5 Common (But Major) Branding Mistakes
“Your brand is a story, a set of emotions and expectations and a stand-in for how we think and feel about what you do.” - Seth Godin
Don’t settle for “good enough” – hire competent people to do jobs you can’t do. As the saying goes, “If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” Realize the value in hiring a pro.
2. Thinking You’re the Customer
Your brand should be most appealing to the kind of customer you are trying to reach. As a business owner, you may not always fall into that same demographic. Sometimes it’s important to put aside personal preferences (colors, fonts, etc) in favor of the bigger picture. Otherwise, you may end up with a logo you love, but lose business in the process.
3. Not Establishing or Following Brand Guidelines
All elements associated with your brand should follow standards to help promote unity within your brand. Some examples of these elements are:
- Logo (including any logo groups or icons your company uses within the brand)
- Brand Colors
- Fonts & Typography
Consistency and unity encourage brand recognition. And without getting all sciencey on you, that’s how you know what all the brands of soda are in a gas station cooler at a glance, without reading a single word.
Your logo doesn’t need 8 colors and 12 different elements to represent every aspect of what your company does. Think of the most memorable brands in the world. The vast majority have simple, easily-identifiable logos. You need your brand to be memorable and tell a single story.
5. Not Knowing Who You Are
If you’re not in touch with who you are or what you believe as a business, you won’t be able to build a brand with honesty. Without that foundation to build your business on, you’ll be constantly chasing customers and having to come up with new ways to sell yourself and your product.
However, when you DO know who you are and what you believe, so many of your decisions will be obvious. “Does this logo work?” “Yes, firstly because it aligns with my business’ beliefs and core identity.” “Does this ad campaign work for us?” “No, because it doesn’t reflect who we are or what we believe.” You’ll have a foundation to build your business on and implicit guidelines for almost every future decision.
Let who you are and what you believe as a business inform every aspect of your brand – from logo design to marketing strategy.
Mike & Nick