Your brand is what other’s say about you when you’re not in the room, I always tell our clients your brand is everything you communicate to your customers. The way you answer your phone, welcome them into your office or the experience you offer as they use your product or service. As your customers evolve so should your branding here are some defining mistakes to avoid.
• Getting The Logo Wrong
Your logo is essentially 90% of how you introduce your business to your audience, It’s sole purpose is to create an identity, that’s it. It needs to identify the person, business, product or service you’re designing it for. Your logo needs to have three crucial elements; Simplicity, Flexibility & Longevity – My favourite brand in the world Apple is the perfect example of this, over the years they’ve had 6 logo changes but their identity has remained the same. Their design was aimed at being simple, flexible to adapt to the ever-evolving market and it’s still relevant today (longevity). I love you apple.
• Value Proposition
Outline what you do and why it matters. Not effectively communicating why a consumer should pick you over your competitors will have people scrolling past your content and bouncing off your website. Communicate what problems you and your business solve, communicate how that creates value for your customer, avoid the use of vague terminologies and thousand buzz words, have a clear mission statement and avoid saying the same things your competitors are saying.
• Brand Guidelines
Before I go into this, I’d first like to explain what brand guidelines are and why they’re so important. Brand guidelines are also known as brand standards are essentially a set of rules that dictate how your brands DNA works. It consists of your tone, messaging, point of view, colour scheme, usage, imagery, and typography. Not having this in order is like going to a black-tie gathering without a tuxedo, these guidelines ensure that your brand is CONSISTENT & IDENTIFIABLE across all platforms, print media, tv ads, social networks, online platforms, and packaging.
• Riding On Trends
The current online world is hungry for attention, this means something is always trending, be it an event, design, fashion item, a hashtag or gossip. It’s important to remain true yourself and not jump onto trends because these eventually die out. Understand your WHY and continuously feed that to your audience.
• Wrong Collaborations & Partnerships
Before signing that contract always ask yourself does this partnership aid our bigger goal? Is your partners’ mission statement in line with yours? Collaborations shouldn’t be about monetary value alone. Consumers will remember that terrible campaign, they’ll remember you are associated with that specific brand, they’ll feel it when something isn’t genuine and that will determine their loyalty to you.
Louis Vutton x Supreme Collaboration – View
• Thinking Locally
Two decades ago it would have taken me a good month to ship something to a different country, today technology has changed that and made the world such a diverse place. Ignoring this is shooting yourself in the foot, you’re not building your business to survive but you’re doing so to expand. Use a language that’s relatable to people from different backgrounds and add a local term or phrase to it, practice culture sensitivity, don’t hold back on marketing your products or services to larger markets.
• Valuing Consistency Over Character
Your brand should communicate a consistent message to reinforce your value proposition, messaging, products, and services. However, each channel or platform represents a chance to create a different view or persona of your brand whilst speaking to different audiences and targeting different demographics.
As long as the brand knows what it stands for, consistency can take a back seat. What’s the point of sharing the exact same message on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn? Seems a bit redundant, and audiences will likely tune out or ignore certain channels as a result.
• Neglecting Public Perception
The public won’t always have the nicest things to say about you, not everyone is going to support product or service. Neglecting this however will hurt your business Run polls, gather feedback, conduct research, come up with a new marketing campaign and drive your brand in the right direction.
• Failing To Adapt
Ever heard of the quote “Adapt or Die?” This applies to brands too. Apple & Android crushed Nokia out of the market by staying innovative, adapting new technologies to their devices and constantly communicating their identity and brand message to their consumers. Some people claim that if Nokia had stuck with its own operating systems, instead of embracing the Windows Phone in 2011, it could have survived. As a brand you’ll need to strive to stay ahead of the curve, that’s how you’ll survive.
In conclusion, Rome wasn’t built overnight and neither do strong brands get built in a short space of time, but starting off with the correct foundations for what you want to represent is essential to your success in a world where everyone is fighting to be seen.