Branding is not an easy task. Establishing a brand that stands out and tells your business’s story, takes a lot of thought and precise work. Branding is a continuous process that involves social media, newsletters, emails, your website, and other forms of connection with your target audience. Branding is a never-ending process.
But What we’ve seen time and time again is that many startups make branding blunders that hinder their growth. Even larger organizations with more resources have had terrible rebranding disasters that have cost them a lot of money.
Establishing a clear and consistent brand identity is essential for any business, big or small. It’s helpful to think of your identity as your DNA: it’s present in every aspect of your business and reflects your brand’s distinct personality.
According to Clutch, brands with a good reputation have a 31% greater shareholder return. These companies have a more engaged workforce, which can help brands expand three times quicker than their competition.
That is how critical branding is.
So before we dive into the various branding mistakes you should avoid, let us first go back to basics and try to understand a few more things with regards to brand and branding.
What is a brand?
The phrase “brand” refers to a commercial and marketing idea that allows consumers to recognize a specific firm, product, or person. Brands are immaterial, meaning they cannot be touched or seen. As a result, they aid in the shaping of public impressions about businesses, their products, and their personnel.
People frequently confuse brands with marketing tools such as logos, slogans, or other recognized markings, which are used to advertise goods and services. Brands are regarded as one of a business’s most valuable and crucial assets.
What is branding?
Branding is the process of building and shaping a brand in the minds of consumers to give meaning to a specific organization, business, product, or service. It’s a method used by businesses to help customers immediately recognize and experience their brand, as well as give them a reason to choose their products over the competition’s, by defining what the brand is and isn’t.
The goal is to attract and maintain loyal customers and other stakeholders by consistently delivering a product that meets the brand’s promises.
Now as we have tried to understand what exactly is a brand and branding, let us dig in more deeply to understand its Importance and purpose.
Why is branding important to consumers?
Branding is essential because of the total impact it has on your business. It has the power to transform people’s perceptions of your business, drive new business, and raise brand value – but it can also have the opposite effect if done incorrectly or not at all.
Let’s get one thing straight: reputation develops whether or not a business does something about it. The end consequence can be either a positive or negative reputation. Understanding and implementing branding simply includes taking control of your reputation and attempting to shape it. This is why it is critical to think about branding from the start of your business.
Branding is largely based on common sense and is greatly influenced by the market you’re in and the level you wish to compete at. Because branding involves a constant combination of various talents and activities, the price varies greatly from instance to case. Of course, high-level experts and flawless execution will cost more than anything else.
Similarly, branding a multinational, multi-product business will be far more difficult and resource-intensive than, say, a local business.
Branding can increase the overall value of the business
When it comes to generating business prospects, branding is crucial, and a well-established brand can boost a company’s value by providing it greater credibility in the industry. Because of its well-established market position, it becomes a more tempting investment prospect.
The brand is the end outcome of the branding process, and it includes the associated image and value. A strong brand equals a solid reputation, which converts into value. The brand is a business asset with financial worth in and of itself, and it must have its place on a company’s balance sheet because it boosts the company’s overall value. Although it is a heated topic and a challenging job for many businesses, putting a financial value on a brand is just as vital as the branding itself — this is known as ‘brand valuation.’
Branding can generate solid new clients
A strong brand will have no issue generating new business through referrals. Strong branding often indicates that customers have a positive view of the company, and they are more likely to do business with you due to the familiarity and assumed reliability of utilizing a name they know and trust. Word of mouth will be the company’s greatest and most effective advertising approach once a brand has established itself.
The reputation of a brand follows it, just like the reputation of a person. Once the market has developed a certain perception of the brand, an unstoppable chain of spread begins. The perception will spread through word of mouth, reinforcing or tarnishing the brand’s reputation. If the brand has a good reputation, possible new customers may come into contact with it and form an already positive association with it, making them more likely to buy from it rather than from the competitors.
Branding has the power to improve employee pride & satisfaction
When an individual works for a firm with a strong brand and truly believes in it, they will be more pleased with their employment and take greater pleasure in the work they do. Working for a reputable brand that is well-liked by the public makes employment more pleasurable and gratifying.
As previously stated, a brand’s stakeholders include not only customers but also the staff. We must recognize that human interaction is the backbone of commerce and that employees are a brand’s first line of communication — its first ambassadors. Employees who have a positive impression of the brand will pass that impression on to the clients and partners with whom they deal. Better leadership increased involvement, and better products and services can all result from this.
Branding can create a strong trust within the workplace
The degree of trust that clients have in a brand is ultimately what determines its reputation. The greater your trust in a brand, the better your perception of it, and therefore the brand’s reputation.
Branding is the process of determining the best way for a business to earn and maintain a certain degree of trust among its stakeholders. This is accomplished by making a reasonable and realistic promise that places the brand in the market in a specific way, and then following through on that promise. Simply said, if the promise is kept, stakeholders develop trust in the organization. Trust is especially crucial in crowded markets since it might mean the difference between intent (wanting to buy) and action (buying or making the purchase).
What makes a bad brand?
When a brand can’t express its values – or when it can’t support a premium price for the increase in value it provides – it’s weak.
What causes this to happen? Weak brands have a low profile, are insecure, and communicate in an unclear manner. They don’t convey a clear brand promise at any of their brand touchpoints. As a result, neither employees nor customers are aware of the brand’s values, and hence find it uninteresting.
