Here is the list of the most common branding mistakes that can ruin your business.
The most common branding mistake stems from the fact that many people think that a brand is just a logo or any graphic representation of a business.
From a superficial perspective, a brand is a name, a logo, a catchy phrase, or any visual representation that identifies a company from its competitors. However, the true essence of a brand goes far beyond that.
In reality, a brand is an experience, feelings, thoughts, and sensations that people have in response to a company. For example, Apple products are associated with functionality, user-friendliness, and minimalism.
Apple’s brand is so strong that some marketing experts argue that it is the key to their success, not their products per se.
Aside from having a wrong notion of what really constitutes a brand, these are the other branding mistakes that can ruin your business.
Table of Contents
No Brand Strategy
There is something far worse than a poorly defined brand strategy, and that is not having a strategy at all.
In a nutshell, your brand strategy is the personality of your company and the message you want to convey. Think of your brand as a real person with a distinct personality. From there, you can begin choosing your logo, color palette, slogan, and other visual elements that will reflect its “core nature.”
To determine your brand’s personality, a good rule of thumb is to describe it using three adjectives.
No Or Lack Of Brand Guidelines
Having a set of guidelines or a “guidebook” will help you deliver a consistent brand experience and message whether your customers are in your brick-and-mortar store, website, social media platform, blog, video channel, or other digital assets.
Your brand guidelines should cover these elements:
While inconsistent branding is related to lack of guidelines, it warrants a separate in-depth explanation.
Inconsistent branding creates confusion; this is a common problem in household products like laundry soaps, dishwashing liquids, and cleaning solutions in which the quality is generally the same, so the competition boils down to how the product is being sold.
Aside from confusion, inconsistent branding also results in low customer satisfaction. According to a report published by McKinsey & Company, inconsistency affects the buyers’ journey and happiness when interacting with a brand.
For example, banks with an excellent team of customer-facing employees still received low scores in client satisfaction because their call centers were understaffed or their agents lacked proper training.
Neglecting Customer Experience
To reiterate, your brand goes far beyond your logo and other visual representations. In its truest sense of the word, a brand is a customer experience. This is why you’d often hear marketing experts say, “brand is an experience, while experience is a brand.”
Contrary to popular belief, customer experience is not just limited to client-facing employees. Your marketing, payment scheme, social media site, website, after-purchase service, and how your products are displayed on your e-commerce site and in your brick-and-mortar location all have an impact on customer experience and journey.
Not Thinking Locally
While your brand should be presented in a highly consistent manner, your products should adapt to the local audience, something that McDonald’s has perfected.
The fast-food giant adapts its menu according to the local tastes and traditions of every country where they operate. For instance, they don’t serve beef and pork products in India where a large portion of the population follows Hinduism in which the cow is considered a sacred symbol of life. Instead, their menu offers a wide range of vegetarian options and chicken and fish dishes.
Other popular brands that “think globally but act locally” include Coke, Starbucks, KFC, Amazon, and Heinz.
Think of copywriting as your brand’s way of communicating with your customers. And just like your visual representations, your writing style should also be consistent with your brand.
Good copywriting requires conveying a clear and direct message and telling an engaging story that is easy to understand.
Contrary to popular belief, good copywriting is not about strict adherence to grammar rules. In fact, great writers follow grammar, not for the sake of correctness, but to make their story “reader-friendly.”
Dishonest PR Campaigns
Your customers are smarter and more demanding than ever that dubious PR practices no longer work or can even spell disaster to your business. In fact, global companies accused of “greenwashing”–or pretending to be eco-friendly–like Shell, H&M, and Tide have received widespread criticism and class-action lawsuits for misleading consumers.
By being honest and genuine with your brand message, it also becomes easy to be consistent with your strategy.
Abraham Lincoln got it right when he said, “no man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”
Word of Advice About Branding Mistakes that Can Ruin Your Business
To learn more about creating an online brand, contact LOJO Marketing at (916) 303-4080. We are a team of digital marketing experts, content creators, and graphic designers who can help small and growth companies succeed amidst this fiercely competitive market.