Often, the best way to learn is to learn from our mistakes (or even better, learn from others’ mistakes). No matter the size of your business, establishing a clear, cohesive, and consistent brand strategy can be the key to a successful endeavor. We’ve put together a list of five mistakes to avoid when it comes to your branding.
1. Not Knowing Your Target Audience
Discovering your target audience is the foundation you need to grow your brand and be successful. It’s tempting to want to reach a large number of people with your business, but if you are trying to speak to everyone, you are really speaking to no one. People may see your website, ads, and social media, but your content won't resonate with anyone if you don’t have a specific audience in mind in every aspect of your branding and marketing. You need to truly understand who you are talking to if you want to accurately get your message across to them. Finding your target audience can lead you to your ideal client and is the driving force behind your brand strategy and marketing. As you create your ideal client persona, some questions to think about are:
+ What is their age?
+ Where do they live?
+ What are their interests and activities?
+ What are their pain points?
Check out this post for more tips on how to find your target audience and ideal clients.
2. Misunderstanding Branding
To have a truly successful brand, it’s important to understand that a brand is more than a logo. While a logo can act as the face of your business and is important, it is not the sole element that makes up your brand. Your brand will be the identifying piece of your company. What do people associate with and feel when they see your brand? Your brand is ultimately the perception people have of your business. It is important to develop a full logo suite, color palette, and typography - not just a single logo. Your brand will look more professional and you’ll have more options when it comes to using your branding.
Branding is not marketing or advertising. There is a difference between how people perceive your company and how you advertise your services. Having a cohesive and clear brand strategy allows you to effectively market and advertise your services.
Remember, there is not necessarily a “right” or “wrong” way to do things, but whatever you establish as the standard for you and your brand will generate a lasting image of you in the minds of your clients and the public in general. Make these decisions early and then act accordingly.
3. Not Using Your Brand Style Guide Consistently
Inconsistent branding can lead to market confusion and potentially make your brand seem untrustworthy. Once you’ve developed the guidelines for your brand, it’s important to use these brand elements consistently on all platforms. Whether it’s an Instagram post, business card, or resource documents, your website, social media, and marketing materials should be recognizable and undoubtedly you! A brand style guide provides guidance for creating cohesive and consistent messaging to elevate your brand. Schedule a complimentary 20-minute chat with us if you are looking for a consistent image for your brand.
4. Inconsistent Voice or Low-Quality Copy
People often focus on the visual aspect of their brand (which is important) but forget about their copy and voice. Your copy, captions, and voice all play a part in how your brand will be perceived. Your text can help tell your story about your brand identity! Don’t ignore your copywriting - think about your vocabulary, tone, and style as you write and use it consistently across all platforms (social media, email, website, marketing collateral, etc.) to avoid brand image confusion. Develop the voice you will use to communicate and connect with your clients and then stay consistent with it.
5. Not Regularly Evaluating Your Branding
The digital world we live in moves quickly. You want to stay on top professionally by looking the part. Don’t let your logo and branding elements fall victim to past trends. At some point, your branding will need updates and a fresh perspective. It’s a good idea to re-examine your branding every two to three years for a brand refresh (updating colors, fonts, shapes, etc.) and plan to evaluate for a rebrand every five years. If you’re wondering if you may need a refresh or a rebrand, check out these tips or schedule a chat with us!