a Set of Clear Brand Guidelines
Brand guidelines are a set rules on how to use your branding elements. They are usually presented in an organized document to help identify, build, and grow your business. Brand guidelines communicate a variety of things about your brand, both internally to your organization, as well as externally to your partners and the general public.
3. Lacking Consistency
Brand consistency means your audience is being exposed to core messages, visual branding, and other brand elements over and over, making it easier for them to know and trust you. A lack of consistency can portray you as disjointed and unreliable, confusing customers, clients and even your own employees. This can have a very negative impact on your business.
4. Attempting to Appeal to Everyone
You will never be able to brand yourself in such a way that everyone will like you. Your business should instead be focused on a specific segment of consumers called your target audience. You should aim to understand everything about your target audience. The more you know about them, the better chance you have to connect with them.
5. 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 way. However, trends come and go, and if you anchor your brand to a trend, your brand might lose its meaning once the trend has passed. You can still incorporate fun trends into less permanent parts of your brand like social media feeds.
6. Trying Too Hard to Stand Out
We all know that person who tries too hard. Yes, they get noticed, but not necessarily in a positive way. The same applies to branding. Consumers can smell desperation a mile away and it can have a negative impact. While it is very important to stand out among your competitors, it is even more important to be authentic.
There is a lot to keep in mind when branding or rebranding, but we hope this post inspires you to take a closer look at your brand and the areas that need improvement. If your company has made any of these mistakes along the way, you are not alone and you can still make positive changes. If you have any questions or want to discuss any of these mistakes, we are here to help!