If you’re serious about growing your business, the importance of correctly building a brand that will resonate with potential customers cannot be overstated. Below we offer some potholes to avoid on your road to branding success.
HAVING BRAND SCHIZOPHRENIA
Branding is all about delivering a consistent message across multiple marketing mediums so that consumers will always recognize your brand and know what your business stands for. As a result, occasionally changing your branding message to adapt to your competitors’ marketing strategies or to wholesale changes in the marketplace is ok. However, changing your branding message too frequently will lead to confusion among your consumers. Take the time to decide what type of brand you want to be, then make sure you allow time for that brand to gain traction with the buying public.
NOT STANDING OUT
While it’s certainly appropriate to take a look at what your competitors are doing when formulating your branding plan, the last thing you want to do is too closely emulate an existing brand. Piggybacking off of an established competitor’s branding will in all likelihood force you to slash prices to get consumers to choose you over that competitor. Instead, when looking at your competitors’ branding efforts, ask yourself how you can do things differently and more strategically so that you can develop a unique brand that can stand on its own so you’ll stand out from the competition.
BEING TOO BROAD IN YOUR TARGETING
Just as it’s important that you not be too vanilla in your branding approach, it’s also imperative that you not be too broad. Attempting to create a brand that is everything to everyone is a surefire way to create a brand that ends up speaking to no one. Make sure you have a keen understanding of who your target market actually is. That way you can craft truly targeted branding messages that resonate with that particular group.
FAILING TO ESTABLISH AND/OR STICK TO BRAND GUIDELINES
Again, branding is all about delivering a consistent message to consumers over time. That’s why creating a set of “brand guidelines” is so important. From your logo and tagline to your brand colors, font choices, and brand “voice,” it’s imperative that you create a guide for how your brand is presented to the public and share it with your employees and any marketing partners you may have. That way, your brand’s look and feel will remain consistent across any and all marketing iterations.
NOT REMAINING VIGILANT ON BEHALF OF YOUR BRAND
Once you’ve established your brand guidelines, you’ll want to monitor your vendors to ensure they are adhering to those guidelines. You’ll also want to monitor your competitors to make sure they aren’t infringing on your brand. You’ll put a significant amount of time and effort into building your brand. So, once you do, make sure you’re protecting it.