Branding is a way to set yourself aside from your competition, increase recognition, give your customers a promise, and make an excellent first impression on your customers. Without a proper branding strategy, there’s no way to stand out from the crowd, make a lasting first impression, and let people know what your mission is.
In saturated markets, it can be hard to come up with a branding strategy that genuinely sets you apart. What makes you unique? How do you become memorable? How can you improve your reputation and present yourself as an authority? How can you increase trust?
Today, I will be talking about five common branding mistakes that companies often make. By avoiding these five mistakes, you can stop hindering your chances of branding success. You’ll be able to take control of your reputation and shape public opinion in the right way.
Let us get into it.
1. Your Brand Has No Identity or Vision
You need to be clear about both your brand identity and the vision you have for your company, its role in the market, and its role in the world. A brand identity is not the same as a brand image; it goes far beyond that and encompasses who you are as a whole and the core of what your business is about.
However, to develop your brand identity, you will need a brand vision. You should ask yourself some questions. Why did you start your company? What is your long-term vision? Why are you doing what you do, and how are you setting up your business so you can realize your vision?
What makes your brand different? How are you fulfilling a void? What are you there for? When you want people to think about your business, what do you want the first thing that comes to their mind to be? What words do you want people to associate with your brand?
Your brand identity includes your brand image but also much more. It’s how you operate, the ethics you abide by, and the tone of voice you use. It includes your relationship with your customers, the way you interact with them, and the way you work towards a better future. It includes your online persona and the way you present yourself in online and offline ads and commercials.
Without a clear brand vision and without fully developing your brand identity, your company will be left lagging behind.
2. Your Brand Has No Story to Tell
Without a story, you won’t be able to reach people in the same way. You won’t be able to connect with people because people will have a more challenging time identifying with you. Just having a brand identity is not enough; you want people to be able to see themselves reflected in you.
Storytelling is a powerful medium that allows you to use language to bring a reality to life in people’s minds. Storytelling helps create an immersive experience, where people can immerse themselves in the story you tell and empathize with the characters in the story.
More than anything else, it draws their emotions into the picture, and that always leaves a more powerful, longer-lasting impression than simple logic and facts.
That is the power of storytelling in general, but storytelling in marketing is vital. How do you get a consumer to identify with a brand? Stories do just that. They allow customers to live your experience or the experience of a customer who has been helped by your brand.
A story allows someone to understand the context and subtle nuances otherwise not understood.
The power of storytelling in marketing is that it will enable customers to identify with you, not as a business but as a lived experience, as opposed to with your competitors. It allows people to understand your vision and feel a shared sense of mission, drawing them away from any competitors and putting them firmly in your camp.
If you don’t yet have a brand story, it's time to come up with one.
3. Your Brand Is Not Built Properly
It is crucial to build your brand correctly. However, what does that even mean?
To start with, let’s differentiate between B2B branding and B2C branding. Your brand has to be adjusted for your target audience, and that will depend on whether you are a B2B or B2C business. If you target both businesses and consumers, you can adjust your branding to each one. For example, your tone may be more friendly and straightforward for B2B and more professional for B2C.
Building your brand correctly means going back to the beginning. It means going back to discovering your company’s purpose for existing, your vision, and your persona. However, it also requires taking into account another factor, which is your target audience.
By understanding who you are targeting, what they need, and how you are going to help them, you can shape your branding to target them. Think about strong global brands like Tesla. What do people think about when they think of Tesla? They think about futuristic cars that have a minimal environmental impact while using technologies like self-driving technology.
Building your brand also means creating strong logos, slogans, and designs for your online presence. That includes advertisements you run, websites you make, and social media profiles you set up.
4. Your Brand Can’t Stay Relevant
A brand is not set in stone. A brand has to be constantly evolving so that it stays relevant.
The first thing to consider is interest and trust from your audience — both of these need to constantly be earned. There are a lot of things that can make your audience lose faith in you, so you have to continually work on providing the best service, maintaining relationships with consumers, providing the best customer experience, and most of all, delivering value.
Maintaining interest is also something that must constantly be worked on. You have to work on keeping existing customers, potential leads, and casual visitors interested. Keep putting out new information, keep providing excellent customer service, work on new projects and upgrades to existing projects, and keep providing value.
Market tightness can also change your standing in the market, so remember that. Don’t get complacent just because your brand is leading in the market now. Market competition can always push you out and make you irrelevant.
To make sure that does not happen, it is crucial that you keep your finger on the pulse of the market. Keep an eye out for new competitors, and track what existing competitors are doing. Are they releasing new features or products, and how are their own brands evolving?
Volatility in the market can also threaten your branding. When market volatility occurs, it is essential for you to remain stable and present yourself as an unwavering force in the market. For example, many industries were highly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, but the brands that stayed strong and adapted are starting to reap the rewards. Keep your branding and messaging on point.
5. Your Brand Has a Weak Digital Presence
These days, a robust online presence is crucial for maintaining a solid brand. There’s a lot of factors that go into a strong digital presence, and I can’t cover all of them in this article. However, I will go over the basics of what you need to be paying attention to.
The first part to pay attention to are websites and search engines. You need to create a robust and professional website that looks great, helps convey your mission and values, connects with customers, builds trust, and represents your brand overall.
Your website also needs to show up in the search engines. When someone searches for advice or topics related to your niche and your website pops up, that will significantly increase trust in your brand. For that to happen, you need to work on an SEO strategy, which should include blogging, keyword research, and link building/outreach.
Just as necessary is maintaining a solid presence on social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Other platforms can include YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, and LinkedIn. You need to align your social media profiles with your overall branding and create content that resonates with your brand, using the same tone and imagery.
Keep posting helpful content on social media on a regular basis. Work on building up your following, engage with your followers, and encourage discussions. Collaborate with other influencers to grow your following. You can run ads on social media, but make sure to focus on organic growth as well.
Wrapping It Up
You can’t build a brand overnight. Developing a strong brand requires dedication and commitment. However, regardless of how committed you are, you need to know about these common mistakes so you can avoid them.
For example, too many brands neglect social media, and when a potential lead conducts a quick Google search, they find a Twitter account that has 70 followers with little activity and no recent tweets. That can reflect negatively on your business. You need to have all of your branding on point if you want to beat your competition.
To help get your brand looking its best contact our graphic and web design agency today!