A Brand is the first thing people notice about a business when they visit a website or interact with products or services associated with it. It is what differentiates a company from the others in the same market.
Good branding cannot be emphasized enough since it gives the first impression and sets the pace and the tone of future customer interaction. A well-designed brand will communicate a strong identity, trust, build loyalty and be memorable in the user’s mind. Accurate branding is therefore important and the following are some of the mistakes to watch out for and avoid in the branding journey.
Inconsistency implies giving two facets of the company or different brand personas. There is no consistency on the different platforms; social media, website, blog email etc. This creates confusion in the consumer’s mind and makes it difficult for them to differentiate the real brand from the fake one.
It reflects a lack of identity and failure to know who you are. Inconsistency leads to loss of communication with the customers; loss of trust and negative brand perception and is an indicator of unprofessionalism. This influences the customer’s purchase decision causing mistrust and leading to loss of sales.
Brands should create a brand style guide that defines the brand across all the platforms including the language, tone and fonts used. Brand consistency ensures the continuous flow of information and content which gives the brand relevance.
Consistency communicates the brand message thus is essential for gaining customers. Brands should have well-defined messages and clear brand identities. This should be reflected in the logo, taglines, brand materials, social media, website etc. and offer the same user experience across all the brand platforms.
The audience is key for any business, company or brand. It is important to understand the audience and their needs in order to meet them and attain brand success. A company can only have influence over the right audience in the market. Therefore, it is important to understand that everybody will not be impressed by a brand however big/influential it is.
Interacting with the right audience establishes the required connection. Additionally, the right audience will not only make purchases of the products or services but also act as brand ambassadors thus creating brand awareness.
Conduct market research to target the correct audience using age, location, preferences, gender, needs etc. Seek to establish a personal connection with the audience to have them know that the brand is there to help and not take advantage of them. View the brand from the customer’s perspective to understand how to connect with them.
Poor Brand Identity
Brand identity is crucial for a company’s success since it gives the first impression to the audience. Companies ignore this aspect and commit the mistake of ignoring the role it plays. As such, they end up using a cheap brand identity that lacks a big impact. For instance, using a cheap logo design so as to save a few coins which in the long-run costs the company.
A cheap logo design gives a visual representation of the company thus affecting the overall brand appearance. Most brands skimp through the process of creating one and end up failing to demonstrate the brand’s stand and convey the correct information.
Poor brand identity also incorporates failure of an outright description of the brand objectives i.e. display vagueness in the expression of goals. Precise and well-defined objectives should be set from the onset as they form the basis of plans and brand strategies. They also help align the company and allow the team to be on the same page.
Being too generic
Most companies fall into the mistake of following trends and doing what others are doing in the industry. Being generic is an indicator of a lack of innovativeness and a poor personality. It causes less audience recognition and fails to grab their attention i.e. less emotional connection.
A brand becomes generic when it doesn’t pay attention to the different brand elements, using a similar name as other brand competitors, having similar products and services as competitors, use of vague terms to describe the brand and heavy reliance on stock imagery. This communicates dishonesty i.e. when the furniture or office appears on the website isn’t similar to the actual.
To avoid this, understand what makes your brand unique and clearly explain it. Avoid the use of repetitive language and be unique in the image the brand portrays to the audience. Purpose to display competency at all times.
This implies having a brand story that doesn’t match the actual business operation. It involves giving an image that is not true or the brand doesn’t live up to what it professes. Authenticity is at the core of success in branding since an authentic brand wins customers and sustains them while a fake one will not once customers realize it.
Fakeness has been seen in the “Greenwashing” phenomenon where brands identify themselves with and advocate for environmentally-friendly acts but their actions reflect otherwise especially in the food and fashion industries.
Fakeness is also linked to brands being copycats and mimicking what others are doing. Customers have fewer incentives to make purchases since they already have a resemblance to what the brand introduces to them.
Innovativeness demonstrates honesty which is what people long for in business. Brands should be inspired by each other but not copied. They should demonstrate originality by being goal-driven and committing to offering unique experiences.
Ignoring User Experience
Most brands fail to put the customers and their interests first in their branding journey. The audience reacts to a brand based on the perception they receive. Good user experience guarantees their choice and reliance on you. Therefore, brands have the responsibility of providing them with the right image to enhance the customer experience.
Brands should pursue positive interactions and respond with the audience through emails, addressing inquiries, having live chats and living up to the promise they give. Further, they should pay attention to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and improve mobile users’ experience.