Brand weakness is frequently associated with brands that consumers find it replaceable. For example, When looking for a cheap direct flight from point A to point B, airlines are interchangeable. The focus here is on transportation, not on airlines. As a result, if a customer has no interest in a particular airline, the airline’s brand provides no obvious additional value and is referred to as a weak brand.
Brand management that is consistent and long-term helps prevent a weak brand from devolving into brand damage.
So now that we know the reasons for a weaker brand, let us try to understand some of the common branding mistakes that we and you can avoid.
6 crucial branding mistakes you should avoid
Failing to do the competitor research
This is extremely crucial if you are a startup company. Understanding what established businesses in your market have done, where they have failed, where they have succeeded, and where you can offer your brand an advantage, comes from researching the competitors.
Products, services, target audiences, websites, and social media platforms should all be included in your study. If you don’t, you’ll be caught up in two ways: first, you won’t be able to correctly evaluate the competition, and second, you’ll be unable to replicate a competitor’s techniques without completely understanding them.
Failing to connect with the right audience
Before you begin selling or even pitching, you must first determine who your target audience is. You need to know what people want, what they expect, what they identify with, and what brands they like. Branding and messaging will become much easier once you’ve identified your target demographic.
It is critical to connecting with the appropriate audience. Finding a brilliant designer with a style that you like isn’t enough. What you enjoy may or may not be beneficial to your business. This is where a large number of individuals fail.
Before you begin the branding process, you must first determine who your target audience is:
- Where are they now?
- What they are up to
- What is their age?
- What is their income? What are their requirements?
You’ll fall behind competitors who engage with their clients on a personal level if you don’t. That’s just the way things are these days in business.
Personalization is more crucial than ever before, whether you’re a little business or a large multinational. But what if you’re attempting to connect with your audience, but they’re just not interested? This can be depressing.
Fortunately, you can usually discover why your audience isn’t engaging with your brand, and if you fix the problem, they will be eager to engage with you again in the future.
Customer personas are an important step to take, and brand strategy is essential here as well.
If you think it’s all about logo design then you are wrong
It’s not only about a logo or a tagline when it comes to branding. Everything you represent is part of your branding, including your company’s voice and the type of content you produce. When you have a competitive advantage and a distinct style, you will find an audience. There is no value without it!
Some businesses rebrand and spend tens of thousands of dollars on a new logo, but not nearly enough on other brand assets. An online fashion firm, for example, cannot increase sales just by changing its logo design. To establish a lucrative e-commerce business, it should prioritize its customer service staff, product quality, online and offline advertising, competitive pricing, and a variety of other aspects.
Failing to differentiate your brand
Every day, we are surrounded by thousands of marketing messages and advertisements. Your message must not only appear excellent but also be unique to stand out from the crowd.
Good design allows you to stand out rather than just fit in. You must be distinct for others to remember you.
If you appear like everyone else in your industry, you can bet your customer will shop around and choose the cheapest alternative.
Why would people select you if they can’t see the difference? To express your worth, you must stand out from your competition. After all, design is a business’s most important unique feature.
But how can you stand out from the crowd if you have no idea who you are?
You must investigate your competitors, look for points of differentiation, and then establish who you are, who your consumers are, and how to connect with them.
Don’t try to pass yourself off as someone you aren’t. Find out who you are at your core and work from there.
You may design visual and verbal statements that will help you stand out and express your worth if you have a defined mission and vision in place.
Not having a plan B ready in advance
Many businesses believe that building a brand is something you do once and then it takes care of itself. Today, it is no longer the case. To produce greater quality and respond to changing market needs, you should constantly refine and change your offers. Not every branding strategy will be successful the first time. In those cases, you’ll need to have a backup plan in place to ensure a quick recovery.
Brand management is a challenging task. However, you should always keep in mind that your company is more than its products and services. What determines your success is how you shape the experiences of your customers. It is what makes your business unique. You won’t want to look back once you’ve built trust in your brand.
Failing to provide a great brand experience
According to a new study from InMoment, consumers believe that unpleasant interactions with employees are the leading driver of bad brand experiences.
The data for the report came from a survey of 2,000 US consumers and 1,000 brand workers.
Negative encounters with staff (poor attitude, lack of understanding, etc.) are cited by nearly three-quarters of consumers (74%) as a cause of unpleasant brand experiences.
Negative staff interactions, on the other hand, are cited as a major factor in poor experiences by only 29% of brand employees polled.
Consumers also consider a lack of understanding of individual needs, a lack of staff available to support when needed, and the delivery of products/services that are not what they expected as major contributors to negative brand experiences.
According to the poll, businesses tend to underestimate the impact of negative brand encounters. After having a terrible experience with a brand, 23% of consumers say they will quit using it.
Only 6% of brand respondents believe that unpleasant experiences cause customers to discontinue using their products or services.
Brand experience includes not only your physical products but also your website and any other touchpoints where customers interact with your company.
Because it requires consistency, dedication, and commitment, maintaining a positive, consistent, and effective brand is not a one-day task. You’re one step closer to ensuring that your identity and messaging are on track if you’re aware of the things that could go wrong.
Please share your valuable comments in the comment section and let us know how this article has helped you in changing your perspective about branding and how are you going to implement the strategies mentioned above.
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