When you are a start-up business or a small business, it is all too easy to get caught up in the important tasks of running a business, gaining customers, making sales and other technical factors. As a result of this, many often forget about the power of branding and put it on the side of other things to do. The truth is, if you put your branding on the back burner, you could risk selling and marketing without any real vision of who you are which will result in clients not understanding either. It helps to understand who you are as it instructs you on many things, and how you interact with your customers.
Every business needs a brand identity that is clear and consistent as it gives you the routes to build a solid brand that is in every element of your business. Building a brand is a time-consuming process, but if you do it well, you will be able to rest at night knowing you have something that resonates with people who want to use you. If you do it incorrectly, then this could set you back many years. In this article, we will go through some of the top branding mistakes and how to avoid them.
Starting without a well-defined branding strategy
Brand identity is crucial for long term success. This isn’t just understanding your brand values and vision for the future, it requires a lot more deep diving into your industry and niche. This means you need to have a rounded understanding of the competitive landscape and your audience. Aesthetic branding can’t resonate with potential customers if you don’t have a business objective that you want to accomplish.
Some key features you need to consider include:
- Keeping up with industry trends
- Research your industry thoroughly
- Perform thorough competitor analysis
- Define your target market with buyer personas
- Define business goals
Do all of this before you start your branding aesthetics such as logo and colour scheme. If you don’t have a business goal or objective, you may face creating a logo for the wrong type of audience. A strategy for your brand will allow you to see the bigger picture and ensure you are consistent with your vision and messaging.
Having a logo that doesn’t match your identity
A brand logo represents many things, but it mostly represents you in places where you can’t communicate thoroughly. Having a functional and simple logo will help to do this, but this doesn’t mean that you should compromise on the creativity of the logo. When creating a logo, there are many mistakes that can occur such as it not functioning as it should and designers being too creative that they miss the mark.
Some of the common mistakes in logo creation include:
- Mnemonics that completely misrepresent the brand
- Using a confusing font
- Being too long and wordy
- Making the subheading and logo in unproportionate sizes
- Failing to adapt your design
Targeting the wrong audience
If you believe that everyone is your audience, then you are sadly mistaken. This will not get you the traffic or sales that you need for success. Focusing on a wrong or too broad audience will result in no sales or interaction with the brand. If you target everyone, it means that your message will be bland and not target anyone in particular.
When you target the right audience, you are not only avoiding no interaction, but you are targeting more qualified audiences with a message that resonates with them.
Questions to ask about your audience include:
- What is their age?
- Where are they located?
- What are their income levels?
- What are their hobbies and interests?
- What are their key needs and nuisance?
The best way to connect with your audience is to get personal with them. By creating trust and empathy, you will be able to communicate better and convert audiences.
Not having a unique selling point
Every business has a unique selling point, and this is exactly what is going to differentiate from your competitors. It can be difficult to create trust in a brand, so ensuring your USPs are at the forefront of your campaigns will help to build that trust.
If you are not promoting your unique selling points, you should be realigning your branding and amending your messaging to promote this, especially if you are not selling a unique service or product. This can be done on your about us page, LinkedIn account and everything else that you are on. Ensure that your branding is consistent on all channels as when someone lands on your channel, they need to know it’s you and not a fake.
Not having defined brand guidelines
Inconsistent branding can be confusing to customers which will in turn lead them to your competitors. If you have inconsistent branding, it could result in market confusion which will in turn harm your credibility and trustworthiness. By having solid guidelines for your branding, you reduce the risk of being inconsistent and you have rules to go by.
When developing guidelines, some of the factors to consider include:
- Logo placement
- Fonts & typography
- Visuals and imagery
- Tone of voice and writing style
- Colour scheme
This needs to be consistent throughout all of your content and channels including social media, website, blogs and anywhere else you are present.
Not being inclusive
With all the movements in recent years, being inclusive is the correct way to do business. As a brand, you want your customers to be from all over the world and every walk of life. For brands who fail to be inclusive and are restricting communication to certain minorities or part of society, you are not only restricting sales from these groups, but you will also lose respect and credibility from the audiences that you are targeting. Some countries may even sue and have more than just bad press for your brand, unethical branding will result in your business gaining the wrong type of interest.
There are many mistakes that can be made in branding, hiring a design agency Leeds based will ensure that you don’t make these mistakes. As they are some of the best talents in the UK.