Starting a new business is a risky and terrifying thing to do for many entrepreneurs. It takes an enormous amount of work and planning and often new entrepreneurs can neglect the branding efforts of their infantile businesses. In the chaos of developing a new product, doing market research, acquiring funding, and looking for the first group of customers branding tends to fall by the wayside.
Yet, branding is not superfluous. Not at all. Your business is your brand, and without serious branding efforts, your new business will be dead on arrival, no matter how good your product or service is. Avoid these ten branding mistakes like the plague and the branding efforts of your new business will be in fantastic shape.
1. Lack of Good Brand Name
Many new businesses will decide on an unfamiliar or bizarre name in an attempt to stand out from the competition. While your brand name must be distinctive for people to remember it if it is too hard to pronounce it will alienate your customers.
You have to remember that your brand name is the very first thing the public will think of in regards to your brand, so perhaps more than anything your brand name has to be rock solid.
2. Lack of Branding Strategy
Many new businesses make the mistake of thinking that good branding only consists of a well-designed logo and a punchy tagline, but this could not be further from the truth. Your brand needs a long-term development strategy for it to survive and grow.
A brand without a branding strategy is doomed to fail. You cannot neglect to develop yours if you want your brand to gain any traction. Without a proper strategy, your customers will never know what your brand stands for, what promises it makes, and what message your brand conveys.
3. Weak Brand Identity
Like a lack of brand strategy, weak brand identity will also lead to the demise of your business. Your brand identity consists of your brand’s personality, its values, its messaging, and the consistency of its visual elements.
Without consistency in all aspects of your business’s brand your customers, and even your employees, will be confused as to what your brand even is. As a result, it will not stick around in anyone’s mind.
4. Lack of Professional Designers
Many companies make the mistake of not investing enough money into their branding efforts. If you fail to hire professional designers to create beautiful brand elements your customers will notice. You get what you pay for, and a customer can spot a cheap brand from a mile away.
Nobody likes a cheap brand, and nobody will like yours. Hiring talented, professional designers are not optional when trying to build a powerful brand.
5. Brand Inconsistency
Consistency of your branding elements across all mediums and channels is one of the most important aspects of a strong brand identity. This means using the same fonts, graphics, tone of voice, logo, tagline, etc in all your company communications. Whether it be on a social media post, a marketing flyer, or even a company-wide memo the brand elements must be completely consistent at all times on everything your company does.
Any bit of inconsistency does serious damage to the strength of your brand identity, so your brand must always hold consistency in the highest esteem.
6. Hitching Your Brand to Trends
Do not make the mistake of hitching your brand to the trendy wagon. Trends do not last, no matter how popular they become, and your brand will not survive if it is based upon them.
A solid brand and a successful business must stand the test of time, so while associating it with a hot trend might seem like a good idea at first, it probably will become a disaster much quicker than you think. Instead, build your brand to be timeless and adaptable rather than trendy.
7. Overly Broad Target Audience
Brands can not be all things to all people, no matter how strong their brand identity is. Many brands make the mistake of marketing themselves to an overly broad target audience, and In an attempt to appeal to everyone a brand instead appeals to no one.
The target audience is an explicit aspect of a brand identity, and a strong brand knows exactly who its target audience is.
8. Lack of Research Into the Competition
A good brand must be aware of those it is competing against to spot its weaknesses and know what it needs to bring to the table. Many businesses fail to adequately research the branding of their competitors, leading them to make blind mistakes when it comes to their branding.
Mistakes that could have been avoided had they just paid attention to what their competitors were doing. This does not mean to copy your competitors, it simply means to pay attention to what branding decisions they deem important for their customers. What is important for their brand is probably important for yours too.
9. Poor Customer Service
If your company does not have very good customer service it will directly translate into a poor public perception of your brand. The way your brand handles its customer service operations says a lot about your brand identity, specifically its personality and honesty. I
f the customer service is poor, it will alienate your customers, lead them to distrust your brand, and send them straight to a competitor.
10. Lack of Employee Training
Your target audience is not the only group of people who are a part of your brand, but your employees too are an integral part of what your brand represents. Therefore, each employee must adequately understand what your brand is for them to be able to represent it themselves.
The way your employees conduct themselves, both in the workplace, and with the public is a crucial part of your brand identity, and can not be neglected.
If you can manage to avoid making these common branding mistakes your brand identity will be a very good place. Always remember, your business is your brand so do not neglect it. Always work to let it strengthen and grow, and your business will be on track for success.