Small Business Branding Mistakes | 5 Things To Avoid In The Creation Of Your Brand – Your Company’s Most Powerful Tool
Small Business Branding Mistakes | You’ve taken your product and services through market testing and you’ve gotten favorable feedback from trusted experts in your niche. You know your products and services can make a significant, measurable impact in your industry, but is your brand able to communicate what makes you different and offer consistent positioning to help you stand out? In the business world, your brand is everything. Either your potential clients know it, trust it and spend their money accordingly, or they don’t.
It is a major challenge for a small business to build a memorable brand because of the lack of funds, resources, people and time. Yet branding is what makes your business attractive to investors, clients and future employees. When you think about great branding, Coca-Cola’s unique red and white lettering, Nike’s swoosh and Adidas’s three stripes likely come to mind. But as a small business owner, imagining the level of investment that’s gone into these iconic brands can make the thought of undertaking your own branding initiative seem overwhelming and challenging, to say the least. Let’s look at some common branding mistakes that could cripple your business (and, more importantly, some tips on how to avoid them).
Name Can Make Or Break Your Business | Small Business Branding Mistakes
Whether you’re just launching a new small business or you’re already a successful small business owner, it’s very possible that you’re about to make (or you’ve already made) the biggest branding mistake. We’re talking about the company name. A strong brand is easily recognizable by your existing and potential clients – and recognition starts with your business name. Don’t become another small business disaster story. Make sure you clear your trade name in order to do business in your state and clear your business name as your brand identity by making sure it doesn’t conflict with any existing marks that are already in use in commerce.
Is Your Brand Message Clear? | Small Business Branding Mistakes
Don’t develop brand guidelines and elements that reveal nothing about your company and its value proposition. Chances are you’ve seen this before in generic logos or in marketing language that’s downright generic. For example “best-selling” books, “championship” golf courses and “award-winning” ad agencies don’t really mean anything. Write down your brand messaging. What are the key messages you want to communicate about your business?
Don’t Forget To Establish Brand Guidelines | Small Business Branding Mistakes
So you know that your business may need to develop a brand, but what exactly does that mean? When creating a brand identity, you’ll want to establish clearly defined guidelines that cover all of the brand elements. Design templates and create brand standards for all your marketing materials, both online and off. Use the same colors, logo, and the overall look and feel throughout.
Having An Online Presence Is No Longer Optional | Small Business Branding Mistakes
How are potential clients supposed to find you? People are searching for you online and every time you don’t come up, there’s another missed opportunity to grow your business and reinforce brand. It’s not just good enough to just have a website, you must reinforce your brand image. If you’re known as a top notch photographer, the last thing you need is a website designed a decade ago. It doesn’t reflect well on you.
What You Say Matters. The Way You Say It Is Just As Important | Small Business Branding Mistakes
What you say is important, but don’t forget the way you say it. Your brand’s voice is the language and personality you and your employees will use to deliver your branding message and reach your clients. Create a voice for your business that reflects the nature of your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and in print. If your brand’s voice isn’t consistent across every channel than it may put a fork in your credibility. This is like the politician who sounds great during speeches, but then posts off-color remarks on social media. It’s inconsistent with the message he or she is trying to communicate. Don’t let that happen to you.
While branding is definitely a marketing discipline in its own right, it doesn’t need to be too complicated. Good intentions, and avoidance of the mistakes we mentioned above, will go a long way towards helping your small business form vital connections with your target audience.