Six business branding mistakes and how to fix them.

By Rachel Flower www.ResonantBrand.com

Most people don’t really get what branding is.  It’s not just a logo or a snazzy website. And it’s not something that’s just for the big guys. A brand really represents the feel or image of a business. Which goes way beyond simply colors, fonts and images. It encompasses a deeper story and a strong message about what you and your business stand for.

Here are 6 common branding mistakes to avoid, and how to fix them:

  1. Believing branding is only for the big guys, too expensive for you

Sure, if you’re Nike or Apple, some serious moola is required to get to the top of the totem pole, and stay there.  But at the same time, don’t think that a $25 logo from Fiverr is going to cut it. You do get what you pay for.  You don’t even have to have a logo – some companies (e.g. Disney, Visa, Xerox) use a word mark where the word – with particular font and color – isthe logo.

You see, a logo or word mark is really just the more obvious aspect of a brand. What many fail to realize is that a consistent message needs to be conveyed to your audience in order for them to really get what you stand for.  Branding doesn’t have to be expensive, but, done well it also wont be cheap. It requires knowing your audience and what they need and want.

 

2.  Thinking you’re just starting out so right now you’ll DIY your branding

It might seem simple, and therefore tempting, but DIY branding or graphic design is rarely quick or easy.  Graphic design is a profession for a reason. Staying on top of the latest resources, programs and courses is no small task, let alone understanding the intricacies of graphic design. A poorly designed website or flier can be worse than not having one at all.  

Here’s the thing – there jumping into design too quickly is a big mistake. If you haven’t done your ground work, and got clear about your audience, what you stand for, and what really is the essence of your brand, you could be making a very expensive misstep.  

  1. Not realizing how important your business name is You may have great

products and services but if your name sucks it’s not going to have the desired affect. If you are in the position to create a name from the get go, make sure you give it enough thought.

And before you go to the “choose a business name” website, make you’ve done your homework. What is your vision and mission for your business? What message do you want to convey to your clients? Who are your clients and what does your brand represent to them?  Make sure you choose a name that feels fully aligned with what you’re up to.

  1. Failing to be consistent Sometimes brand owners get bored so they start improvising

at the expense of consistency. Once your brand has been established, everything visually and in terms of your message – from business the name, logo, tagline and your brand promise (what you stand for) – needs to line up. This means our website, your business cards and every other touchpoint of your business. And if you introduce a new product or service it should be presented as an offering under your one-and-only brand.

If you are leading a team, make sure you create brand-usage guidelines to be followed by everyone so you can maintain consistency across the board, even answering the phone.

  1. Not having a great tagline A tagline can make all the difference between a click

through and a click away. In 3 to 6 words a tagline defines who you are and what you stand for And it needs to be appealing. A poor tagline, or having no tagline at all is a missed opportunity to attract engagement from your visitors.

When Nike came up with “Just Do It” they were telling us to get off our butts and get on with it – in their shoes. Disney’s one liner speaks for itself: “The happiest place on Earth”  As does Wal-Mart’s “Always lower prices. Always.” If the tag line doesn’t instantly catch their attention (and be believable) your audience won’t read on. 

Incidentally, good copy is also important. Content is the key factor in being found online. Short and relevant content ranks better for google and is a powerful way to attract and engage new visitors. So get very clear about your message and how you put it out into the world. It lies at the core of your brand.

 

6.     Not living up to your brand promise In the words of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos,

“Branding what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” So make sure that what they say is positive! If a bunch of kids had a miserable time at Disney’s “Happiest Place on Earth” then word about the mismatch would soon get out.

Your brand may be launched by what you say, but it is made or broken by what you do. So identify each point of contact with your brand experience – from phone calls, to engagement, to delivering your services, to follow up – and correct any areas where the brand falls short of your brand promise.  Be open to feedback, and evaluate your performance so you can make sure your customers have the experience you want them to have.

 

Conclusion

Branding is important. Don’t skim over it. A strong foundation will serve you and your clients for years to come. What does your brand stand for? Feel free to post below with your business name, tagline and brand promise:   

Does your brand resonate? Visit www.ResonantBrand.com and take the free Soul Genius Quiz and identify your unique genius behind your brand.