Branding mistakes that could cost you business

Branding is such an important factor of running a business, but have you considered some crucial branding mistakes that could cost you business? That’s not just poorly designed logos, but could be the brand name, inconsistent values/messages and more. Brand encompasses so much more than just a logo.

So what mistakes should you try and avoid?

  1. Avoid creating a controversial logo – of course if you’re a large business or corporate entity, you might take the view that all publicity is good publicity… but can you afford this if you’re a small business or just starting out? You want to create a logo that impresses, doesn’t offend and works well for you and your overall brand goals. A strong brand will be memorable (yes, hello Apple). Create a logo that is neutral, works well for you and is fairly future proof.
  2. Don’t use old fashioned fonts! Fonts are so important to your brand, even if your logo is an image, you *should* have one or two fonts as part of your brand guidelines. If these fonts are old, outdated and unattractive (I’m looking at your Comic Sans & Papyrus) then this is the message you’re giving across. There’s nothing wrong is having a bit of an update on your font choices, so long as it isn’t too often and runs consistently through your brand. You should also think about letting and line spacing as well – you might find a font that looks great with some increased spacing, and using a modern fresh font will work wonders for your brand.
  3. Consistency is key – especially with brand. Let’s focus here though on colours, again another aspect of branding that a lot of businesses seem to disregard, but being consistent with your colour choices is so important. If your website and online branding uses specific colours (let’s say white, grey and purple) then your offline marketing needs to reflect this. Don’t start using totally different colours because they look nice, or you’ll lose your brand consistency and strength. “Is it really that important” I hear you ask… yes, if you’re sending our mixed messages, one part of your marketing campaign could look fake or spam, and you’ll lose customer trust. So, keep in mind consistency when it comes to colours, fonts and general aesthetics.
  4. Don’t over use your logo. Sounds simple, but you’ll be surprised by how many people over use their logos in all aspects of marketing, which will detract from the message. Create a strong brand with spot on guidelines, and you can get away with using your logo in smaller, less obvious ways. On the flip side, Apple generally only use their logo, in most cases they don’t even put “Apple” in their advertising.
  5. Don’t overcrowd your marketing. This is such a common thing to do, especially if you have a lot of information you do want to get across, but sometimes little and simple is better. It’s much more impactful for the eye and if it’s less cluttered, more likely people will stop and read it all.
  6. This is a biggy – copying someone else! It’s been done by the largest businesses, remember the Zara vs Tuesday Bassen issue? Tuesday Bassen was creating lovely illustrations that Zara were then using as part of their brands, thankfully Bassen called them up on it to highlight the “theft”. So, avoid copying another idea, brand, blog. It’s great to get inspiration from your competition, see what they’re doing, get a feel for the types of brands that work well, but stay individual.
  7. Finally, try and avoid being boring. You want to stand out as a business and as a brand, so invest that time, effort and money in doing so. If you don’t stand out, you’ll be boring, and that’s never great for business.

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