Building a brand should be a well-thought-out process. It’s crucial to go through all necessary steps to get things right before making any changes.
Branding is not just about designing a fancy logo with your name on it; it’s more about what your brand stands for, what feeling you want to evoke in people, and how the world perceives your brand.
All this takes time and effort. It doesn’t matter if you’re established or just starting out; you need a real branding strategy. To avoid common mistakes, here are 11 things businesses get wrong when branding.
1. Not Doing Enough Competition Research
This is particularly crucial if your company is new. By studying the competition, you can learn what well-established companies in your field have done, where they have excelled and failed, and how you might differentiate your brand from them.
Products, services, target markets, websites, and social media platforms should all be included in your investigation. If you don’t, this might trip you up in two different ways: first, you won’t be able to accurately assess the competition, and second, you won’t be able to replicate a competitor’s strategies.
2. Lack of Awareness of Your Target Audience
Finding your target demographic will make branding and messaging much more straightforward. You must be aware of the audience you are speaking to before you begin selling or even pitching. You must be mindful of their needs, expectations, points of identification, and preferred brands.
3. Getting Advice From Unreliable Sources
You need to get feedback from the appropriate people, depending on the kind of goods or services you want to offer and the market you want to target. You won’t be able to set or meet appropriate goals if you just use sources with positive feedback.
Consider your options before accepting assessments from friends, family, coworkers, and relatives who might give you great feedback regardless of the situation. Any contemporary brand’s most fantastic review platform combines social media and review websites.
4. It Involves More Than A Logo
As was previously mentioned, branding is more than just a logo or a tagline. Everything you stand for, including the voice of your business and the type of material you produce, is part of your brand. Once you have a competitive edge and a unique style, you will attract an audience. Without that, nothing is worthwhile!
When a company rebrands, it may spend a ton of money on a new logo but less on other brand elements. For instance, simply altering a fashion brand’s logo won’t increase sales. It should concentrate on its customer service staff, product quality, advertising (both online and offline), competitive pricing, and many other elements to develop a lucrative e-commerce company.
Here is a concrete illustration. When Marissa Mayer took over as CEO of Yahoo, she decided to alter the company’s logo. It generated a lot of buzz among consumers, advertisers, bloggers, and everyone else. But all hopes were dashed when Yahoo officially introduced its new logo. Although it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t exhilarating either. It turned out to be an insignificant change that did not significantly enhance the Yahoo brand.
Your company will be significantly impacted by brand consistency. Building consistency promotes familiarity, loyalty, and ultimately credibility. Be consistent in your interactions with your audience, including promotions, personality, and communication.
Coca-Cola, for instance, maybe the most reliable brand in history. In 130 years, its emblem rarely changed at all. Everyone knows its festive Christmas advertisements and summer campaigns featuring fun in the sun. Even after Pepsi notably triumphed in consumer taste testing, the brand has garnered such a high level of loyalty that no other drink can compete.
In the current digital era, Coca-Cola has amassed a sizable following on social media, making it very simple to reach its target demographic wherever they may be.
6. Avoiding the Use of First Impressions
A brand will not be noticed if it has a clumsy design. Even with a fantastic product, persuasive marketing, and first-rate customer service, people may never pay attention without a visually appealing presentation.
The legitimacy and allure of your brand will increase with a contemporary, user-friendly design. However, any company founded after the middle of the 2000s should be aware of this. Even today, some more prominent brands that became well-known before the internet can get away with poor technique.
If your brand’s design or website needs an update, give it a top priority because you only get one chance to make a first impression. Several business resources are available to guide your efforts, including applications like Lucidpress.
7. Inadequate Client Service
Unsatisfactory customer service can seriously harm your brand, whether you recognize it or not. Customer satisfaction should be your brand’s top concern because people are likelier to share unpleasant product experiences than positive ones.
For instance, customer service at United Airlines struggled last year when a video of a passenger being hauled off a flight made headlines in April 2017. The CEO’s delayed answer felt cold and unrepentant, adding insult to injury. These events significantly depressed United’s stock price and altered public opinion of the company.
