The Biggest Branding Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

Category: Branding

Without a smart brand strategy, it can be all too easy to fall prey to branding mistakes. In fact, even some of the world’s most iconic brands have made poor decisions at some point or another. Whether it is trying to diversify a household name, being inconsistent with brand identity or failing to focus on the most important brand message, the one thing that all branding mistakes have in common is that they affect your overall reputation and success.

How do you go about preventing such mistakes? For starters, you learn to identify the biggest mistakes that can make or break your brand strategy.

Corporate Brand Strategy Mistakes to Avoid

Some of the things you certainly don’t want to do when it comes to branding include the following:

1. Inconsistent corporate identity

Using different logos, fonts, colours and elements is confusing at best, and damaging at worst. When you think of big brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola and Apple, you very likely think of their instantly recognisable logo. But it’s not only the logo that makes these brands stand out – it’s also their tagline, colours, fonts, styles and packaging. You would not expect to find an iPad packaged in an overly bright and bold red box. Consistently is the lifeblood of any brand. Your logo needs to be carried across on everything – website, emails, office signage, labels, letterheads, business cards, brochures and adverts. Your colours, fonts and style need to be cohesive as well. Customers need to be able to associate your logo, tag line, colours and name without having to think too hard. This is how you establish and build your legacy.

2. Poor visuals (or no visuals at all)

Branding is all about the visual images that form in people’s minds. These link your logo, name and brand on a level that is deeply embedded in your customer’s mind. Images are stickier than words, as we think in pictures. If you do not have a clear or consistent visual identity, you will not be easily remembered. Failing to incorporate visuals correctly can result in a brand that seldom stays in the minds of customers.

3. Out-dated marketing materials

You may have had a stellar brand strategy for the last decade, but if you have not updated your materials, you are wasting your chance to stay relevant in your consumers’ minds. Old brochures that no longer reflect your goals or vision, business cards that have not been updated since your new website was launched, ugly emails that are not user-friendly or optimised in any way, tired ads that run on radio, television or print without inspiring anyone… even an ancient website that is slow loading and hard to navigate. These things can all set you back in your branding efforts.

4. Failing to focus branding on your core service

Focusing your strategies on your core service is fundamental to branding success. What is it that makes your company unique? What is your main claim to fame? If you are trying to list every service and product that you offer, across all of your marketing channels, you will lose attention quickly. When you think Apple, you think of smart phones. Google is best known for its search engine. Nando’s is known for its spicy chicken (and tongue-in-cheek ad campaigns). What is YOUR brand known for above all else? Instead of trying to be known for everything and anything, fine-tune your messages by focusing on the thing that you do best.

5. Thinking that names don’t matter

Before Monster energy drink came along, the drink’s creator, Hansen Natural Company, tried to launch a similar drink in the exact same size under the name Hansen’s Natural Energy Pro. The launch was a failure. When they launched Monster, it quickly became a worthy competitor to Red Bull. Instead of making a wild guess at names, build your marketing strategy and then choose a name that reflects your strategy.

Keen for more expert brand strategy advice? Coffee Creative Studio provides a range of brand consulting and strategy solutions that help you take your brand to the next level. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer.