Branding Tips | 4 Traps That Suck the Life Out of You and Your Brand (And How To Avoid Them)
Branding Tips | Whether you’re a multinational conglomerate or a one-person shop in Kalamazoo, Michigan, you are a brand. That means you’re subjected to the same brand demands as Apple, Coca Cola, and General Motors, only with an tiny sliver of their marketing budgets. A business that doesn’t have a well-defined brand will have trouble with differentiation in the marketplace and with generating media awareness. The main idea of branding is to translate something vague (who your company is) into something tangible that your clients can see, hear, read, and recognize. It’s no easy mission.
Branding, a commonly used term throughout the business industry, basically means to craft an identifiable entity that makes a promise of value. It means that you have created a consciousness, an image, an awareness of your business. A lot of small business owners have difficulty with branding, because they prioritize product development and sales before meaning and experience.
Branding is something most owners view as ‘nice-to-have’, rather than ‘need-to-have.’ Yet such an approach hinders the truly successful business owner, who seeks to capitalize on every facet of the company’s operations. Even the most popular brand in the world can be killed. It can be done on purpose or mistakenly. Below are the most common mistakes that kill brands.
Picking a bad name | Branding Tips
You think that choosing the right name for your business is simple? Think again! Do people suggest going to one restaurant because they don’t want to risk mispronouncing the name of another, possibly better, nearby place? Absolutely. Before you even start brainstorming names, you need figure out what your business is really about.
If the name you pick for your company, product, or service is difficult to pronounce, or difficult to spell, you’re probably on the wrong track. No matter what vibe you’re trying to convey with your branding, it should fall into the “welcoming, inviting, and user-friendly” category – which means your name should be “friendly” to users’ tongues.
Not hiring a professional designer | Branding Tips
Picking a logo is one of the most important branding choices a business owner makes. Pick something that suits your small business. When in doubt, do two things: show test logos to people who don’t know your company and ask them what kind of business they would think had logos like the one you showed them. You want something that is recognizable.
Besides a professionally designed logo, every single business should have a website, but 55 percent of small businesses don’t have one. People are searching for you online, and every time you don’t come up, there’s another missed opportunity to build your business and brand. When some business owners hear “professional designer”, they automatically think they won’t be able to afford it. Yet, there are reasonably priced web designers or web service companies offering customized services that can give your website a professional look and feel it deserves.
Not defining your target audience | Branding Tips
In order to gain visibility in the marketplace, it’s imperative that you are specific with the type of clients you’re going after. You shouldn’t try to be everything to everyone, because you’ll end up being nothing to no one. Think about the age, gender, geography and lifestyle of the people you’re targeting, and don’t be afraid to define your market in public. Your clients are a great source of information about how your organisation is perceived, and getting input from many perspectives is important for the branding process. How does your target audience see your company, and how does that compare to the way you’d like to be seen?
Not maintaining your brand | Branding Tips
The first big mistake of marketing is not having a brand at all. A brand can be defined as the visual elements such as logo, company name, slogan or tagline, and color palette used to convey your company’s identity. However, your brand is so much more than just your logo. It is the perception that your clients have of your business and is formed through everything that you do.
Your logo is an important part of this, but thinking about the messages that people get from your company as a whole will give you a better foundation for your new brand. A company must use the same name, logo and tag line in every contact inside and outside the company. Your clients must hear and see your name, logo, tag line and colors consistently over and over and over in many different ways before you are imprinted on their mind map.