A brand is the heart and soul of your company. It’s what people think of when they hear your name, see your logo, and interact with your website or advertisements. It’s about more than just a catchy slogan or a pretty design; it encompasses everything that makes you unique and special as an organization. But if you don’t take the time to establish solid branding from the ground up, you might be in for some serious trouble down the road. Keep reading for tips on avoiding common branding mistakes and creating a cohesive (and successful) image for your company!
Not understanding your customers
Your customers or target market. Who are they? What do they want? How can you help them?
As much as we’d like to think that every single person on the planet wants our product or service, this is simply not true. Thinking otherwise will only make it more challenging to build a loyal following who actually needs what we have to offer.
The best way to figure out who your ideal customer is is by doing some research (surprise!) into what types of people have used similar products and services in the past. Or even better yet, people that have made similar purchases online before! You can also look at other companies’ brands for inspiration. Look at how well their marketing campaigns work for them and see if there’s anything you could borrow from their strategies that would work well for your brand.
Not having a mission statement
A mission statement is one of the most important things you can do to help build your brand. Your mission statement is a concise statement of the business’s purpose and values. It serves as a guide for your company. It will help with marketing, employee hiring, and customer retention.
As we’ve already discussed in previous sections of this article series, branding is all about consistency—and a well-thought-out mission statement helps you achieve that goal by providing an overarching framework for all of your marketing efforts.
Using too many colors
This is one of the most common branding mistakes. You might think that using more colors is good, but it could backfire on you in the long run. The color scheme of your brand’s logo and other branding elements should be limited to two or three colors. This will help make your brand memorable and easy to recognize. If you use too many colors, then it won’t be clear what kind of business you are or what message is being conveyed by your branding efforts.
Also, consider whether the psychology of colors used in your logo and other branding elements are appropriate for your industry, target audience, and overall business goals. For example:
Darker colors can create an image of luxury (think Tiffany’s), while lighter ones convey friendliness (think Coca-Cola).
Bright colors stand out from black-and-white options. However, they may not always convey professionalism, and less vibrant shades would do so instead. On the flip side, though, there are benefits associated with popping out visually rather than blending into the background. If this suits better with how customers view themselves, then perhaps sticking with bright hues makes sense!
Consistency within your branding is critical to its success. Therefore, the lack of it is considered one of the most serious branding mistakes. Your logo, color palette, and fonts should ideally be the same across all mediums—including your website, printed collateral, and social media posts. This helps build trust with customers who will recognize your brand at a glance.
While it may seem like an easy task to achieve consistency, there are certain pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. For example: using too many fonts on one page or using different logos for each post may make your brand look unprofessional and inconsistent in the eyes of potential customers.
To ensure that you’re achieving consistency across all communication channels (including email marketing), we recommend creating a style guide that includes detailed specs for every design element used in all communications about the company or product (e-books, presentations).
The style guide will help ensure that any new employee entering the organization has access to this information so as not to break any rules when designing new pieces of collateral like flyers or business cards.
Doing the same thing as everyone else
The key to a successful brand is not doing what everyone else does. You want your company to stand apart from the pack, so why would you like your branding to blend in? If you’re afraid of being different, don’t be! You’ll never be able to make an impact or get noticed if you’re unwilling to boldly go where others fear. Even if people criticize you for being a little different at first, remember that there are always those who will appreciate this approach and even seek out your company.
It’s important to remember that branding is a process, not an event. It can take years to develop a strong brand and even longer maintain it. That being said, if you keep these tips in mind when designing your own brand or working with a designer, you will easily avoid these common branding mistakes, and be well on your way to success!