20 Deadly Branding Mistakes to Avoid in 2020
New Year. New Decade. New Branding Opportunities. Be sure to avoid these branding mistakes to have your best year yet.
- Assume everyone is your audience. Be sure to define your target audiences and know exactly who you are trying to connect with. Where are they? What do they do? How old are they? What is their income? What are their needs? What problem do you solve?
- Thinking you are your audience. A common misconception is to think that if you understand/like your message then your audience will too. Big mistake. Huge. Never assume that your audience knows what you know or needs what you have.
- Stretching your brand too far. Be true to you. Traditional line extensions are likely to be successful as you provide variations on a theme to a target audience that has come to trust you. But if you branch out too far from your core you will undermine your brand.
- Not defining your brand strategy. Be sure to dig deep to really define your competition, their strategic position, and your point of differentiation.
- Failing to differentiate your brand. What makes you special? If you look and sound just like your competition then you won’t stand out and no one will pick you.
- Having a cheap brand identity. Using an online cheap logo design service will almost ensure that it won’t be noticed or even worse it will be noticed for the wrong reasons. The last thing you want is to use a logo that is badly designed or owned by someone else.
- Not providing a great brand experience. Negative staff interactions, substandard products, and over billing can cause irreparable harm to your brand.
- Not having brand standards. Every time someone touches your brand identity you run the risk of them modifying it to fit their needs. This is a slippery slope that will result in a loss of brand equity.
- Applying your brand inconsistently. You don’t want to be the organization that changes your logo to the colors of each holiday as it will result in brand confusion. Be sure to stay consistent.
- Not having a brand plan. If you are reactive then you will ultimately waste money and opportunities. Be proactive with a solid brand plan that allows you to be strategic.
- Failing to protect and defend your brand. Make sure your business name, brand identity, and other visuals can be legally protected. Spend the money upfront to research your options and trademark materials.
- Ignoring the brand aging signs. Over time your competitors and customers will change. You wouldn’t wear the same clothes from high school so don’t expect your marketing materials to still be effective after decades of use.
- Not living up to your brand promise. A promise is a promise. Be sure you know what promise you are making and then be sure everyone in your organization is living up to those promises with each interaction.
- Not investing in your brand. Maintaining your brand is as important as paying your light bill or cutting your grass. There are routine maintenances you need to handle every month/quarter/year to make sure you are properly maintaining your brand. You wouldn’t drive your car for 100,000 miles without adding gas, changing the oil, and rotating your tires – don’t neglect your brand.
- Focusing on ‘what’ you do instead of ‘how’ you do it. Every business in your space has the same ‘what’. The ‘how’ and ‘why‘ is what separates you from the competition.
- Putting the transaction over the relationship. If you try to build a brand based on being the cheapest, then you will lose. Instead, focus on building a relationship that will eventually result in advocacy.
- Talking about features instead of benefits. Your target audience will not be compelled by a list of features (how long you have been in business and how many employees you have). Instead, tell them a story that will illustrate how your products and services will make their lives better.
- Using industry terminology instead of finding your voice. Your target audience isn’t in your industry and won’t be impressed by your fancy terminology. Speak to them like a human and connect with them.
- Assuming that branding is expensive. There are critically important branding elements that can be done on any sized budget. The most expensive branding choice is to not spend any money on it.
- Thinking your brand identity is your brand. Your brand identity is your logo. Your brand is the emotional connection between a person and your organization.
If you can avoid these 20 branding mistakes then you stand a pretty good chance of having a pretty great year. If you want more ideas on how to build your brand the right way, be sure to check out our Brand Builders Workshops. Our next class is Content Creation where you can learn how to take professional photographs and create professional videos with your phone – a must for looking good on social media.
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RUSSO is a strategic branding agency that uses consumer insight to change the conversation; forming emotional connections with the target audience. To learn more, click HERE to learn more about our process, RAZOR BRANDING.