Branding is all about perception. How you want your company to be seen by your customers, whether you are offering Business-to-Business or Business-To-Customer products or services. It’s a word that is often bandied around. Every organization and even individuals talk about how they plan to brand themselves or what they intend to do to ensure they are perceived in a certain way, which is a good thing.
However, not everyone does branding right, it’s the reason it’s important to be aware of the common branding mistakes that can make a mess of the intentions of any brand.
Here they are;
Wrong Identification of Target Market: Before embarking on any branding activities, a business, be it an emerging or established one must be able to accurately determine its target audience. In identifying who your product or service is targeted towards, you are then able to communicate effectively to them. Once the target audience isn’t right, all attempts to tailor communication to them will be in the wrong direction.
The Misconception that Branding is all about Names and Logos: While a brand’s name and accompanying logo are essential in recognizing a brand and differentiating it from others, there’s far more to branding that just slapping a unique name and logo on. The customers entire experience, association and ultimately, perception of a company will have far more reaching effects on it than a name or logo.
Downplaying the Role of Employees: Many companies fail to realize the immense role their employees play in the branding process. Your staff are your most important assets and should be at the forefront of propagating the gospel of your brand. Information that defines your brand such as tag lines, core values and guiding principles should not be alien to your staff. They are living, breathing ambassadors of your organization and should be viewed and engaged as such.
Inconsistent Brand Identity: All communication materials should have the same information on them. Whether you are exploring email marketing, social media or sending out brochures to increase brand visibility, the images, website and logo on them should be consistent. An inconsistent brand identity will only serve to confuse potential customers, while also portraying your company as one which doesn’t pay attention to details.
Doing too much: In a bid to grow quickly, some organizations (startups and small businesses in particular) are sometimes guilty of doing too much. Communication should be planned and unfolded systematically and not be too overwhelming for the public. Again, changing brand collaterals like logos and taglines abruptly and too often does not do your brand any favours. Keep it simple. Let your target audience digest your communication in a simple and effective way.
Social Media Misadventures: This is one of the most common mistakes brands make in communicating their message. While individuals may get away with unsavoury comments online, brands will most likely not. As a brand, you want to be taken seriously. This doesn’t in any way translate to being stiff or unfriendly, but while you want to explore the social media world, it behoves you to keep things professional. Social media shenanigans in form of insults or rudeness to customers or potential customers will only produce a negative perception of your brand.