Branding a new business or a freelance agency can be stressful without proper knowledge or guidance.
Companies around the world have learned to follow their competitors and those that failed before them to uncover the secrets of proper branding and marketing.
However, it is not as simple as ticking a few boxes on a form sheet, and as many are well-aware, branding is a continually shifting topic.
Some of the worst mistakes in branding come from ignorance and a lack of initiative on the company’s part until it becomes too late.
What are some of the worst branding mistakes and how can you effectively avoid them to grow your brand correctly?
1 — Not having a proper Brand name
Building a brand based on an unidentifiable name or slogan is bound to end in disaster.
Companies live and die by the reputation they garner from the public and their clients, no matter what niche they may fall into.
Brand names are essential to being recognised by your peers as well as your competitions’ products in the retail store.
Before building a brand, consider the name you have chosen to represent you on the global market.
Building a company on the market without a proper name will likely end disapproval by the customers and investors alike.
Choosing a name that flows naturally and doesn’t require a linguistics degree is a safe bet that always works.
2 — Being customer-centric
Customer-centric brands are known for taking their time with brand-building.
The reason for this is that customers often don’t know what they want, especially when it comes to new and upcoming brands on the market.
The problem deepens when you realise that you do not have a clear target audience, to begin with, meaning that your brand will likely be a combination of different influences that don’t mesh together.
Focus on the global market, investors, and competitors in your early days of brand building and leave the thoughts of the customers away from building your name on the market.
The time for focusing on customers comes later down the line.
3 — Building brand without focus
Determining your brand`s vision, focus and long-term milestones are essential to success.
The primary goal of any brand is to provide their customers and clients with quality services as well as turn a profit in doing so.
The bigger question is how a brand can get to that point without losing momentum along the way?
Choose your focus inside a niche you operate in and make sure that you offer something that no one else on the market is capable of delivering.
This can be as simple as adding a new flavour to the ketchup you produce or something along those lines for different types of products or services.
4 — Visual inconsistency
Brands that are incapable of differentiating themselves visually often find themselves in the shadows of their more competent competitors.
The obvious candidate for proper visual consistency is Coca-Cola with its red and white colour scheme that separates it from the crowd.
Everyone can recognise a product, poster or a box that came from a Coca-Cola factory because of its proper branding.
This will help you stand out from the crowd without needing to employ any translation skills to do so — it is all in the visual elements.
5 — Expanding before profiting
Just because a couple of contracts came through and you managed to make a profit does not mean you are ready for expansions.
Companies that rush head-first into developments just because a gut feeling told them to do so will likely find that the marketplace will not take kindly to it.
Expansions bring considerable costs to any company that walks into hiring new staff and buying real estate without thinking beforehand.
The worst thing that can happen is that your business might go belly-up before you get the chance to use your newly expanded spaces.
Ensure that your profit margins allow you to develop and grow as an enterprise before risking the wellbeing of your company and its employees.
6 — Lack of competition research
Your competition is your best and worst enemy when it comes to branding.
Companies around the world often turn to their competitors for tips on what to do with their brands and vice versa.
This leads to a market that looks eerily similar when it comes to products and services on offer.
It also means that making Branding mistakes while translating comes naturally for brands that operate independently from whatever their competitors are up to.
Competitors are your strong rivals, meaning that both of you are in the business because you want to turn a profit and make a living off of what you love doing.
Don’t let unhealthy envy or spite come in the way of researching what they are doing to learn from their mistakes.
The worst thing that can happen is to repeat the mistakes of companies that have long since become irrelevant on the market due to their research incompetency.
7 — Not communicating with the audience
While the audience will always have something to say about your brand, it is also important to know when to listen to those comments.
Giving your customers a direct channel through which they can communicate their tips, support requests and opinions is a great way to boost your positive PR.
It can also help you find interesting tidbits about your practice that can only be seen from outside-in.
Make sure that you have dedicated social media pages and a customer support line set up for any requests that might come through.
It will not only put you on the positive end of the spectrum with the customers but also help build your brand and increase your profits as a result.
Ignoring your customers can only lead to one outcome, and that is something you do not want to experience as a brand.
8 — Budgeting on the marketing
Marketing is one of the fields that you do not want to skip on when it comes to branding your enterprise.
The most common marketing platforms that people use our social media and affiliate marketing blogs that offer the promotion to brands.
You should consider both online and offline marketing, even if you have to translate into the foreign language to do so.
If you are a local brand that sells products directly through retail chains and delivery, offline marketing plays a huge part in creating awareness around your name.
Without marketing, people will not know about you, and subsequently, your profits will remain flat.
Don’t avoid marketing costs just because they represent a significant investment.
The money you put into marketing will come back much sooner than you originally anticipated, making it a sure way of creating buzz as well as building your brand in the eyes of the customers.
9 — Blending in with the competition
Every brand should strive to differentiate itself from the competition, no matter what niche they occupy.
One of the worst mistakes you can make in branding your company is taking too many cues from the competition without adding anything original to the table.
This type of brand building can only lead to disaster, not to mention potential lawsuits that might come your way due to your likeness.
To avoid these Branding mistakes and to make mistakes while translating any promotional materials to other languages, ensure that you have a dedicated marketing staff or expert onboard.
Someone should always be in charge of making sure that you are on the right track when it comes to overall branding and marketing to remain as original as possible.
Turn to the competition for tips and learn from their mistakes but never outright copy their efforts because they work (at first glance).
10 — Lack of innovation and progress
Brands need to evolve alongside the market they occupy, no matter how good their business model might look today.
The reason for this comes from the everlasting customer need to differentiate themselves from their friends and family members in using different products.
A brand’s job is to ensure those needs are met, whether it is a new hair product or a unique and innovative web design template being used on a client’s site.
Innovation and progress and the driving force of the global market and brands are required to follow trends to stay relevant to their customers.
Staying traditional and ignoring the global marketplace shifts can have dire consequences should the competition upgrade their business models and become more relevant.
Keep the original idea of your company alive through various improved interpretations of the global trends to provide the maximum satisfaction for your clients and ensure your brand stays relevant.
Mistakes are easy to avoid once you have a clearer understanding of how the public perception of your brand works.
Make sure always to learn to avoid the Branding mistakes other brands have made in the past.
The only way forward is through trial and error, but the risks can and should be minimised as much as possible.
This is the only way to grow progressively and remain relevant for decades to come.
Author Bio: Margaret Reid is a freelance writer who is seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth. Currently, she`s working in the company TheWordPoint and trying to improve herself in the blogging career. Margaret is an experienced and self-driven specialist who cannot imagine her life without writing.