Branding is a vital key to your business success. Not only does it make a notable impression on your audience but also allows your customers to understand what to expect from your company. In order to build a strong brand, businesses need to be really careful; one big branding mistake can entirely disrupt business growth and seriously reduce chances of success. Here, we will explore some of the costliest branding mistakes to avoid while working out a forward-looking brand strategy.
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Why Is Branding Important for Your Business?
Branding is one of the most significant and fundamental marketing practices for any start-up that seeks brand recognition among competitors. Your brand, as a vivid expression of your business identity, helps your company become distinguished in the general public; it helps gain reputation and credibility, and ultimately cultivate customer loyalty in the long run. Without a distinct and inspiring brand identity, your start-up or business is virtually indistinguishable from your competitors. Even with a cohesive well-thought business model, your plans are unlikely to succeed in attracting and retaining customers.
What Branding Mistakes Put Your Business at Risk?
Underestimating the Brand Power
Usually, large corporations are fully aware of the brand power and spend billions of dollars annually on their branding campaigns. However, most start-ups do not care much about branding and enter the market without crafting a clear, effective branding strategy. Today, a strong and cohesive brand identity is an undeniable privilege for businesses of any size and industry, particularly in terms of forging an enduring customer relationship.
Branding shapes your business identity in the minds of your target audience and helps you gain a bigger market share. That way, whenever a customer is looking for a product or service, the first choice that comes to mind is your brand. For instance, when it comes to buying shoes from an online store, many people think of Zappos at once; this is the miraculous magic of branding in today’s highly competitive world.
In addition to improving the public perception of your business identity, branding is also valuable concerning search engine optimization (SEO). This is because the Google search engine is programmed to index companies’ websites on the first result page based on their brand strength and credibility. Visitors are generally more inclined to click on links that represent popular established brands. For this reason, taking a more serious approach to branding can lead to unexpected traffic to your website.
Restricting Brand identity to the Logo
When it comes to brand identity, most companies think of their company logo instantly; but they do not pay enough attention to many other elements of brand identity. This is one of the most common branding mistakes to avoid; remember, your brand goes far beyond a logo. A good logo alone will not make you a strong brand and will not bring you public recognition. Instead, a combination of various visual, verbal, and emotional elements such as name, logo, color palette, typography, tagline, and slogan, etc. together create your brand image and identify your presence in the industry.
Trying to Satisfy a Wide Range of Audiences
Attracting many followers and being seen by the public may be the biggest goal of most start-ups in the beginning; however, there are just a few brands that have managed to attract the general public. Excessive effort in this regard will cause you to forget about your specific target audience and fail to fulfill their real needs and desires. Attracting your target audience and the market in which you offer your product or service ensures your business growth.
If your goal is to create a brand that everyone loves, forget about it; that’s one of the biggest branding mistakes to avoid. No matter in which market you compete, if you find your position and promote your values, you will attract and satisfy your target audience. A good example of this is the intense rivalry between Coca-Cola and Pepsi. In general, their products are quite similar, but the subtle difference is that one company focuses on family values, vacations, and comfort, while the other aims at sports, youth, and a vibrant energetic lifestyle; However, both brands have managed to attract millions of consumers and fans worldwide.
Imitating Other Brands Blindly
At the outset of the branding process, you definitely, either consciously or subconsciously, look up to your successful competitors in the industry and get inspired by the way they make themselves stand out in the crowd. It is always a good idea to search for successful leading brands in your industry in the first place. However, be aware that if a company’s brand style is winning, it will not necessarily bring you the same results. Differentiation is the key to success in branding.
Disregarding the Brand Personality
Another thing to consider is the brand personality. Every company has an ideological, inspiring creator who respects some unique values and follows some specific preferences. A very significant step in crafting a start-up branding strategy is to realize these perspectives in the foundation of the brand.
Now take the perfect example of Apple. Steve Jobs has long been the ideological inspiration of the company; that’s why Apple is built entirely on his vision (such as progress, a forward-looking orientation, attention to detail, and minimalist unified appearance). Jobs, for instance, was greatly concerned with user interface (UI) design; he believed that user experience (UX) played an important role in consumer’s purchase decision-making, while other competitors focused more on their technical advantages. What made Apple such a revolutionary breakthrough in the tech world was defining an exclusive brand personality and instilling Jobs’ insight into all of Apple’s products, services, and corporate culture.
Over-Complicating the Brand Image
People often get to know your brand by noticing the visual elements like your logo, business cards, website, etc. Therefore, your brand message should reach customers in a simple, fast, and clear way through these elements. Any complexity in color, typography, and images can hinder your communication with your target audience.
At the outset of their branding process, many start-ups tend to create complex designs of the company’s visual elements to better attract their potential customers’ attention and eventually incur extra charges for going through the process of rebranding later on. In fact, you do not need to use six different colors in your logo or six discrete graphic designs to show different business lines or departments of the company. Customers are more likely to recognize and memorize simple and clear elements. So, try to avoid unnecessary complications in creating your brand assets.
Making Improper Changes to the Brand
There is nothing wrong with re-branding unless you do it wrong. Note that if you make any changes to your established brand, you may severely impact the relationship you have already formed with your customers. Therefore, making alterations to your brand only matters when the benefits to your business outweigh the drawbacks. Take, for example, the typography of the Coca-Cola logo from its inception in 1887. Although the font has slightly changed, its original appearance remains intact after 129 years.
Take Branding Seriously
If you want to make a profit and expand your business, you need to take branding seriously and recognize the most common branding mistakes to avoid. Your brand provides the foundation for crafting countless strategies related to your business growth. However, building a strong brand requires a great deal of insight, intuition, perseverance, and sensitivity. Even a simple branding mistake in the process can destroy even the best ideas and entrap your business into a catastrophic situation. Avoiding the branding mistakes mentioned above will not guarantee your business success, but it will positively help you create more consistent branding strategies to evade the exorbitant cost of rebranding in the future.
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