Top 10 Biggest Branding Mistakes to Avoid
There have been many unknown brands that became well-known thanks to their branding techniques. These unique brands didn’t suddenly become the popular brands that they are now – they used specific tactics to create their own images. Here is how to establish brand identity and avoid mistakes when designing your brand.
1 – No Understanding of the Audience
First and foremost, it is crucial for you to understand your audience. If you don’t know who your audience is, you will not be able to create a brand that they will be interested in. In addition to that, understanding your audience is essential for creating a campaign that will target that specific audience instead of diluting your efforts.
To understand your audience; you will need to do extensive research and get as much information as you can about who your potential customers are. Think about such things as:
- The age and gender of your audience. The location of your audience. This can be a city, a region, a state, a country, a continent, or even all the countries you can think of which pretty much means going global.
- The education, occupation, and income level of your audience. Most of the time, the education level will be either high-school or a particular college degree level, while occupation and income level can vary quite a lot.
- Family status, hobbies, interests, fears, and so on. Any other details you come up with will be beneficial for you to understand your audience.
2 – No Understanding of the Business
Another major issue you may encounter is that you might not have any understanding of your business. Though it is essential that you know who your audience is, you should also know who you are and what your business is.
This will allow you to get an idea of what you have already and how you can use that to create your brand image.
There are multiple elements of your business that need your attention. Some of them will have less influence on your brand image, while others are more essential. Here are just some examples:
- Your industry, niche, or specialisation. You could be selling all kinds of clothes – or you could be selling only swimwear for professional athletes.
- Your products or services. These include the items you sell, the brands of the items (if you don’t produce the products yourself), the types of the same item (aka variety), or the kinds of services you provide if any.
- Your values, beliefs, and your motto. This is the heart of your business, something your brand will have to stand for and be known for. This is perhaps the most crucial part of your business that will help you with branding.
3 – No Understanding of the Competition
Yet another issue you could encounter is not understanding your competition. Sure, you might have your customer profiles ready, and your business figured out. Still, if you don’t know whom you are competing against, you will not be able to create a brand that will be distinct from everything else currently in existence (or, at least, the major part of it).
Your competitors will usually be very similar to you, which is why they are great for being an example of what you can do with your branding. Here are some things to pay attention to:
- The names of competitor brands. If you want to stand out, your brand name should be original.
- The specialisations and distinctive characteristics of competitor brands. They might be in your industry, but they could be selling a particular group of products that fall into this niche.
- Any other characteristics of these competitor brands. Precisely anything else you think is essential for those brands and will be vital for your branding (e.g. digital marketing tactics, audience interactions, customer behaviour, and so on).
4 – Inferior Content Marketing
Now that you know the three key aspects that you need to examine to begin crafting your branding strategy carefully, it’s time to talk about the campaign itself.
For example, you could hire writers from a writing service like Pick The Writer to create your content. But if your writers create content without an idea of what you are expecting – except for maybe writing on the topic – then you will quickly realise that your articles, blog posts, and social media posts don’t have a consistent voice and style that would set you apart.
This is precisely why you need to put together a set of rules or guidelines that will help you and your writers better understand how to maintain consistency with your written pieces.
At the same time, everything you do with your content marketing needs to serve some kind of purpose – that is, improve your branding and create a brand image for your business.
5 – Inconsistency
Speaking of having pieces of content that vary in purpose and style, inconsistency can significantly impact your branding strategy predominantly in a negative way.
A brand image is all about giving your brand a personality that will humanise it and transform it into something more than just a company trying to get the money of its customers.
Consequently, maintaining consistency throughout your digital campaign is essential. However, this consistency should not only prevail in your written content, but also in your visual content (which will be further discussed in the next section).
If you start doing something with your Instagram posts, you need to continue that with your emails.
For example, if you mention specific statistics in an illustration in one of your Instagram posts, the caption of that post should further elaborate on those statistics.
You can then write an article with these statistics and post it on your website or blog, directing your Instagram followers to check out that very article.
6 – Limited Visual Branding
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So, what exactly is visual branding? While your texts should reflect the voice of your brand, your visual content should reflect the look of your brand. Think about the logo designs of your favourite brands.
