In a world where many businesses are offering a competitive range of products and services, brands should be able to exhibit the timeless qualities of philosophy, strategy, character, and consistency. A brand should be a living entity that consistently provides solutions, competing in quality, usefulness, and impact. There should be no space for branding mistakes at any cost.
Brands must clearly and consistently communicate their value proposition and show a quality of endurance, resilience, and practicality. Consumers can appreciate a brand’s value when businesses are consistent and can deliver their value proposition over time.
Jerry McLaughlin, CEO of Branders.com, defines brands as the quality of creating desired perceptions in customers’ minds. He calls it a “deliberate and skillful application of effort” to be able to make an impact on people’s lives.
Top branding mistakes one should avoid
So, where do brands and companies fall short? Let’s examine the branding mistakes that could cause you much more than customers.
Does not come out clearly and consistently to your audience
In other words, – identity consistency.
Consistency is our root word here.
Everything you do, whether it’s your logo, your customer care services, your messaging and typography, your company taglines, etc. Everything should be consistent across all platforms that define or communicate your business entity.
Incongruence is detrimental.
Take Coca-Cola, for example; the brand’s logo style has hardly changed over the century. So, wherever consumers see the familiar Coca-Cola logo [even now, 131 years later, no less!], they know it’s their favorite beverage.
Develop a brand guideline that helps you focus on your style and imagery using the logo, fonts, colors, and other visual communication aspects. These should be consistently visible to your audience – the moment they see it, they know it’s you.
A key aspect of establishing an identity is advocating your brand’s uniqueness and how it differs from other businesses. The audience needs something to remember. Brands lose credibility if they cannot deliver on their commitments and promises.
Fire – Aim. Aim. And not the other way round!
We also call this failure to understand your audience. Brands often make the mistake of not knowing their audience. This inability to understand the audience could be due to a lack of surveys, communication, and connection.
There will be no point in starting a business or expanding when you try to see what target audience accepts you and starts following you. Suppose you are entering a leather market of men’s and women’s accessories. In that case, you need to know which segment you are targeting, what your customers need and desire, whether there is purchasing power, and whether your product fulfills the many requirements.
You must understand that your customers need anchorage, and so do you. You need to identify the market of your product to be able to develop a customer following.
Failure to build a social media presence
Brands often do not portray a compelling business entity image on social media. They may have social media accounts, but their approach to managing those accounts is shallow.
DeMers says the brands must personalize their social media presence and connect with the audience at a natural human level. This human connection will depict, reflect, and communicate its commitment and help the brand in recognition and customer loyalty.
So, once you develop this connection over social media, ensure your company’s digital marketing strategy is consistent with messaging, offers and webinars, podcasts, graphics, imagery, and content.
Not taking the team along
Often, companies fail to inspire and engage their team members to live and breathe the brand philosophy and value proposition. Laverman said that brands should be able to cascade the sentiment first within and take the spirit inside out.
We think this is most important and will go a long way. When the people inside the company have compelling ownership, they become the company’s ambassadors and positively influence interactions with associates and customers. They can think creatively and solve problems that will carve a committed image to the brand’s philosophy.
Brands often cannot sustain growth when they lack the core activity of research and development. Failure to keep up with the trends and developments happens in many ways, including failure to research competition and better solutions, failure to adapt and adopt best practices that define the brand, and failure to consistently reinvent the brand philosophy and company sentiment.
Having stated five things to look out for and be wary of, we believe it is crucial to evaluate and reevaluate a company’s brand image with the fast-growing competition in the market. Here are some indicators of when brands should think about their strategies and approach and work on their image and connection with the customers and the community.
There is an encouraging amount of valuable literature, books, and information on the internet, which enlightens and gives insights about branding mistakes to avoid from many different perspectives.
While we have tried to cover aspects of what we think you must avoid as a brand, would you like to add what is highly important to a brand’s development and sustainability? Share your experiences, ideas, and feedback in the comments below.