Building a brand is a complex and challenging process that requires time, effort, and a clear strategy. Many people make common mistakes that can hinder the success of their new brand so in this article, we'll discuss five common mistakes to avoid...
1. Skipping Market Research
Many people begin the branding process without first conducting market research. This generally includes spending time to understand your target audience: Their needs, wants and problems. It could also include looking at the competitive landscape of your industry: How have they built a brand identity? How are they speaking to your potential customers?
Building a brand strategy can take a lot of time so it's essential to get this first part right. It will generally give your team a steer to build a successful brand and will reveal some interesting findings that you may not have thought about.
If you're looking to research your personas, there's a handy template on Notion you can use here.
2. Creating a Brand That's Difficult to Manage
Another common mistake is creating a brand that's difficult to manage. This can involve creating a brand that's too complex or that relies on too many different elements. It's important to create a brand that's easy to build on for your team and that can be adapted to different channels and platforms.
For example, you may love the look of 3D graphics, but do you have the resource in-house or budget to create new ones every month? Is the design easy enough to adapt on business materials such as decks, invoices and business cards? Do you want to use bespoke illustrations, or can you create a brand using stock imagery?
A brand that's easy to manage will save you time and money in the long run.
3. Relying on Trends
Relying too much on trends is a mistake that can hinder a brand's success. However, it is important to acknowledge that keeping up with trends can be a useful tool in shaping your brand's identity. While it's important to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing, it's also important to differentiate your brand and find your own unique voice. Trends come and go, and if you build your brand solely on a trend, you risk becoming irrelevant once the trend fades. Therefore, it is important to strike a balance between following trends and creating a brand that's timeless and that resonates with your target audience.
To differentiate your brand and find your unique voice, you can consider exploring your brand's personality and values. This can help you create a brand that is not only unique but also authentic.
4. Copying Competitors
Copying your competitors is a very common mistake companies make. Doing so can harm your brand by making it appear unoriginal, and it can also make it difficult for you to stand out in a crowded market.
In order to avoid this mistake, it is important to focus on understanding your unique value proposition. What sets your brand apart from the others? What unique benefits do you offer to your customers? Once you have a clear understanding of this, you can work on finding ways to effectively communicate it to your target audience. This may involve creating a unique brand identity, developing a strong marketing strategy, and creating engaging content that resonates with your customers. By doing so, you can build a strong brand that stands out in the marketplace and attracts loyal customers over time.
5. Not Having Brand Guidelines
Finally, not having brand guidelines can be a costly mistake. Guidelines ensure that your brand is consistent across all channels and platforms, which is crucial for building a strong and recognisable brand. Brand guidelines should include information about your brand's tone of voice, visual identity, messaging, and values.
In addition, strong brand guidelines can also help you build trust and loyalty with your customers. By consistently communicating your brand's values and messaging, you can create a sense of authenticity and transparency that resonates with your audience. This, in turn, can lead to increased customer loyalty and advocacy.
By having clear brand guidelines, you can ensure that everyone in your business is aligned on how to communicate your brand effectively. This means that your marketing, sales, and customer service teams are all on the same page when it comes to representing you. This can help you avoid confusion and ensure that your brand is presented in the best possible light at all times.
If you're looking for a central place to store your brand guidelines, check out this template!
Looking to build your brand? Check out how The Marketing Plot can help!