A lot of business owners, no matter how noble their purpose it, are unaware of what branding can accomplish for them. Some of them think that having a website and social media presence is enough. What they do not know is that branding is more than just having a distinct logo. In this article, we discuss Branding 101: 10 Terrible Mistakes That Can Kill Your Branding Campaign.
Even if you have a collection of Facebook advertising agencies list, your branding is less likely to work if you do not know what it should accomplish for you.
To help kickstart your branding campaign in the right direction, we have listed down ten branding mistakes you should avoid.
1. No brand consistency
As mentioned earlier, branding is more than just having a logo. In fact, it is about how your customers perceive you and your business regardless of the platform.
Meaning, if they find your business patriotic on TV, it should be the same on newspapers, your website, and social media channels.
Inconsistency could lead people to believe that you are not trustworthy. So, why would they do business with you?
Here are some areas where you can practice brand consistency:
- Visual Communications: Your customers should be able to instantly recognize your business logos, images, typography, and color scheme regardless of the platform.
- Voice of Content: It is essential that your content sounds the same across all platforms. A single brand voice and the tone you use to get your message across can help you stand out from the noise.
- Conveying Brand Values: Identify what values your business stands for and align them with your business vision. That way, you will know how you can best present it to the world.
2. Poor visuals
It is integral in building a business that you have a strong visual brand.
You may have noticed some small brands that would use colors or fonts that are outside of their style. While this inconsistency does not mean the end of the world, it will have an impact on customer perception if it continues over time.
According to Elly Whiley, a graphics designer from Australia, “Being inconsistent with your branding comes across unorganized and unreliable, and you run the risk of your customers confusing your business with your competitors and other brands.”
You can avoid that by establishing a style guide for your business.
3. Using inconsistent copy
Copywriting is how you speak to your customers. If you are cheerful and lively on Instagram, your content should look and sound the same on Facebook or Twitter.
The problem with some brands is that their copy does not adhere to the personality that they want to display. Thus, it can result in the following:
- Your copy and design elements are conflicting
- It does not resonate with your customers
- It is difficult for you to expound what your business is all about
To fix it, you need to establish a customer-centric brand strategy. That way, the content you produce goes inline with your brand promise and how you would like to position your business in the industry.
Doing so can help you determine strategic talking points, as well as create consistent copy across all touchpoints.
Keep in mind that a superb brand copy helps resolve your customers’ needs in a way that only you can do.
4. Lack of value-addition
What value does your business add to your customers’ lives? Can they associate your value with your brand?
Is your value apparent in your branding efforts?
Being able to associate your value with your brand allows you to command a higher price, drive customer loyalty, and turn employees and customers into advocates.
The problem is that not a lot of businesses can do that. Simply because they forgot to define their unique value proposition.
That said, it is important that you define your brand promise and purpose. Your promise is the products or services that you provide, while your purpose is the reason you do what you do.
For example, IKEA’s promise is to provide quality furniture at affordable prices. That’s because the company’s purpose is to help its customers “create a better life every day.”
That said, your brand promise and purpose can help you differentiate your business from your competitors and craft your UVP.
5. Being untrustworthy
The reason your business needs to have a strong brand is that you want to win your customers’ trust. And when you achieve that, it will be easy for you to convince them to buy your products or hire your services.
However, businesses that lack branding strategy fails to do so.
Your brand promise and purpose is what helps customers set their expectations for you and your business. Fail to reach that, and your customers will not hesitate to leave you. Thus, it can be a good idea to underpromise and over-deliver instead.
According to Nick Brown, “If you think that the shipment will take a week, tell them it’ll take two. If you think that the lifespan of a product is ten years, claim it is eight. That way, you’ll never risk breaking your promises.”
Meanwhile, it is important that you remain consistent with your branding, such as your visual marketing collaterals. Otherwise, it will be difficult for your customers to associate you with your brand promise.
6. Neglecting public perception
According to BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey of 2018, 84% of people trust online reviews the same way they trust personal recommendations from friends and family.
When customers see your business positively, they are more likely to choose you over your competitors. Otherwise, you will lose against your competitors.
That’s why it is important that you monitor what the public says about you. Here’s how you can do it:
- Sign up for Google Alerts
- Check out online review sites
- Comb through social media conversations
- Ask your customers through surveys
- Create a customer feedback program
Your customers’ opinions can impact your business’ bottom line. That said, knowing how people see your brand can give you an insight into whether you are on the right track or you need to address an issue.
7. Not owning up to your mistakes
If your customers think highly of your brand, congratulations! But what would you if your business is in bad shape?
In today’s digital age, it is easy for customers to share their sentiments with their network. Thus, it is better to own up to your mistake and face the issue head-on. Doing so can be an opportunity to do the following:
- Be transparent to your customers
- Humanize your company
- Show excellent customer service
No company is perfect, but not every company is honest. So, owning up to your mistake only shows that you have nothing to hide. And when you have nothing to hide, there is nothing to expose about you. Thus, you can regain your customers’ trust.
As Todd Cameron puts it, “If you don’t own your mistakes or challenges, someone else will.”
8. Poor customer service
Do you know why a customer is loyal to a brand? Here are some reasons:
- They love your products
- You offer great deals
- You provide excellent customer service
All of these, especially your customer service, foster customer loyalty. Otherwise, it can harm your brand and your business’ bottom line. In fact, poor customer service can drive away 23.5% of loyal customers.
As Shep Hyken of Shepard Presentations pointed out, “Customer experience rises to the top of whether or not the customer will decide to keep doing business with a brand.”
Keep in mind that loyal customers can help spread the word about your brand. Not to mention that they would be willing to spend more on your products or services, regardless if cheaper options become available.
9. Unresponsive on social media
Customers nowadays use social media to voice out their opinion about a certain brand. Here are some things that you need to keep in mind,
- According to a 2016 study by Sprout Social, 30% of people will switch to a competitor if a brand is unresponsive to them. No customer would want to be ignored.
- Customers who complain about social media already have a bad experience with your traditional customer service methods.
- Responding to your customers via social media, and doing your best to help them, is something that your customers will appreciate ‒ even if you do not know the answers to all of their questions.
Thus, it is important that you have a protocol when it comes to situations like these. Doing so can help you flip a negative situation into something positive. Otherwise, you are at risk of losing customers because they will deem that you do not care about your customers.
10. Not thinking globally
According to Joanna Brassett of Studio INTO, “Thanks to technology and the internet, consumers around the world have access to the same ideas, meanings, and values, which translate into global consumer trends, demands, and aspirations.”
So, how can you make your brand global without losing its local appeal? Here are some quick tips:
- Pick the most relevant international market. Look for a market wherein your products or services do not cause too many cultural differences.
- Look for unexpected similarities. You would be surprised to know that countries with the same economic history have more in common than their neighbors.
- Be wary of cultural norms. This could make or break a product or business launch.
- Know when to adapt to cultural nuances. If you want to succeed in a new market, the best thing that you can do is to reach them in a way that resonates with them.
It’s Time to Develop Your Brand Guideline
A great way to avoid branding mistakes is by developing a brand guideline. That way, you and your employees can be reminded of how you should present your business to the public.
Doing so can help your business stand out from the rest. Thus, making it relatable, which can drive customer loyalty and revenue. We hope this article about Branding 101: 10 Terrible Mistakes That Can Kill Your Branding Campaign has been helpful, and be sure to leave your comments below.
Bryan Mixon of AmazeLaw, a marketing platform built specifically for solo and small firms.