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These Branding Mistakes May Be Holding Your Business Back

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Good branding can make or break a business. It requires careful planning and a long-term strategy. Otherwise, your branding is going to HURT your company. 

Let's take a look at 10 of the most common branding blunders that are holding businesses back, and how you can avoid them.

Not caring about your logo 

Your logo, whether you like it or not, plays a huge part in defining your brand. Why? Because branding is expressing to your audience why they should choose you over your competition. And your logo matters because it represents who you are as a brand. 

Think of your logo as the face of your business. It should be pleasing to look at and convey your brand’s personality.

Imagine a person wearing ripped skinny jeans with a stained t-shirt. Now think of a well-groomed man in a business suit. 

Without even speaking to them, you've already judged them and their personality. Your logo design has the same effect. It needs to convey trust, credibility, and your brand's distinct personality traits. 

 Not having a clear USP 

Your USP (unique sales proposition) is what makes your brand special. It's what sets you apart from the competition. It can be your lower price, higher-quality product, or fantastic customer service. 

Whatever your USP is, you need to make sure that your branding is efficiently communicating it. So, don't use vague buzzwords and terminology. Instead, accurately describe what your audience's problem is, and how you and your USP can help them solve it.

 Ignoring brand guidelines 

How can you ensure that your brand messaging and visuals remain consistent? It can be tough when working with others or when running campaigns on multiple media channels. 

 Creating your own brand guidelines with a brand book lets you maintain consistency throughout all of your marketing campaigns. It can include: 

  • Your brand's color palette 

  • Your brand's logo 

  • The kind of images and visuals you should use 

  • The tone of voice of your brand 

  • The font and signature used in your marketing 

Only following trends 

We consume social media and news faster than ever before. With so much information bombarding us, it's easy for new trends to pop up quickly, such as exciting news stories, fashion, songs, etc. 

Don't worry too much about trying to jump on the latest bandwagon; instead, focus your time and energy on longer-term brand strategies. 

 Ignoring your audience

A big part of your branding strategy is connecting with your target audience. You need to know who your audience is, what they do, what their demographics are, what their needs are (how you can help them), and anything else that's relevant to your business.

 If you don't create personalized content targeting your specific audience, you can bet your competition will snap them up. 

 Creating a poor experience 

Companies who ignore their customers' experience are doomed to fail, as their negativity can easily overshadow your branding. Don't forget that people talk about their experiences all the time with each other—the good and the bad. So, you need to make sure that whenever your customers interact with you, it's the best experience they could possibly have. 

 If you make it so good, there's a good chance they'll rave about it on social media!

 Failing to protect your brand with the law 

Trademarking and copyright exist, so people can't just steal other brand's excellent ideas and creations. If you haven't already, investigate your local trademark and copyright laws and ensure that your brand's name and visuals can be protected. 

If you’re marketing internationally, you'll also need to investigate how you can apply an international trademark and copyright. 

 Not updating your branding 

Have you noticed how many successful companies update their branding every few years? They release a new logo design and new advertisements across TV and the internet, as well as running plenty of social media campaigns showing off their new design. 

They do it to keep their branding fresh. Otherwise, their visuals become stale and outdated. If your branding is feeling old, consider breathing new life into it by rebranding. 

Be careful not to stray too far from your current branding. 

 Trying too hard to be liked 

Don't fall into the trap of trying too hard with your branding. Instead, let your brand's personality develop and come out naturally. If it feels forced, like you're trying to shoehorn your way into too many things, it won't end very well. 

 In a world of fake news and fake personas, people want authenticity from brands. 

 Not following up on results 

You need to be tracking every single one of your branding campaigns, no matter how small or trivial you may think it is. Only by analyzing your performance can you optimize your branding. This means measuring the engagement of your social media posts, tracking your email campaigns, and everything else you're doing that's related to branding. 

Conclusion

Building a brand takes time and hard work. It won't just happen overnight. 

If you're struggling with your branding, take a step back, and identify where your weaknesses are and develop a strategy to combat it before taking any action. 

Branding is a long-term game, so don't worry too much about jumping on the latest trend. Focus on your own USP and how you can effectively communicate it to your target audience.