Posted on December 7, 2018
If you run a small business on a shoestring, you might find investing in your brand to be an overwhelming line item. But doing it the correct way can save you time and money. Building a brand is more than making it look pretty—it’s your brand’s personality that adds value to the customer experience. You must offer something to your audience that is different from what your competitors provide. As your business evolves, so should your brand. To educate you about the branding process, we want to tell you about three mistakes to avoid:
1. Not Understanding Your Audience
When you know who your target audience is and what they want your business will succeed. If you don’t have a clear vision or mission, your brand will get lost within the crowd. If you don’t provide a solution to their challenges, then having a visually pleasing brand doesn’t matter. You must do your research to understand your audience. Your brand is your customer’s perception. Your marketing strategy will not be effective if you don’t find your voice. Ask your market what they like because you are selling to them—it’s not about what you like personally. Doing this will help you to create the perfect marketing strategy. The more you know about your audience, the more marketing power you’ll have.
2. Making Do With an Inconsistent Brand Identity
A company must use the same logo across all platforms. If your brand has several different logos, it confuses the customer and it shows you are not serious about your brand. Why would a potential customer want to do business with a brand that is all over the place? To achieve a consistent look, you must invest in hiring a professional graphic designer. It takes research and planning to create a unique brand identity. You can’t get this by hiring an amateur. When others are using your branded elements, they must use them in the correct way. A brand standards manual is a guide that shows how your brand should and should not be used. Using this guide means you don’t have to keep explaining your brand process because everyone must follow the same standards.
3. Not Protecting Your Brand
Protection is the next step after you’ve created a strong brand identity. Just because you did a name registration with the state or purchased a domain doesn’t mean your brand name can’t be used by someone else. Your brand must be trademarked or someone can take the same thing you put time and effort into. It is a waste of money to invest in a name someone else already owns. What’s worse, they can stop you from using it. If you’re building a solid foundation for your brand, you must protect it from the ground up or that foundation can get knocked down. Registering your trademark through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is the best way to protect your brand. You want to stand out from your competitors and not become a copycat by using something that is not yours to begin with.
Do you need help building an iconic brand? Contact us to get started!