COMMON BRANDING MISTAKES
There are common branding mistakes companies often make that decreases their business ability to communicate with their target audience. There are certain companies that have create great brand image over the years, and one such company is the beverage giant, Coca-Cola. Their distinctive and obvious red and white lettering and powerful trademark make it impossible for anyone to confuse them for another soft drink manufacturer. The branding strategy of this great company will serve as a guide to small businesses who intend to grow and achieve great success soon.
What are the common branding mistakes that brands make that can impact the business negatively? Having carried out some research on this topic, I noticed that the following mistakes have been costly to small businesses.
Inability to identify brand strength:
As a beginner in a business, you cannot expect to have the same brand strength with a product which is already a market leader in that same environment. You must not expect your customers to suddenly recognise your product just like the market leader. Take for example the beverage company, Coca-cola, that has been in existence for over two centuries, imagine a budding beverage company that is new in the beverage business and wants to make Coca-cola is competitor, and starts copying its branding strategies, such a company may not last in that business. Some people already have these mentalities that all detergents are Omo, all cooking spices are Maggi, or noodles are Indomie. It is therefore wise to create a branding strategy by first defining and differentiating it from what is already existing in the market.
Failing to research the opposition.
When you research the opposition, it will help you understand what the established businesses in your industry have done, where they have failed and where they have succeeded. Then you know what branding strategies you can take advantage of. You should also carry out research on products, services, targets, audience, websites and social platforms.
Inconsistency has a negative impact on your brand, it brings about lack of trust and disloyalty. Companies like Coca-cola has been consistent in their branding for over 130 years. When you are consistent with your branding it will bring about familiarity, loyalty and credibility. Once your designer creates a brand style guide, the next thing you should be doing is to consistently follow the brand’s style guide on all your marketing campaigns across different channels, including your website, social networking profiles and printed materials.
If you’re not consistent, your brand will end up appearing unprofessional and lose identity, making your brand less trustworthy. Managing brand consistency across all marketing channels sets you apart from your competitors and helps you to accelerate the growth of your brand. A consistent identity for your brand will not only foster a sense of trust and comfort for potential customers, but it also plays a vital role in influencing your customers’ purchasing decision.
Careless changing of the brand logo:
It is important that you carry your audience or customers along, do not just suddenly change your logo feeling that your audience or customers should be able to know or recognise it as if it doesn’t matter. You have to carry them along so that they will know that there are changes already. Sometime ago, Gala, a leading sausage roll company, changed its wrapper without proper communication with its consumers, this didn’t go down well with the consumers as some of them taught Gala was out of production or the product available was fake. People were already used to and familiar with the old wrapper, immediately Consumers they switched over to the next best sausage-roll, Superbite, a product of chi limited, makers of Superbite. This brought a great loss to the makers of Gala.
Ignoring first impression:
There is a common saying that “first impressions last longer and matters a lot”. The first impression could be the product packaging design, the taste, the quality and the quantity which is the first point of contact between your brand and the customer. Your customers should be able to identify your product anywhere they go because its quality remains the same. Your packaging sells your brand, so if it is not well packaged, do not expect to make great sales in return.
Relying too much on Design trends:
Relying too much on design trends can make you to lose focus on the purpose and goals you are pursuing using your products. It can be easy to get swept up in what looks cool at the moment but remember that your brand will likely need to weather multiple waves of design trends without looking dated. It is advisable that you use design trends as a source of inspiration but not to rely on them too much when you want to redesign.
Using a vague copy to describe your brand:
Using a vague copy to describe your brand can be a major setback when it comes to positioning your brand in the market and distinguishing yourself from your competitors. To make your brand standout and unique, you have to understand what makes it unique and different from other existing brands. So many brands have been described wrongly for what they do not represent which in turn affects their sales.
Hiring an unprofessional Designer:
Nothing can hurt your brand worse than an amateur looking-logo. No matter if you feel OK with the logos of your graphic standards of your brand, it’s always worth taking the time and spending money to hire a professional graphic designer specializing in branding and logo development. Ask your designer to create a brand style guide that defines the colour palette, typography, visual style, imagery, etc., so you can follow it consistently on all your marketing channels.
Attaching Your Brand to the Wrong Things:
When it comes to branding, more is not more. In other words, use your company name and logo selectively and sparingly — especially when it comes to branded products, sponsorships, and events. When you attach your brand name to something, it should reflect and be compatible with your brand’s values and voice. When a brand partners with another company or product that doesn’t directly relate to or mesh well with their own message, it can seem inconsistent and untrustworthy to consumers.