Marketing and branding: How not to scare off customers

Posted on October 28, 2021

Halloween is almost here, and this is the perfect time to evaluate whether your messaging is a treat for your customers or clients. When it’s time to review your marketing and branding materials, avoid these frightening elements:

Inconsistency. Don’t leave your signature content–logo, mission statement, website–alone in the dark. Use it to communicate your brand story and voice consistently across all channels. If you don’t have a brand standards manual, this is the time to develop one.

Spelling and grammatical errors. Even if your messaging is spot-on, your content might not look that way. Errors can be introduced at any time, and they can spook your customers into leaving the site–an especially deadly outcome for marketing and media companies. Proofread, proofread, proofread! Don’t assume that someone else will catch mistakes in your content; your co-workers might presume (rightly or wrongly) that you are that someone else. We’ve created effective guidelines that you can use for that one last look.

Poorly designed logos. Your logo should promote your brand, not compromise it. Don’t make it too cluttered or otherwise too difficult to decipher. If you use a tagline, check to see that it can be read easily from any device and that it speaks to your brand. Keep your logo elements simple; readers shouldn’t have to sweep away a spiderweb of complexity.

The wrong colors and fonts. Again, all visual elements, including typographical ones, should reflect your brand rather than detract from it. Don’t use too many colors or fonts, don’t use fonts that are difficult to read, don’t default to your favorite colors (audiences might not like them as much as you do), and don’t use inaccessible color combinations. Vivid colors are great for trick-or-treat costumes, but they can make for painful reading.

Nonfunctional links. Don’t ask viewers to remember or copy long URLs, and don’t make navigation so complicated that your visitors want to scream in frustration. DIY websites may seem appealing because of their comparatively low prices. But if you need custom functionalities, the site won’t grow with your company. Placeholder pages (e.g., “Under construction”) advertise the fact that your website is not finished. And leaving placeholder pages up too long might make visitors think that your company isn’t credible, Ghost websites like these are unlikely to inspire confidence among your customers. When you’re developing content that includes links, make sure that the text display and address fields are spelled correctly. And test all links to be sure they work before going live. Your website should be an inviting jack-o’-lantern, not a tombstone that’s best avoided.

Creating the right content might seem like a scary endeavor, but breaking it into Halloween candy-sized bites can make it less overwhelming. The result is messaging that’s a treat for your clients.

Badie Designs specializes in creating content that is visually compelling and on-message. Contact us today for a consultation.