Branding is a key element to any company’s success. It helps you position your business in the market, build awareness amongst your target market, and attract both employees and investment.
According to a survey conducted by NewsCred, the most important driver of brand loyalty for millennials is a great product at 77 per cent, followed closely by brand recognition and trust at 69 per cent.
If you are looking to build and maintain a successful brand, here are four common branding errors to avoid and how to fix them:
1. Not Establishing Your Brand from the Start of Your Business
Your branding is not just a colourful logo and a tag line. It is the essence of your business and should be built every day in every single thing you do. So many small business owners concentrate on the logistics and operations of the business and leave the branding activities until their business is set up and under way. Leaving their employees, partners and clients wondering what the business stands and creating that definition (positively or negatively) for you.
Fix it: Before you sit down and write your business plan, take out a sheet of paper and write down your vision for the business. How do you want to be perceived? What is the first thing you want people to think of about your business? How you want your customers to feel when interacting with you? How you will develop those relationships? Once you have established this vision and values you will have an anchor to your business identity from which to build your overall plan.
2. Lacking Consistency
Your packaging is bold and colourful, but your website is white and simple, and your logo? It’s not even on your business cards.
When starting out, it’s likely your marketing collateral will be created incrementally, as you need it, and often by different designers. This can make it hard to maintain consistency. However, with 74 per cent of adults now on social media sharing links, photos of your products or collateral, it is becoming increasingly important to be consistent across all marketing mediums.
Fix it: Although it may not be financially viable to create every piece of your marketing in one go, make sure that a solid brand concept is created at the beginning. This will be your template and guide for all further designs that you create and will detail your colours, fonts, tone of voice and personality and help you create consistency across your social, website, physical print materials, products and even your store or office.
3. Forgetting What Makes You Unique
As you grow it can be hard to forget about your original vision and value proposition, relying on works like “award-winning” and “best-selling” instead of telling your prospective customers what’s make you unique and why they should choose you.
Fix it: Like your business plan, your marketing plan should be revisited every year, or more if you are growing quickly. Take time to look at your original marketing vision and plan and make sure that you’re keeping consistent with your brand messaging and how you wanted to present your business.
4. Ignoring Feedback from Customers
An Ipsos study found that 48 per cent of online Canadians follow or like at least one brand, with 59 per cent younger online Canadians (aged 18 – 34) following an average of five brands. Your customers want to engage with you, often with feedback about what works and doesn’t work for them. This kind of insight is invaluable and ignoring it can result in a loss of repeat or new business.
Fix it: Make time to engage with your customers. Make sure you respond to comments and observations. Be proactive and ask for more feedback. It doesn’t matter if the feedback is positive or negative, respond to them in a confident and constructive way, assuring any problems are taken seriously and fixed. This will help you develop the business and create trust and loyalty in your business.
Learn From the Experts
Branding is a promise that your business makes to customers. It is what builds trust and increases customer loyalty. But building a strong and consistent brand isn’t easy.
If you need help discovering your brand identity and want to understand the concept and importance of your brand experience, join Small Business BC for the Branding – More Than Just a Logo seminar, presented by David Childs of Living Blueprint.
Alternatively, if you prefer a more one-on-one approach, join us for our monthly Ask a Business Branding Expert, with Michael Marsland-Root of Red Five Designs. These 45-minute appointments allow you to ask the specific questions relating to your brand and help you connect better with your customers.