To establish a brand requires a great deal of time and effort, along with some strategic thinking. What if you put in all the work and it falls flat? Since this is an area of business that’s easily misunderstood, here are the biggest mistakes people make with branding so you can avoid them.
Failing to Think Strategically
Branding is part of your overall business plan, so you need to think strategically about it. It needs to connect to your “why” and your broader business goals. Go back and review the reasons why you’re running this business. Take some time to clarify what you hope to achieve and how your branding will help you do this.
Your Brand Is Not Your Logo
Many businesses make the huge mistake of thinking a brand is a logo or a set of design features. While consistent design is an important part of branding, what it’s really about is your messaging and the image you’re creating in the minds of your target market. This message tells people how your offerings uniquely benefit them.
The whole point of your brand is to differentiate your business from others in the market. If you can do this successfully, you can compete with bigger companies that have more resources to spend on marketing and advertising. Focus not only on what you do but what you do differently than the competition.
Assumptions Instead of Facts
Don’t make the mistake of building your brand based on assumptions. You think you know how people see your company, but this isn’t good enough. You need to conduct thorough marketing research and base your decisions on facts and feedback from your audience.
Inconsistency and Disconnect
If your branding is giving people mixed messages, it won’t work to engender trust. The message needs to be consistent wherever you have communication with your audience. The design features, the tone, and the unique benefits of using your products all need to be consistent.
Clever But Not Clear
While it’s nice to have a message that’s unique and clever, the most important thing is for it to be clear. Branding is a form of communication. People should understand your message easily at a glance. Don’t get so creative that it becomes hard to understand.
It’s All About You
While you’re talking about your products and services, the real message of your branding should be what using your products does for your customers. Focus on their needs and how their lives will be improved by using your product.
Forgetting to Update
The needs of your market and the competitive landscape change over time. Your business might also change, offering a new product line or reaching out to a new segment in the market. When this happens, your branding needs to reflect these changes. Sometimes, you need to assess and update.
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