The sea of brands in the market today almost seems endless – interfering with the success of your brand identity. There are currently so many brands that research suggests we are rapidly exposed to thousands in a given day. But why is it that we remember only a few? Why is it that some brands are more recognizable than others in any given medium from t-shirts to packaging?
A lot goes behind building a solid brand that will stand out among the crowd. Only a few brands in history have truly stood the test of time from Coca-Cola to Disney. Whether you’re a CEO of a company or a YouTuber, branding plays a solid part in helping you retain a loyal audience. This audience is who will constantly use your products or services.
If you are struggling to establish your brand identity or connect with your target audience, chances are that you are making the following 6 mistakes.
1) Lack of Consistency
Branding is an endeavour that extends across all platforms including your website, ads, social media accounts and print materials. Therefore, it is essential that your brand identity remains consistent across all platforms. This fosters a sense of your brand’s values and mission. Inconsistency makes it difficult for your audience to identify your brand among the crowd. This can also lead to mixed messaging, which may cause your audience to distrust you.
Consistency begins with ensuring that all of your assets on these platforms including visual designs and copy match in tone. An example is ensuring that consistent colours and typography are used across all social media platforms. Moreover, it’s important that your brand stays true to its visual identity. This means not adopting every single latest design trend. There are many stellar graphic designs out there. However, staying true to your brand’s visual identity ensures that your audience will instantly recognize your brand in any given medium. Not doing so will guarantee interfering with the success of your brand identity.
2) Neglecting Copy and Key Messaging
Visual design is not the only component that forms your brand identity. A strong brand identity also comes across in copywriting and key messaging to your audience. This includes any form of copy from core messages, mission statements to tag lines and any other forms of textual content. Copywriting is an essential part of your brand. It truly helps form the “voice” of your brand identity and conveys your core values. There is a reason why consumers recognize Nike’s brand from not only its visual design but its iconic “Just Do It” tagline. A simple piece of copy such as that iconic tagline can convey so much about your brand. It illustrates what you have to uniquely offer to your audience.
What is the voice of your brand? And what pieces of vocabulary and phrases can your brand use to truly convey what it has to offer? Buzzwords cannot be relied on to do the whole job. Chances are that your competitors are also utilizing the same buzzwords to attract attention. Describing the benefits of your product rather than every individual facet can also further increase traction on your platforms.
3) Reinventing Your Brand Without Maintaining Familiarity
After establishing a solid brand identity, it is just as essential to stick to it. It may be tempting to redesign facets of your brand including its visual components such as its logo. However, this may also cause outrage and dissatisfaction from your audience especially if your brand has resonated with people for a long time.
A classic example of this is when Gap infamously redesigned its logo. In 2010, it scrapped its classic square logo for a minimal smaller blue square. This was in an attempt to go from being “classy” to “modern, sexy, cool.” The redesign sparked outrage and was poorly received, which led to Gap reverting back to its original blue box. The lesson learned here is that it is essential for your brand to not abandon its core values and branding identity.
Image Source: Medium
Growing and changing facets of your brand may prove to be useful. However, it is important to stay in touch with what truly makes your audience connect with your brand in the first place. Maintaining familiarity is essential towards upholding a strong tie with your audience.
4) Not Focusing on Your Audience
The reason why you should focus on your audience is simple. Your audience determines whether your service/product ultimately stays in business because they are your consumers.
An essential part of building a strong brand means paying attention to what your audience wants and needs. Doing the opposite can poorly reflect on your brand identity along with losing your loyal customer base. For example, in 1982, Colgate decided to launch a line of its own frozen food entrées called “Colgate Kitchen Entrées.” This was when frozen food was gaining much popularity. The problem was that since Colgate had already spent years of branding itself as a toothpaste company, their new frozen food products were poorly received. This was because it was just not consistent with their existing brand.
Branding flops can occur if your brand does not follow what your audience both needs and wants from your brand. Expanding to different spaces can be highly useful for business growth. However, without focusing on your audience, this plays a role in interfering with the success of your brand identity.
5) Not focusing on Your Uniqueness
Building a brand that will stand the test of time means finding what truly makes your brand stand out from the crowd. It may be tempting to be like everyone else. If your brand cannot convey what it can uniquely offer from others then your audience will not give it attention. Several companies may sell the same product but those who truly stand out have individuality. They have a uniqueness about them which attracts a larger audience. Ask yourself, “what is it that makes my brand different from others ?” And, “how can I use that to my advantage in building my branding identity?”
6) Not Considering Your Brand’s Global Audience
As a local business or service, you might be thinking that this area might not pertain to you. However even without trying, your brand might have more of a global reach than you think. The Search Engine Optimization of your website might lead your brand to reach more audiences globally. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you are not offending anyone globally. Doing so could prevent them from connecting with your brand identity and ultimately using your products/services.
An infamous example is when Pepsi launched in China and utilized a word-for-word translation of its slogan. It translated into “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.” This was entirely different than its classic “Pepsi brings you back to life.” It would be an understatement to say this translation was not received well in China where ancestors are highly respected.
Even if your brand is more local, it is a safe bet to ensure your brand identity reflects positively globally. Doing so prepares your brand in the event that it attracts more of an international following.
Avoiding these 6 mistakes can make the difference in eliminating barriers interfering with the success of your brand identity. Establishing a brand identity that stands the test of time means eliminating these mistakes at the forefront of your brand strategy.
Branding is not certainly an easy endeavour. So how can you tell if you have built a solid brand? Creative Partner has the answer for YOU. Check out this FREE brand assessment we are now offering that will truly help elevate your brand to a whole new level.
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