In a world where there is a multitude of businesses 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 no space to the branding mistakes at any cost.
Brands must communicate their value proposition clearly and consistently, and show a quality of endurance, resilience, and practicality. Consumers can appreciate the value of a brand when businesses are consistent and can deliver their value proposition over time.
Jerry McLaughlin, CEO of Branders.com, defines brands with 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 in 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 a lot more than customers.
#1 Does not come out clear and consistent 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 aspects of visual communication. 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 to advocate your brand’s uniqueness and how it differs from the other businesses out there. The audience needs something to remember. Brands lose credibility if they are unable to deliver on their commitments and promises.
#2 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 lack of surveys, communication, and connection.
There will be no point in starting a business or expanding one when you are trying to see what target audience accepts you and starts following you. If you are entering into a leather market of men’s and women’s accessories, 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 need to 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.
#3 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 the brand’s commitment and help the brand in recognition and customer loyalty.
So, once you develop this connection over social media, make sure your company’s digital marketing strategy is consistent with messaging, offers and webinars, podcasts, graphics, imagery and the content.
#4 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 a compelling ownership, they become the ambassadors of the company and exert a positive influence in interactions with associates and customers. They can think creatively and solve problems that will carve a committed image to the brand’s philosophy.
#5 Incompetent R&D
Brands are often unable to sustain growth when they lack the core activity of research and development. Failure to keep with the trends and developments happens in a lot of ways including failure to research on 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 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 is enlightening 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, is there something you would like to add which is highly important to a brand’s development and sustainability? Share your experiences, ideas, and feedback with us in the comments below.