Despite investing thousands of pounds into branding initiatives, many businesses still undermine their image in front of customers and clients.
We explore some of the most common branding mistakes to avoid so your business can retain brand integrity in a global culture that is increasingly sensitive to the way brands conduct themselves today.
Relying too Heavily on Design Trends
Design is important but it’s not everything. While hiring a great design agency to help improve your website’s graphics or update your logo is important, always make key design decisions within the context of your overall core branding approach.
For example, if you particularly enjoy a specific visual trend or approach, check first that it lines up with your core values and intended position in the market. Going too boldly in any one direction, whether that’s corporate or contemporary, can alienate some of your customers and look out of place.
There’s a huge difference between modernising your brand and sacrificing your core brand identity for the sake of following current design trends. If you feel like you’re being pushed in any direction by your branding team or agency, it’s worth considering whether they’re the right people you should be working with.
Similarly, if you already have a strong brand identity and visual framework in place, make sure that anyone handling external content activities and advertising adheres to this.
Inconsistency Across Different Platforms and Mediums
Consistency is of paramount importance. Presenting a consistent identity to your audience fosters a sense of trust that will help you to retain customers and build stronger relationships with them. A company unable to present itself consistently is at risk of not maximizing the benefits of its brand presence.
While it’s important to adapt your brand for each platform, major motifs, colours, images and logos should be uniform. In the worst situations, lack of consistency will look unprofessional and untrustworthy. However, even relatively brand sensitive companies might be losing cross-platform traffic potential by not creating integration across multiple platforms.
For instance, if someone likes an ad you’ve put out on Instagram, only to land on your site seconds later to see that the look and feel is entirely different, their chance of converting as a new customer will drop drastically.
Not Having a Brand Guideline or Central Brand Document
You can’t exactly blame your marketing department for breaking with the consistency of your branding when you don’t have a central resource they can refer to when building campaigns.
At the very least, it’s important to have a simple rulebook of your company’s preferred fonts, colours, imagery, logos, and other visual assets. However, this style guide should also go beyond design assets and include your brand’s values, voice, and key messaging elements.
Not Giving your Employees Brand Training
Your employees are your best brand advocates. If they’re not completely sure about your brands’ core values and principles, you risk undermining your company’s image. It all starts with having a strong core brand identity that your employees buy into. Ensure that your company has a good framework in place and make sure that your entire organisation is up-to-date with your new approach.
This is especially important after periods of rebranding where your values may have shifted. If some of your team are still singing to another hymn sheet, you’ll quickly find discordance between different departments, leading to your customers receiving an inconsistent experience.
A Brand Identity that Doesn’t Work for You
Some companies are simply operating under the wrong brand identity or branding that isn’t tailored to them. This could mean that core principles and values are out of line with what the company is and what leadership is trying to achieve.
This can often happen when companies are young and have not yet consolidated who they are. You may have achieved success in your earlier years thanks to the capabilities of your team alone, but as you grow, you may find that you need to define yourself differently.
If you’ve never formally addressed your company’s branding, or if you’re unhappy with the job your previous brand identity service has done for you, it’s worth spending some time making sure you’re not making any key branding mistakes and revisiting this area of your business.
At Service Brand Global, wehelp progressive organisations to consider the brand identity in relation to employee engagement practices and delivery of the customer experience. In this way, we halp to create suitable and sustainable brands for our clients that hold up in the face of today’s increasingly brand sensitive consumer culture.