5 Brand Mistakes To Avoid Making

Marketing and brand identity go hand in hand, but there are many misconceptions surrounding not only what makes a brand, but how to nurture it. The following mistakes are commonly made by business owners; are you one of them?

1) Inconsistency of Message

If you are a new business, you’ve likely tried a few different brand message as you search for the right fit. However, if you’ve been trading for a while, the chances are you have a certain reputation. If this is the case, changing your message could cause damage to your customer relationships.

Why is this such a costly mistake? Because your customers choose your business for a particular reason, say for example, your attention to detail. If you decide to change that to something completely different, confusion will result. Not only that, but your customer may choose to go somewhere else for the products and services they used to get from you. Instead, concentrate on a single message, and aim to deliver it consistently.

2) Basing Small Business Branding on Benefits

Your company may well offer high quality products, stellar customer service or affordable prices. However, as strong as you may be in these areas, it doesn’t mean you should base your branding on them. The issue is two-fold; in claiming like so many other businesses that you have low prices, you won’t stand out from your competitors. Second, customers are smart. They may choose your business because of low prices, but will gladly go to another company if it offers a lower price

Brand should be based on the intangibles of your company; its culture, a strong commitment (to the environment, to the quality of products, etc.), or something else that transcends price, service or products specifically.

3) Copying the Competition

There’s nothing wrong with doing a little reconnaissance on your competitors. The problem comes when you copy them completely. It is true that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but this doesn’t mean that you can clone a competitor; differentiating is where it’s at. Doing so will point you out as a business that has its own ideas and stands for something apart from other companies.

4) Walking the Talk

Another mistake made by many businesses is to have a great brand message, but to not live up to that message. The only way to claim your business is innovative, for example, is to actually spend money on the R&D that will get customers those innovative products and services. By not walking the talk, customers will eventually catch on, and once they realise that things aren’t lining up, they will take their loyalty and their money to another business.

5) Not Being Clear about your Market

Some brands try to be everything to everyone. While this does allow them to cast a wide net, it does not necessarily guarantee more sales. The number of people who like and dislike your company will often be the same, and this will have nothing to do with how many different markets you target. In fact, the more that people outside of your target market dislike your brand, the more appealing those inside your target market will find your brand to be.

The key to successful branding is to communicate a message that no one else can copy. Making the above mistakes will only cloud your message. As well, they can increase the risk that your core customers will not find your brand appealing.

Your company’s brand should be a culmination of your social media presence, website, product packaging and several other elements, even right down to the demeanour staff use while on the phone with customers. Your brand is your customer promise; something you cannot fail to keep.