When you’re a small business, building a brand can seem overwhelming and something that could end up on the back-burner as a “one day” project (Even typing that out makes me cringe, but I know it’s a common thought).
So while I can’t convince you to get started on building your brand–like yesterday–I do want to bring to light some common mistakes you could be making.
5 Common Mistakes You’re Making in Your Branding (and How to Fix ’Em!)
1. Not Understanding the Power of Your Brand
Your brand is actually one of the most valuable assets you have. It gives you a competitive edge, helps to build loyalty and trust, enhances your credibility, and helps people remember you! If you think your brand is simply a logo, then I’d ask you to think of the last time you chose to buy from a company purely because you liked their logo? It’s SO MUCH more than that. Neglecting your brand is one of the biggest mistakes you can make starting out.
2. Having a Lack of Focus
When you’re a brand new business, the world bombards you with different ideas, trends and ways of doing things. It can be hard to know what is right for you and your business. But when building your business and your brand, you have to be very strategic about which direction you’re going – or you could end up with “shiny object syndrome” and a constantly changing brand. The problem with this is that you won’t be able to stay memorable, and an easily forgettable brand is not the goal at any stage of your biz.
3. Not Seeming Authentic
This ties into the last point. If your brand lacks focus, you’ll also lack authenticity. Switching from one trend to another, not being sure about how you actually want to be portrayed, or imitating others you see being successful, will not resonate with anyone – people can tell when you’re being fake. Spend some time getting super clear on WHO you are – start with thinking about five personality traits that you want your brand to encompass and be diligent in making sure you’re portraying yourself that way at all times.
4. Being Inconsistent
Being inconsistent in your brand means that your ideal client isn’t going to be able to remember you. If every brand touch-point or experience a potential customer has with your business is different, how will they know what to expect when actually working with you? A brand touch-point could be anything from your social media posts, to your visual identity, to how they feel after talking to you on a discovery call. At every touch-point, it’s important that there’s consistency and the customer is having the same type of experience.
5. Not Establishing Brand Guidelines
Creating clear brand guidelines early on will give you that clarity and focus you need in your brand! I would suggest working with a designer on your visual identity to develop a look that is both professional and representative of what your brand is.
Your brand guidelines should not only incorporate your visual identity (logo, brand colors, font and typography), but should also include foundational branding pieces such as an overview of your brand’s mission, vision, personality, and values.
When she’s not working, Gillian can be found travelling the globe, reading one of several books she has on the go, or camping or hiking around the Rocky Mountains.
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