6 Branding Mistakes You're Making
First of all, give yourself a pat on the back for me for reading this. It takes courage to go through this list, knowing that you’ll learn that you’re doing something wrong.
BUT, isn’t that the whole point? To see the mistakes we’re making and take action to make changes! That’s why we’re here. And I think that’s why you’re here.
To make a difference with your passion and gifts.
Let’s dive right into it. Here are the common 6 mistakes I see people making over and over again.
Mistake #1: Under valuing the power of branding
Ask yourself this: When do people know how awesome your products or services are?
And if your answer is, “when they buy,” this is going to change, my friend. Instead of passively waiting around for your phone to ring or one more email to hit your inbox, you need a proactive approach. People deserve to know how great your offerings are before they become your customers. And your calling, passion and talent should reach those you seek to serve but aren’t serving yet. Branding is your key to get there, to reach them, and to attract them, those you seek to serve.
It’s time to reach your people proactively with branding.
Mistake #2: Keeping your brand vague
Try asking your friends, family or clients this: What are the 3 words you would use to describe my business?
If they either can’t answer or give answers that completely missed what you have in mind for your brand, this one is for you.
All purchases are done with emotion, and we all purchase for the feelings these purchases come with. This is why, as entrepreneurs, our goal is to build emotional connections and focus on the emotional wants of our audience by providing unique experiences. And branding empowers you to do exactly that.
Branding empowers you to create an experience to people so that they can clearly distinguish you from everyone else. If people can’t figure out your brand style and what you’re about, you’re certainly not creating unique experiences or emotional connections that make people coming back for more.
Lock down your brand style strategically. Show up consistently. Show that you’ve got it and that you’ve got them!
Mistake #3: Cheating on your brand guideline
We all know what inconsistency looks like. Images on websites that look like they are either taken with a phone or amateurs, and that are just filling the space, serving zero purpose. Instagram feeds that look confusing and unprofessional. Pricing sheets and marketing brochures that look like they were DIY’d in 10 minutes. This inconsistency are results of businesses choosing to save time and cost, and to deliver information using the cheapest option, rather than the thoughtful option.
Spend the time and effort to define your brand purpose, brand mission, brand style, and brand colors to serve your people with more intention, more purpose, and more professionalism. Then stick to your guideline, consistently.
Mistake #4: Chasing after trends
If you’re running a business that is always after what’s the latest, the trendiest, and newest, you’re probably not serving value that will last in the long run. You’re in the business of providing products or services with the quickest turnaround at the cheapest value. If you’re serious about making an impact, and adding value to your audience, know what you stand for, and why your brand exists. When you have a clear purpose, mission, vision, and values your hold on to, you can continue to serve with the utmost value to your audience. You’ll also know what trends you should incorporate to serve your people better, and what to filter out.
Define your brand, so you can stay grounded in serving while also continuously introducing freshness into your brand that your people will enjoy.
Mistake #5 Hiding behind your brand
People connect with people, not with businesses. We all want to belong, to feel connected, and that’s why we buy.
To manufacture relatability, large companies invest in huge amount of money an resources to create these fictional brand characters and personas to be more personable to consumers. Small businesses, in this case, has the upper hand of being relatable. You are the heart behind your business, you are the person behind your brand.
So show up. Show up for your people.
What’s a better and easier way than being you to build meaningful relationships and grow your audience that are drawn to you.
Mistake #6 Thinking that branding is logo, colors, and website
When people hear about “branding”, they say, “oh! I get it , it’s logos, colors and websites, right?”
Wrong, my friends. While these are important visual elements of a brand, they are parts of a brand’s Visual Identity. So here’s what a brand actually includes:
Brand Personality & Voice (both in written and visual forms)
The last one, Brand Personality, is where visual elements come in. What many brand designers miss is to delve into all the other six important brand elements before creating the visual elements. These 7 Brand Elements make up what we call the Brand Guideline.
Spend a few days or weeks to go through your Brand Guideline. I promise, it’s worth investing your time. This Brand Guideline is what will help you stay focused, help you serve more creatively, and help you connect with your people.