We’re going to start this blog by asking you why does one buy a APPLE product ? Or a GUCCI or HERMÉS? Why do we all go for certain kind of watch or aspire to own a certain car? What do they all have in common?
We’ll tell you – they are all BRANDS and what makes them brands is their consistency, quality and the fact that they are always keeping up with the trends, some times MAKING new trends to keep you coming back.
Now, when you step into the market with your business you are out their competing with these guys and many more. Whether its a corporate company or a fashion label, a restaurant or a nail studio. It doesn’t matter what your profession is, there’s always someone else out there with the same idea. So having a brand identity is not even a question – It’s a necessity!
But when you start to build an identity it can go either way. Some will start off on the right track and some might launch a business and leave it to run by itself creating a downfall of consistency and brand value. How do you ensure that your branding is on point on an ongoing basis?
Here we have some branding mistakes that you can avoid :
Not creating a brand:
In our course of 14 years we’ve come across many many companies that simply use a font to define their businesses. There’s no thought process involved and no real design element that communicates the values of the company. A branding not only sets you apart from your competitors but also makes you more recognisable and professional. So, the first step would be to clearly define guidelines for your brand – Colours, fonts, icons and images etc.
Not Hiring a Designer:
“If you think hiring a Designer is expensive,
wait till you hire an Amateur”.
[ Click to tweet ]
A designer helps you look at the over all picture. They study your brand, your business, your target audience and your competitor to determine what your business needs. They ensure consistency of graphics and maintain professionalism. It’s their job to make you look good and it’s every bit worth it if you are planning to be a “real” business. A lot of businesses tend to ignore this and decide to browse through stock pictures and now, logos online. While it could sometimes work initially but once the business starts off, would you rather be generating income or hunting for free templates? Which by the way are never consistent!
Branding is all about giving your business a Face,
by graphically interpreting your unique services or products.
[Click to Tweet ]
What makes your business more desirable that the other? – Creating a branding that distinguishes you from your competitors, that clearly states what you are all about will allow your prospects to relate with you much more easily and also have more recall value.
Not creating a niche for your business:
Trying to stretch your brand to cater to everyone’s needs will only make you mediocre at what you present than excelling at what you know and do best. Stick to what your expertise is and avoid the temptation to provide all the services just because they are available to you. More focus creates professional results and that is what your goodwill is.
Not staying consistent:
A lot of businesses tick the first three boxes and start off on the right track. However, in due course of time, due to lack of interest or quality control or even lack of time, the brand starts to loose it’s consistency. One big reason for this is not defining brand guidelines at the start of the business. Guidelines ensure that the brand stays consistent accross all media, keeping you looking professional and fresh at all times. Also keeping a strict quality control will ensure that your branding doesn’t get distorted along the way.
Not growing with your business
If you have been in business for a while and added new services or products or even diversified into another field all together, then it’s time to re-evaluate your branding and maybe update a little. The trends change, the method of communication changes and also visual appeal changes.. To get stuck in the past and being possessive about your “first branding” will have you lost in the crowd.
Not Protecting your branding.
There’s a lot of hard work that goes into establishing a new business and turning an idea into income. At this stage the last thing you want is for someone to misuse your branding. Trademarking your brand with the right authorities and stating clear copyrights can save you from the pitfall.