Branding mistakes every business should avoid

Not understanding the difference between Branding and Marketing

There is a varied difference between branding and marketing. Two terms often used interchangeably but with very distinct functionalities. Marketing is the act of actively promoting a product or service. It’s that saleslady trying to sell you frozen pizzas at the tester table at a supermarket or that buy 1 free 1 ad you see left on your car window. Its main purpose is to get out a message that pushes sales and smooths out the bottom line.

Branding is a whole different ballgame.

Branding should both prepare the way and underlie any marketing effort. Branding is communicating the message or value of an organization, product, or service. It is the characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what a particular brand is.

A brand will help encourage someone to buy a product, rallying them to support sales and marketing activities in play just by displaying who they are. It is a meaningful connection that draws people in, a message that says “This is Who I am. This is why I exist. If you agree, if you like me, you can buy me, support me, and recommend me to your friends.”

Inconsistent Brand Identity

To build a strong brand, consistency is important to grow your audience.  A name, logo and tag line is one of the most important contact consumers will have inside and outside of the company. Building a sense of trust and loyalty can only start if you build an easily recognizable image for your company.  How you present yourself across all mediums and visual assets is a representation of you are as a brand, your message and your value as a whole. Coordinating how your company is rendered across your websites, social media accounts, ad’s and print materials throughout all marketing avenues is critical to achieving brand recognition.

How you chose to represent that has to be dependable and persistent to get the word out to your consumers. Your customer must hear and see your name, logo, tag line and colors consistently over and over and over in many different ways before you are imprinted in your consumer’s mind.

Not knowing where your Brand start line is

Successful branding starts inside your company. No one else knows your core services as well as you do. Your message, vision for the future; the internal building blocks of what makes your brand the powerhouse that it could be. It starts inside your company, nurtured by the minds of you and your staff.

Your employees are potentially walking talking billboards. They should know your name, logo, tagline, be able to define and promote your brand at the drop of a hat. They are the builders of what your brand stands for and how you chose to project it into the market. They’re your community ambassadors in your marketing campaign, the ones that will constantly be in touch with your customers’ hopes, dreams, and desires.

Being afraid of Big ideas

Visuals are one of the most important ways to make your company name stand out in someone’s mind. Awareness of the imagery and visual identity of who and what makes your brand is crucial to propelling the personality of your brand. Creating a consistent visual mental picture of who you are, goes beyond having a logo. It’s the images, colors, and copies you chose to represent your company.

The latest design trends will come and go, fresh contemporary ideas of how to present your name and voice can evolve and innovate with experience and age. Keeping sight of your core identity in pursuit of capturing the attention of your users and encouraging them to discover your brand.

Great ideas aren’t just limited to graphic images, the internet is not purely a text based environment. Words and pictures are not the only way to capture consumers, websites that have a poor variety of visuals are boring and therefore irrelevant to the current market.

An ad campaign isn’t limited to print ads or brand advertisements. Sometimes a bright idea could be a moving video or shareable tweet. Social media has changed the game in transforming and transporting people to the meaning of your brand. Use it.

Stale repetitive brand materials can only be used so often in marketing avenues before people catch on to the recycling of design ideas. Never discount the power pictures and videos can impart on to your brand image. Neglecting the different expressions a visual identity can embody would only hinder the growth of your brand.

A brand is not a static immovable object. It’s a series of growths and evolutions; mistakes and revolutions. Building a brand involves testing foundations, compositing content and creating an impactful brand that resonates with its consumers.

Bryan Chen

Bryan Chen is a brand strategist, brand manager and consultant. He helps his client discover the reason for their brand existence through brand strategy and prioritise their branding efforts to achieve their business goal. His clients are like Giant B Melaka, Funwater France, TTW Los Angeles and many more. He believes that no successful brand can be imitated or copied and have the same outcome simply because of our differences be it our agenda, culture, worldview or goals. Just like businesses, branding is an infinite game with lots of intentional failing, learning and growing. Before he makes stuff, he would like to find out why. Cause... The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. —Mark Twain. The same goes for your business.

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