The 6 biggest branding mistakes you can make, and how to avoid them

The 6 biggest branding mistakes you can make, and how to avoid them

Learn how to create a strong, memorable brand identity for your business

What’s the first thing your customers notice about your business? Chances are, it’s your branding.
The importance of good branding cannot be overstated. It’s your brand that creates that crucial first impression and sets the tone for all of your future interactions with customers.

What is branding?

Your branding is what sets your business apart from your competitors. It encompasses your logo, as well as any distinct colors, fonts and design motifs you use consistently in marketing materials.

A strong brand identity is essential for any business. It will make you memorable in the eyes of your customers, as well as help you establish trust and build loyalty.

To accompany your branding, you should have a brand story that tells the world about what you do and, more importantly, why you do it.

Let’s look at the biggest branding mistakes we come across as a marketing agency, and then learn what you can do to avoid them.

Branding mistake #1: Being boring

Does your branding stand out or blend in? Being generic is a big no-no in the competitive U.S. market! If there’s not much in your branding to distinguish you from your competitors, you run the risk of being forgotten.

The same goes for tired, outdated branding. Customers will be much more likely to choose a competitor whose branding looks more up to date than yours.

How to avoid it:

Give your business the competitive edge by updating your branding. A fresh, modern approach is the best way forward for any business, regardless of your industry.

Branding mistake #2: Being too bold

You’re right not to be dull—but don’t think too far outside the box! When you try to incorporate too many different ideas (or “Frankenstein-ize” your branding, as our president Hugo likes to put it!), you’ll end up with a confusing brand message that can be a recipe for disaster.

If you add too many design elements, you’ll lose the cohesive feel—and you risk creating the perception that the rest of your company is as confused and unfocused as your branding.

How to avoid it:

It’s great to have so many ideas! But if you’re finding it hard to define your vision, go back to basics. Start by focusing on the colors that speak most to the values of your business, then take it from there. Learn how to choose the right brand colors here: What do your brand colors say about your business?

Branding mistake #3: Branding that doesn’t match your business

Who you were when you first started out may not match up with the business you have today. How you see your brand may differ from how your customers see it, and you may be losing revenue as a result. Older businesses and businesses that have evolved quickly are the ones most likely to fall foul of this branding mistake.

How to avoid it:

Embrace the change! Conduct research to learn what customers are saying about you on social media and in online reviews. Take stock of what has changed since you last rebranded, then see if there are any adjustments to be made.

Branding mistake #4: Mixing old and new branding

A consistent brand identity is crucial to help people trust you. Using different logos and designs across different marketing efforts can give a very confusing message to your customers, and you risk looking unprofessional, disorganized and untrustworthy.

How to avoid it:

Before you change over to your new branding, conduct a brand audit to identify all the places your current branding is used. Then, formulate a plan of attack to update everything with your new branding as seamlessly as possible.

If other people are creating marketing materials for your business, make sure they know how to use your new brand consistently. We highly suggest you create and send out a brand style guide to help.

Branding mistake #5: Following trends

It’s important for your branding to look fresh and modern, but you must be careful not to lose the identity of your business in pursuit of the newest trends. If you commit wholeheartedly to a new design trend when you create your new branding, there’s a chance it will quickly look dated as tastes move on.

How to avoid it:

Use design trends to inspire you, but don’t rely on them too heavily. Focus instead on creating modern yet timeless branding that will serve you for years to come.

Branding mistake #6: Not having a brand story

One of the most common misconceptions about branding is that it’s all about the visuals. What inspired you to open 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 at the heart of your business.

How to avoid it:

Your brand story is your chance to tell the world about what you do and—more importantly—why you do it. Create it when you create your branding and you’ll build a cohesive narrative that explains the inspirations and aspirations of your business, as well as the nuances of your visual branding.

A brand story can be an incredibly powerful resource: it will help you keep your message consistent throughout all of your marketing materials, and it’ll show your customers the many reasons why they should choose you.

Are you guilty of any of these branding mistakes?

The design team at Different Perspective have over 14 years of experience helping businesses like yours stand out from competitors, build customer loyalty and establish trust with a comprehensive branding strategy.

Our branding package encompasses not only the visual design of your logo, branding and marketing collateral, but also includes a compelling custom-crafted brand story to help you tell the world more about your business.

Contact us today to get started.

Read more:
5 things you should never do with your marketing materials
How to define your company’s brand voice
7 ways to stand out from the crowd

Share facebook icon twitter icon linkedin icon