marketing services

The 5 Common Mistakes We See When Businesses Brand Themselves

The process of developing a brand requires an extensive amount of commitment and planning.

Individuals who are involved in the brand development or rebranding process are required to identify brand personality, positioning, goals, target markets and touchpoints, just to name a few.

Due to the sheer number of elements that need to be addressed, a business can mistakenly miss critical areas.

Here are the five most common branding mistakes that every company should avoid

1. Do đź‘Ź Not đź‘Ź Copy đź‘Ź Competitors đź‘Ź

This first one is so important we’ve clapped it out!

To assess your brand’s initiatives and shortfalls, you should continuously make efforts to know what your competitors are doing. Through occasionally observing the practices of your competition you can be inspired and motivated to improve your brand’s strategies and take advantage of opportunities. By learning about how the market has responded to your competitors’ efforts, you can alter your strategies to steer your brand into a prosperous future. However, it is not appropriate to simply copy what they have done or mimic it.

Not only does this decrease the value of your brand in the minds of consumers, it also affects your unique selling proposition.

If you aren’t seen as different in the market, your brand WILL lose business to other competitors who do stand out.

2. Do Not Underestimate Consistency

Consistency is a valuable tool in creating a dynamic brand.

All internal and external marketing material should read similarly, with no room for misinterpretation or confusion. Language, tone, and style should all be consistent, in every aspect of the brand, as this helps form brand personality and enables customers to separate your brand from your competitors.

If your brand can’t keep the same style across all your platforms, it’s simply not going to have the desired impact.

If you’re struggling in this area, create a Brand Book or Style Guide for your company. It’s a straightforward, but very essential, step in brand development.

3. Do Not Forget Your Brand’s Promise

Identifying a brand’s promise is a critical step in brand development. Some experts even believe a promise is more important than a value proposition.

A promise is how the brand seeks to change the lives of its consumers; for example, the world-famous sportswear brand Nike promises “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”

From this example, a promise should be an extra statement that identifies what your brand is about, your purpose and benefits to consumers.

A promise should be used as a guide to identify approaches and messages delivered at all brand touchpoints.

Some brands focus on keeping up with their competitors or seek to make an easy short-term impact on the market with viral advertising. They forget the importance of identifying and upholding a brand promise.

Every contact point with a brand is a new experience for a customer, and it’s essential that a brand communicates and delivers on its promise, every time.

When developing a brand promise make sure it is unique, consistent and deliverable.

4. Remember Who Your Audience Is

As appealing as it sounds to target everyone, is it realistic?

By not identifying your ideal customer through niching or segmentation, you risk ultimately ensuring your brand’s downfall.

Multiple industries are highly competitive, with hundreds of brands spending big on advertising and content curation. Brands are fighting consumer attention and messages are everywhere!

To cope with the sheer number of marketing messages, individuals pay little attention to messages that aren’t relevant to them. To break through the noise, you first need to identify your ideal target market. Then, produce relevant and useful content that is received favourably by the intended audience.

Remember too, while a brand’s target audience can evolve or a company can look at a new segment to penetrate, you must never forget who your core audience is. If you fail to tailor your messages, mediums and visuals to your target market, your brand’s impact will cease.

5. Don’t Think of a Brand as a Short-Term Goal

Too often businesses presume the branding process is a once-off activity.

Is this wrong? Yes! A brand must evolve to stay relevant.

We often hear Michelle Fragar – FAMI CPM say “Evolve or Die People” when explaining business demise stories.

A brand cannot stay the same over an extended period and simply hope to continue appealing to their target market. With the rise of e-commerce platforms and easier access to overseas markets, competition continues to get fiercer and fiercer. Brands must regularly review their branding strategy to stay relevant and survive within the marketplace.

If you don’t review your brand as a whole, consumers are likely to revert to purchasing products or services from your competitors, leaving you in the dust. This is why when developing a brand it’s critical to have a considered and effective plan that is flexible towards market and demand changes.

You as a company should avoid these branding mistakes during every stage of brand conceptualisation and its maturity. A great way to do this is to add a “Yearly Brand Audit” to your management activities.

Every branding strategy should be strong enough to easily deflect any overlooked mistakes in the present and the future.

If you’re ready to reinforce your brand and prevent these mistakes, speak with with BRANDiT’s brand specialists.