5 Biggest brand mistakes, and how to avoid them

Warren Buffet once said “it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” When a man has single-handedly built an empire worth over 99 billion dollars, it makes sense to listen to what he has to say. About anything. However, when it comes to branding, we prefer to frame things in a more positive way like Brandstream founder Scott Bradbury, who said “a brand is a story that is always being told.

Tell your story

Your brand is like a thread that gets woven into and throughout everything from tactical campaigns and packaging to social media planning and how you compose an email. It’s the one story that you’re allowed to tell again and again. And it’s the one story that matters most when it comes to carving out your niche in the market.

But it’s amazing to see how often business make the same mistakes again and again when it comes to building their brand. So, we thought we’d give you a heads up on some of the most common ones. Are you guilty of any of these branding boo-boos?

5 Biggest Branding Boo-Boos

1. Being Inconsistent

Your brand is usually the first point of contact you’ll have with your customers. Being consistent is critical to that first impression and instrumental in being recognised again in the future.

Your logo, signature colour palette, fonts and tone of voice work together to create your brand. And if any of these elements are changed or adapted, used in the wrong place or in the wrong way, it can weaken first impressions, your brand and your reputation.

Having a brand book is the best way to ensure that your brand is always presented consistently and authentically.

2. Being afraid to stand out

There’s an old saying that “the riches are in the niches”. Everyone knows that trying to be everything to everyone never works and yet we hear it all the time, “but our product is for everyone.”

We get it, no one likes to miss out. But if you don’t want anyone to miss out, then you’re never going to stand out. When you confidently position yourself as exactly what your customer needs, it allows you to be more specific, and plan your strategy with laser accuracy.

3. Talking about me, me, me

It’s natural, logical even, to want to talk about yourself when it comes to selling your business. But here’s a truth you might not want to hear. Your customer doesn’t care about you, they care about themselves.

We’re all the main characters in our life story. Good branding will make you a welcome guide in your customer’s story, instead of a pushy passer-by who wants to take over.

Not having a consumer-centric mindset is a common mistake that we see all the time whether it’s web copy or ad campaigns and it can often worm its way into strategic planning. To find out if you’re guilty of this, have a read over your copy and see if the words ‘we/us/our’ appears more than ‘you/your/you’re’.

4. Not making a plan

Not having a brand strategy is like trying to find your way to Stevenage without a map. You wouldn’t risk it would you? Because while you might have a general idea of where you’re heading, the chances of finding it without assistance is slim to none.

Aside from giving your brand direction and a framework to build on, the most important job of a brand strategy is to give your business purpose. Having a reason to exist outside of ‘making money’ and ‘selling our thing’ will empower you to set your brand apart from the competition and shape the way your brand is perceived by others.

5. Not embracing your emotion

People don’t buy things, they buy feelings. No matter who you are or what you’re selling, it’s not the end goal for your customer. For them, it’s a vehicle to the feelings that they’re seeking.

We’ve seen it time and time again, websites, ads or emails that lead with features. Stop doing that. Don’t even lead with the benefits. Instead, try starting the conversation by creating a feeling, specifically the feeling your customer gets when they use your product or service.

Don’t believe us? Well, we encourage you to do your research, there’s plenty out there. According to Psychology Today, research showed that very negative or positive emotions about your brand or brand experience will never be related to material factors. To get that “wow” response and delight your customer, the experience always ties into that emotional human factor.

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