What is the one thing that has the power to set your business apart from every other in the industry, and create a long-lasting bond with your demographic? No, it’s not your product or your service. Quite frankly, how innovative or never-before-seen can they actually be? No, the one thing that has the potential to elevate your image above everyone else’s is branding.
You might think that doing business is strictly a rational experience, but in reality, it is the emotional state that guides the shoppers on their shopping journey, and it is the emotional response of the client that will seal the deal of a lifetime. Without branding, there can be no long-term success in the business world. So naturally, it only stands to reason that you should avoid common branding pitfalls in order to secure your position on the throne. Here’s what you should avoid at all costs.
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A logo nobody remembers
Take a moment to think about the complexity of your logo before you put it on your letterhead. If the design cannot be replicated by hand, even crudely, then it’s too complicated to be remembered or regarded as relevant. People have short attention spans, and nowadays simple yet artistic depictions of your company have the highest potential to be remembered. In a sea of logos, you cannot afford to have one that doesn’t inspire, incentivize, and astonish.
So before you ask your graphic designer to paint you the Sistine Chapel on your website, try to embrace a more minimalist mindset that will help you brainstorm a logo people will love and appreciate. This should be something clean and simple, a logo that embodies your values, colors, and identity and shows it to the world in a single flash of inspiring creativity.
An uninspiring tone of voice
The importance of your visual identity notwithstanding, there is a need to address one of the prevailing problems in the business world that ruin many good business idea – the lack of personality, emotions, and a distinct tone of voice of a brand. Creating a unique identity requires careful planning and a seamless integration of all of these elements in order to produce an emotional response from the audience, and establish a meaningful connection with your customers.
To achieve this grand feat and put a trustworthy face on your company, you will need to define company values that are relevant to the customer, and then weave them into your content strategy. At the same time, you can plan your dissemination strategy that will get your content, and your brand, in front of the eyes and ears of your audience.
Lack of consistency
One of the most important parts of a successful, recognizable brand that many companies seem to lack nowadays is consistency. Consistency in their internal branding, consistency in their internal and external communication, consistency in their marketing efforts. Above all, companies fail to disseminate their brand accordingly across all relevant channels in the online and offline worlds.
This is exactly why professional brand management has become such a hot topic in the modern business world, as it not only takes an experienced team to build a recognizable brand, but also a skillful one to put that brand in front of the world. Remember, your brand needs to stay consistent across all relevant social media channels, your own website, your copy, your visuals, and everywhere where your name and image might be presented.
Insufficient market research
Branding is not just about how you want your business to sound, look, and feel – it’s also about what the customer wants. In fact, if you fail to listen to the voices of the people, you cannot hope to build a brand that is inspiring, relatable, or trustworthy, which is exactly why market research should rank high on your branding to-do list.
Particularly, you want to focus on researching your competition in order to find out what not to do, and then dig around the market to find out what your demographic likes and dislikes. The insights you obtain will allow you to tailor your approach and create an irresistible brand identity that will attract the audience towards your online presentation.
Focusing on the products instead of emotions
Lastly, many businesses fail simply because they were too busy thinking about how to market their products that they forgot about the fact that people just don’t care. They don’t, not if you don’t give them a reason to care. Even if the products you’re selling are in high demand, the chances of boosting your sales are minimal if you don’t have a brand to incentivize people to choose you over your competition.
With that in mind, there is a need to shift the focus from personal gain to the impact your brand as a whole is having on your audience. Remember that compelling storytelling can sell even the most useless of products, and the most basic of services, but only by establishing an emotional connection with your customers.
Branding is the essence of your business. It is the lifeblood that permeates your office and extends far beyond its borders into the screens and news feeds of your demographic. Branding is a delicate art form, which is exactly why you need to be careful in your approach and avoid these common mistakes if you are to pave the road to a long and prosperous future in the business world.
Elaine Bennett is a marketing specialist and blogger, currently living in Sydney. She specializes in writing in topics in the areas of marketing, branding, entrepreneurship, and SMB’s. Her interests are mainly in social media and technology. Loves coffee, music and video games.
Also published on Medium.