That day is here – you’ve finally turned your interest and passion into a venture you love. And you’re probably thinking of to-do’s rather than branding mistakes to avoid! Your baby may be retail or mass production. It could even be selling advice as a lifestyle coach. But whichever business endeavor you’ve chosen, your customized brand identity is vital. It can mean the difference in potential clients choosing you above your competitors. And more importantly, in helping to maintain a repeat-customer relationship!
Branding comes down to an individuality that stimulates client desire – as well as perhaps tweaking their comfort levels. In short, you want to be instantly known as a brand they trust and recognize for specific needs. If this breakthrough hasn’t happened for your business just yet, don’t fret! Here are a few tips to identify where you may be going bland rather than brand.
Avoid Branding Mistakes by Understanding these 6 Elements
1. The Power of Pattern and Color
There isn’t a single person on the planet that doesn’t immediately recognize Coca-Cola’s red swirl. There must be only a very few who don’t connect with the golden arches outside McDonalds. The almost generic element to these giants nowadays is synonymous with trust. Customers know exactly what they’re in for, no surprises. Upon establishing your specialty, potential clients need to associate with you at a glance. Solid colors and simple logos, quite simply, stay in the memory. Possessing a logo that is complex or too busy on the eyes will confuse the sub-conscious, and therefore, prompt a customer to look away.
2. Classic Branding
Working with an imagery that identifies your field helps a great deal in recognizable brand elements, too. (Who out there doesn’t associate the smiling man with a rake from “Jim’s Mowing” as representative of gardening services?) It’s likewise a good idea to stay away from fads. Choose a classic logo that will last for years. Many of your competitors will go with popular trends, which is all the more reason to be true to your brand by keeping it unique and timeless.
3. Know Yourself Well
Along with steering clear of over-developed brand elements, stay simple but strong on your company ethos. Try to stay away from descriptions such as “bestselling” and “award winning.” This is called Wallpaper Branding, and is thrown around so often that it no longer commands a wow factor. Choose a few unique words to project who you are, and what your company is brilliant at. If you sell straw brooms, don’t declare best broom ever! It’s a vague description and promotes mistrust. Instead, choose something more along the lines of “quality and caring for your household.”
4. Think Inside the Box
When you have a stellar product, center all your marketing and branding elements around it as a focus, with only slight variants. The infamous Colgate story dominates here. The toothpaste company was so well-recognized for teeth that upon launching frozen dinners, nobody was interested in using their choppers! They simply did too good a job at promoting themselves as dental-care leaders – which is not a bad thing. But if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for you to branch out. But if you’re renowned for the world’s best-tasting cupcakes, you’ll probably be met with suspicion if you begin selling hammers. Or sponsor your brand name alongside a Weight Watchers event. You’ll raise curiosity, however, if you’re introducing cookbooks. Understand that dramatically changing the core of a brand can diminish the strength of your customer’s association with you.
5. What’s in a Name?
Perhaps the most imperative element to your brand is choosing a catchy name that truly represents and defines you. Gone are the days where a company can jump on the “Plants R Us” bandwagon. Take care and consideration on this one: your business is your brainchild, the key word here being child. Treat your company as though it’s your baby, and name it with the same thorough thought process as naming your children.
6. Pass the Buck
Save where you can, but don’t penny-pinch where you need quality most. Staffing is a good example to look to on this one. Your workers represent the energy of your brand, and good wage incentive, along with enough hours and good management keeps your workers happy. For your brand, there is nothing worse than an inquiry met with disinterest, or an employee that looks as though they’d rather be anywhere else. Pay attention to details too. If you regularly hold customer/business meetings in your office, ensure the surroundings are tasteful and inviting. Would you trust someone with torn chairs and faded posters on the wall?
Made Any Branding Mistakes? Start Now to Make Repairs!
In the excitement of starting a new venture, mistakes can be made – but recovery is possible. You must understand both the do’s and don’ts to get your branding just right. Help ensure your hard work pays off by digesting and using these tips.
I trust you identified with these elements. Did you see something you’ve done, or were about to do? Share your thoughts in the comments below!