What’s the first thing customers will notice about your business? There’s a high probability that it’s your brand. Importance of good branding cannot be overstated. Your brand is responsible to create that first impression and it also sets the tone for all your future interactions with your customers.
Jerry McLaughlin, CEO of Branders.com, defines branding as a “deliberate and skilful application of effort” to be able to make an impact on people’s lives.
Branding is the practice of rebooting, re-creating, and re-imagining a brand in a way that will not only make it stand apart from its competitors but also help it remain relevant. In the end, the goal is to become timeless, like Levi’s jeans or McDonald’s golden arches. Isn’t it?
How did they do it?
By creating a strong business identity and avoiding common branding pitfalls. A lot of plan and acumen goes into building a recognisable brand that is unforgettable and reliable. And you could waste your moolah if you don’t avoid these branding blunders:
- Attaching your brand to the wrong things – When you attach your brand name to something, it should be compatible with your brand’s tonality and values. For example, in 2009, Disney came under fire for releasing Hannah Montana branded cherries, wait what? Exactly! It seemed inconsistent and untrustworthy to customers. Because there’s no real connection between cherries and Hannah Montana brand. Steer clear from such traps!
- Failure to identify your target audience – Even before you start pitching something, you need to understand the kind of audience you are engaging with. Identify their expectations, demands, perceptions, and the kinds of brands they already favour and relate to. 95% wannabe brands do not invest in this. It involves time and money and “O yes! I did 50 dipsticks for market research!” is not the way to understand or get under the skin of your target consumers.
- Not taking first impressions seriously – Product packaging design is the first point of contact between your brand and your customer. Making the first impression with right branding should be your priority and the first step before entering the marketplace. It’s critical for you to crack the first impression, whether it’s your website, your packaging design or your logo or even your first mode of sales communication! Because you can’t afford to change them often. For e.g. in 2009, Tropicana changed its packaging design and invested about $35 million in advertising, later customers didn’t quite accept the new packaging and Tropicana had to bear a loss of $30 million. As a result, the company had to revert to its old packaging design.
- Not defining clearly what sets you apart – Your audience really cares about your driving force and they deserve to know what your goals and ethos are. Be honest about what you intend to do, who you are and what do you have to offer. What inspired you to launch your business? What is your mission? What’s your vision for the future? If you don’t have a brand story, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to share what’s integral to your business.
- Lacking brand guidelines – Outline a specific set of brand guidelines that cover the aspect of your branding in detail like mission statement, logo usage, fonts and voice. These guidelines need to be discussed and distributed across your organization not just the marketing vertical. According to reports, brands that have brand guidelines happen to earn 23% more annual revenue than brands that are inconsistent.
- Not proactively responding on social media – Social media enables you to connect with your customers even outside of your physical store or website. Leading companies leverage social media today to engage with their customers to answer any questions about products and services. If your business is not responding on social media, then you run the risk of falling behind your competitor.
- Not having consistent visuals – Powerful brands use strong visuals as their brand weapon. If you want your brand to be top-of-mind, stark visuals are critical to reinforce your brand messaging. Create a strong company visual logo or image and make it popular. In recent times, Airbnb, Nike and Coke are really killing it.
Are you guilty of any of these branding blunders? Success depends upon the way you shape customer experience. It’s important to avoid these mistakes and have a brand strategy to shape your success.
Let us help you through your branding pitfalls. You can write to us on email@example.com or call u on 9867299977.