Use the axiom “The customer is always right” to your advantage. Even if it requires more effort, you must meet your audience where they are. Costco, Marriott, and JetBlue are a few examples of companies with top-notch customer service. Businesses that provide satisfaction guarantees, incentives, and compensation for errors develop a robust and devoted customer base.
8. Misuse of Social Media
Another approach to damage your brand and reduce client happiness is to ignore social media. A bunch of social media blunders simply result from well-intentioned campaigns. For example, when Crocs and Cinnabon tried to pay tribute to David Bowie and Carrie Fisher, respectively, their insensitivity was amplified by their extensive social media reach.
Brands sometimes don’t devote enough time and resources to social media campaigns. Maintaining accounts on multiple social media platforms demonstrates your concern for customers, primarily when you can quickly address their queries and grievances.
Invest real time and money towards developing a social marketing approach. Wendy’s is a terrific example of social media usage if you search for a company to follow. The brand maintains a consistent image, publishes frequently, and engages with its fan base.
All thanks to its nearly 2.5 million Twitter followers, 8.5 million Facebook likes, and over 700,000 Instagram followers. As an excellent opportunity to interact with followers, the business’s social media team actively follows current affairs and popular culture.
9. Lack of a Backup Plan
Many companies believe that once a brand is established, it will take care of itself. That is totally untrue today. To deliver more outstanding quality and adjust to the shifting needs of the market, you should continuously refine and change your offers. Not every branding strategy will be successful on its first try.
You must be prepared with a backup plan in those situations to ensure a quick recovery. Blockbuster is one of the most notable instances of a company that refuses to change. The inventor of Netflix approached Blockbuster in 2000 with an offer to buy his relatively small business, which provided online movie rentals through a mail subscription model.
As it has shifted from mail-order DVDs to streaming, and the company now creates hundreds of original episodes and movies, Netflix is still a shining example of how to adapt to change. Only a small number of outlets remain for Blockbuster in Alaska.
Listen to your customer base as a solution. When customers insist on more options or comfort, change your approach to satisfying their demands. If not, another company will undoubtedly do so.
Branding insensitivity is a severe problem. Companies frequently make news by producing well-intentioned advertising that becomes PR catastrophes. Consider the disastrous 2017 Kendall Jenner Pepsi commercial. Instead of evoking feelings of camaraderie, it either made viewers chuckle at the shoddy execution or outraged at how the Black Lives Matter movement had turned into a commodity.
The McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish commercial from the United Kingdom is another outstanding illustration of insensitivity. The advertisement showed a youngster questioning his mother about his departed father, only to learn that their shared love of McDonald’s was all they had in common. Many consumers believed that using such a serious topic to advertise fish sandwiches was emotionally deceptive. The company quickly removed the advertisement.
Consider how your brand interacts with delicate or contentious issues before diving in. A sincere effort to arouse viewers’ emotions can quickly devolve into exploitation. Understand where the line is.
11. Focusing on the “What” Rather Than the “Why.”
Selling your company’s characteristics instead of a big idea is a classic branding blunder. As Simon Sinek famously put it, people don’t purchase what you do; they buy why you do it.
Sinek uses TiVo to illustrate a firm that made a big splash with its features—including the ability to halt and rewind live TV—but fell short of genuinely grabbing people’s attention.
By encouraging people to “think differently” about computers, Apple, on the other hand, became one of the most popular brands. Instead of selling specific technical details, it offered a way of thinking and a way of life.
The solution is to focus on a value you hold dear and create your company. Coca-Cola offers happiness in a can. Nike promotes inspiration. Your brand should have nearly palpable energy instead of focusing on dry, explicative messaging.
The Bottom Line
It’s not simple to run a brand. However, you must never forget that your company consists of more than just its goods and services. Your ability to influence client experience will determine your level of success. Your brand identity is based on this. You won’t want to return once you’ve built trust in your brand.