3 Common Branding Mistakes
When you think of Coca-Cola, Starbucks, or even Nike, you don’t just think about the products associated with the brand, but the experience it provides or has provided you. These branding strategies are meticulously crafted to cater to the experience that these brands want you to have when you make, or even consider a purchase — TLDR; good branding helps create successful business that extends far beyond the label.
From social media language to the brand’s color palette, and even to the material used in packaging, good branding can increase your business’ value, create a positive experience associated with it, give you a clear direction, and build brand loyalty — but if and only if it’s done right. Here are 3 of the most common — and completely avoidable — branding mistakes we’ve seen and how you can skirt around them!
1: LOGO ≠ BRANDING
Don’t get us wrong, logos are important and definitely play a role in effective branding. But, it’s also equally important to note that a logo is just a visual representation of the business, while having a brand is an emotional experience that consumers will receive in their interactions with it. Branding is instead the conceptual act of defining the business, whether that be its colors, typography, tone, or anything else consumers would experience in relation to it.
That being said, having a memorable logo can help present the brand as professional (and everyone loves a professional, not-shady brand).
2: MISSING OUT ON BRAND IDENTITY
Let’s think of it this way, having a brand identity is essentially the same as you having an NRIC — it’s a unique identifier of your brand that would set you apart from other competitors in the market. This is an essential step in branding that encompasses the who, what, where, why, and how of your brand! Here are some questions to guide you along defining your business’ core values and promises as a brand:
- Mission: Why is your business doing what it does?
- Values: What beliefs drive your business?
- Unique Selling Point (USP): What makes your business stand out from the competition?
- Tone: How will your business communicate to its consumers?
- Personality: What personality does your brand adopt?
Like we mentioned earlier, good branding extends far beyond the label. Consumers are more likely to form their loyalties to a business’ promises and core values rather than the products it offers — think about your favourite brands; why do you keep going back to them rather than its competitors who offer the exact same product? Typically, consumers tend to gravitate toward brands who share the same values as they do. So, know your audience and communicate your values as clearly as you can! That’s what will set your business apart from the rest.
3: FORGETTING BRAND GUIDELINES
Once you’ve gotten past the biggest hurdle of this branding journey, that is having a clear direction for your brand, it’s time to establish some branding guidelines. This will help to ensure consistency in your business’ visual elements across all marketing channels; that includes content, graphic design, product design, campaigns, and more! When it comes to effective branding, it’s important that your business delivers consistent messaging and visuals so as to not confuse the consumers and lose their loyalty. Your brand guidelines can include:
- Mission and vision
- Color palettes
The more detailed your business’ branding guidelines, the more effectively you’ll be able to use your brand assets to guarantee consistency overall. This often glossed-over step in branding can help to ensure your consumers receive the best experience possible!
Starting a new business can be tough, and in the pursuit of something successful many important factors tend to be overlooked; that includes branding. We cannot stress enough how essential branding is to a business’ success, just take a look at your favorite brands and you’ll see just what we mean! Investing in great branding from the get go can greatly increase your business’ chances for brand recognition, consistency, and an overall better experience for consumers — not to mention avoiding expensive mistakes down the line. At the end of the day, the experience trumps the product!