Brand aid: Avoid these common mistakes when creating your image

Brand aid: Avoid these common mistakes when creating your image

Why do today’s companies spend so much on branding? Because when done correctly, it paints a very deliberate picture in consumers’ minds about what your company represents.

Skillful branding can create an emotional connection between your products and customers that truly pays off: Recent research found B2B brands that emotionally connect with their buyers have twice the impact as those whose campaigns focus on functional value. Further, B2B buyers who feel a “high brand connection” are 60 percent more likely to consider, purchase and/or pay premium prices than “low brand connection” competitors.

“Companies all over the world are creating themselves a brand identity, giving people a sense of who they are and what they represent,” advises Eric Hammes on news site “Attempting to market yourself or your company without a brand identity will only confuse your potential customers or followers.”

That said, there are also infinite ways to blunder when implementing branding strategy. Some of the most common:

  • Being too vague: An ill-defined, wishy-washy strategy is likely to be ineffective; you need to be clear on what you’re trying to accomplish. Start by establishing a brand style guide that sets precise standards for your visual identity, your copy, your voice and the overall image you wish to convey to the public. Your guide can inform on everything from the tone of your social media posts to the nonprofits you support to the nature of your promotional events to the advertising channels you choose for your messaging.
  • Being like everyone else: Your branding campaign should be clear on your products’ benefits and how they’re different from your competitors to achieve the most success. Many companies never quite achieve that, eventually just settling for lesser market share.
  • Failing to think big: Your branding efforts need to extend across your entire marketing campaign, creating consistency across all platforms to promote trust across all audiences. Customers will only get confused if you represent yourself one way in your print ads and another way on your social media, for example. And the same holds true for your global image: You must ensure no element of your brand could be offensive to other cultures or in other languages, like the Chevy Nova that failed in Latin American companies because its name means “No go” in Spanish.
  • Choosing overly trendy design: The same hot new trends that appeal because they’re cutting-edge are likely to look dated in a few years, which may backfire when you must lose the brand recognition you’ve gained to the need for a redesign. As a general rule, use new trends as inspiration, but err on the side of colors, symbols and other elements that have proven to work over time.
  • Failing to align with your roots: As you create your brand, consumers will fail to recognize it if they can’t associate it with its original form. For example, the maker of a snack food associated with fun and leisure may have a tough time launching a line of health foods under the same brand without some very intense and focused marketing strategy. Many of the most famous brands have evolved more organically as they come to represent certain qualities in consumers’ minds, building their own fan bases over time. Consider the respective uproars when Coke changed its formula in 1985 and Gap tried to redesign its iconic logo in 2010.
  • Associating the wrong elements with your brand: Businesses have to be careful about affiliating their brands with anything that doesn’t make sense in the eyes of fans. That category can include anything from products to sponsorships to events. Just as Disney would lose credibility by producing an R-rated movie, you could easily damage the perception of your brand by adding something to your product mix or company persona that flies in the face of its public image.

Working to establish a strong, consistent brand can only pay off in how you’re perceived by customers.

“When you think about your brand, think about all the elements: promise, personality, look, voice, service, attributes, memorability, even patina,” advises Lois Geller in Forbes. “There’s a good chance that if you ask customers, prospects and competitors about it, you’ll be surprised at how strong your brand actually is. It’s shorthand for what you are.”

RingSquared’s toll-free numbers and other services can help maintain your brand by offering consistency across all platforms. Contact us at 1-800-700-1987.