What sets them apart? When you think of big brands, there is always something special about their logos – that’s what you have to strive for.
Of course, there is always the possibility of going overboard, which is why you need to be careful with your visual branding.
On the other hand, there is also the chance of not doing enough which will result in limited visual branding which, in turn, will not do much for your branding campaign and won’t help in developing your brand image.
Visual branding consists of many parts. It starts with your brand logo and ends with the footer of your website.
All of these things come together to create a complete picture of your brand image. Here are some questions to ask yourself before deciding on what you want to do with your visual branding:
- What are the qualities of my brand? Do I want to appear funny and carefree or professional and serious? What colours will represent these qualities the best?
- What is my audience like? What are they looking for in a brand like mine? What are their expectations about my industry, and how can I live up to these expectations?
- What have my competitors done with their visual branding? Do I want to follow the trends they have set, or do I want to be as different as possible?
7 – Undocumented Branding
Undocumented branding is very closely related to your content guidelines. However, the content guidelines are meant to give you and your writers (and other content creators) an idea of what the standards of your content should be to create a lasting brand image for your business. Documenting your branding actions has a different goal.
By keeping track of everything you do to form your brand image, you will be able to determine what works and what doesn’t.
In the beginning, there is a fair chance that you will experiment quite a bit before you settle down for a particular set of tactics. These changes you make should be documented so you can go back and analyse them carefully.
For example, you could hire a writer from a writing service and provide them with a history of your branding activities. Or you could have an in-house writer documenting these activities. Then, that freelance writer can analyse your documented branding and determine which of your tactics worked better than others.
8 – Poor Font Choices
You will be surprised by how important fonts are. Your visual content will always consist of two main parts: the image and the text.
Your illustrations and photographs can have small captions on them, your infographics will have paragraphs with explanations, and your videos and GIFs can always have subtitles. But your use of text in visual content doesn’t end there.
For instance, consider your logo design. You will probably want to have the name of your company in it along with the icon, so you will want your customers to be able to instantly recognise the logo design and read the name of your business.
Consequently, if you choose the wrong font, your potential customers won’t be able to read your brand name.
Try to avoid fonts that are too fancy. Not everyone can read cursive, so try to avoid that too. Fonts that take up much space can be problematic as well.
On the other hand, choosing a font that is just like all the other fonts you’ve seen before is also a bad idea. You want your font to stand out but remain readable at the same time.
9 – Poor Overall Design
This is a part of your visual branding. If you have a poor overall design, you can encounter several issues from having an unappealing website design to having no particular theme on your social media profiles.
Here are a few things to keep in mind concerning your overall design:
- Always maintain consistency both with your online and offline marketing. There is nothing worse than a brand using all the colours of the rainbow in its different pieces of content.
- Never forget about the fact that your brand doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There are other brands like yours, and specific trends are coming up in design from time to time. But it’s up to you whether or not you want to follow them carefully or you want to stay the same as you were before.
- Stay true to your brand’s image and follow your intuition. There is no right or wrong way to do things, so you are the only one who can genuinely make any decisions.
10 – No Diversity
Last but not least, you need to think about diversity. Consistency is great, but it can create a framework for your brand that you will not want to deviate from. This framework, in turn, can lead to stagnation.
You will no longer make any innovations which is why your brand will not evolve, and you will not have any diversity.
In a way, rebranding can be considered a way of getting diversity and transforming your brand into something different than it was.
But if you don’t want to rebrand and make such radical changes, you will need to bring at least some kind of diversity into your branding strategy. Here are some things you can do:
- Redesign your brand logo when it becomes outdated (in a few dozen years or so).
- Update your website design regularly to make it look up to date.
- Update the design of your social media, emails, and so on.
All in all, your brand image is crucial for the success of your business as a whole.
If you learn the craft of branding, you will be able to avoid various branding mistakes when designing your identity and create a consistent brand image for your company.
Author Bio: John Edwards is a writing specialist who is looking for ways of self-development in the field of writing and blogging. New horizons in his beloved business always attract with their varieties of opportunities. Therefore, it is so important for him to do the writing.