The importance for branding for ensuring the long-term success of a business cannot be emphasized enough. All the successful businesses that you see together are built on great branding. From Apple, Microsoft, Tesla to Walmart, Amazon and others, all of them have prioritised branding to help endure themselves in a highly competitive world.
Branding is not easy. It requires careful thought, formulation of long-term strategies and creative investments. Yes, money is required in terms of executing strategies, but that should be considered as the major challenge. Everything from what your brand says on social media, to emails, newsletters, sponsored posts, PR, website, etc. all determine branding.
Bennet Schwartz, a leading Creative Direction who helps businesses with branding suggests, that the digital has thrown up opportunities as well as challenges. He also states, that great branding needs to be balanced on both online and offline channels. In this article, we take help from Schwartz and bring you seven of the major branding mistakes businesses should avoid.
List of 7 Branding Mistakes to Avoid to make your Business a Success Story
- Failure to invest in a defined brand strategy-
Businesses need to think of branding as a roadmap for all their communication with their target audiences. This means that they need to invest in a plan that helps them move forward and optimize the communication. One way of doing this is through evolving a Brand Strategy. If you have a brand strategy that is defined and formulated with thought, you have a direction.
- Thinking of branding as a way for securing short-term goals-
Start-ups are guilty of thinking that branding will help them achieve short-term and immediate success. This is not the right approach. For branding to be successful, you need to invest in it for the long term. Building awareness, recognition, and trust around your brand cannot happen overnight. It requires constant engagement, marketing efforts, and investments to be successful.
- Not hiring creative and brand experts to guide your branding-
There is a difference between marketing and branding. Marketing is aimed at increasing sales, whereas branding helps in establishing trust, conveying personality, and issuing identification with target audiences. Yes, it is true that successful branding ultimately translates into sales. If this is your goal, you need experts that specialize in branding activities for your business.
- Falling prey to the evil of ‘trending’ culture and altering brand personality-
While social media is very beneficial to promote branding, it can also be a major source of distraction that leads brands away from branding. Trending and being a part of trends needs to be done with a lot of care, concern, and thought. You should not wish away the core tenets of your branding simply because something is trending. A business can end up losing goodwill.
- Creating variations in brand assets- logo, color schemes, design elements, and fonts-
The human brain is wired to spot consistencies. In other words, patterns, trends, and similarities are quickly absorbed by our brain and lead us towards identification. Businesses need to be conscious that they are following consistency in their logo design, color schemes, product packaging, design cues, and fonts to build identification and make them stand apart.
- Forgetting about creating brand values, mission statements, and internal documents-
A successful branding exercise is guided by the values of a business. In this regard, the creation of a Mission Statement is essential. This is important not only to help your customers understand what you represent but also to train your employees and team members about being good ambassadors and representatives of the brand. This helps give a boost to the brand strategy.
- Ignoring public sentiments, inclusiveness, and connecting with customers-
A business exists in a real-world that is struggling with social, political, and economic problems. You cannot expect to run a business in isolation. This means that branding needs to take into account the existing social reality. If you are not doing this, you are going to come across as a business simply interested in making money and not contributing to society in any way.
The Bottom Line
Branding is not something you get right, the first time around. It is a continuous learning process that helps you understand several things about your business, customers, and overall society. By avoiding the mistakes mentioned in the article, you can go a long way in optimizing the success of your branding strategy. If you have any questions, you would like us to address on branding, feel free to reach out in the comments below.