Contrary to what a lot of people think, running a small business isn’t a walk in the park. Today, branding can make or break your company, this is a fact that you can’t ignore. No matter what industry you’re operating in, your business needs to be branded or it won’t survive long enough for you to reap the fruits of your work and investments.
Believe it or not, a solid brand can make the difference between success and failure for a lot of businesses, especially small ones. Quality branding, when done the right way, and developed along with a good marketing strategy, helps not only build a relationship with your audience but also develop customer loyalty.
If you want your small business to be successful (and who doesn’t want that?), keep on reading to discover these common branding mistakes you will need to avoid:
1. Ignoring the basics
Ignoring the basics of branding can drive your small business right through the wall. You need to understand who you are and what value you bring to the world, as a company, before starting your branding efforts. Your brand is basically your reputation, so make sure your audience understands you.
Before working on your image, make sure to know exactly what your business represents. What should be most important to you is the why, instead of the what. “Why do you do what you do?” instead of “What do you do?”.
Why is the question that exposes the purpose of your company, so make sure to answer it before you start working on a branding strategy.
One good example is Facebook. This is what Facebook’s statement when asked “why Facebook?”:
“We are building Facebook to make the world more open and transparent, which we believe will create greater understanding and connection.”
2. Not using professionals
Starting a small business is though, and you will need professional help. Everything that has to do with branding needs people who know what they are doing. From designing a logo design to your slogan and taglines to your website, all of these are part of branding.
Branding should not be DIY-ed, no matter how little money you have unless you’re just starting out and want to test your logo design with a DIY software. Sure, getting things done by yourself is cheaper, but hiring a professional design company is a better decision, financially speaking.
Why is this important? It’s because customers can instinctively recognize cheap and unprofessional work, which will put a damper on your sales and your brand image.
3. Forgetting to establish design guidelines
Design guidelines are important because they give your brand consistency. Before you start branding, make sure to write a brand design guidelines and follow them to the letter. This will help your brand and business be recognized by your audience and customers on any and every platform.
This means that you’ll need to use the exact same color palette, typography, layout, fonts, and logos everywhere.
4. Not being different
When it comes to branding, logo design, and digital marketing, the most important thing is being original. Make sure you stand from the crowd and definitely don’t copy successful brands, because this will just make your business look like a cheaper, knock-off version of something better. Stay true to your image through all the platforms you use, focus on your unique selling point and never give in to trends.
5. Not using social media
Finally, don’t make the mistake of disregarding the power of social media. All the best brands are today present on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms. Social Media gives you the opportunity to create a personality for your business, to interact with your audience, and most importantly, to remind people why they should choose you!
Emily Woodward is a digital marketing executive who follows her passion for writing via freelance work.