No matter how big or small your business, you need to focus on branding.

What is Branding?

Branding is the process by which you control what your customers think when they see or hear about your company, products and/or services. You want a particular image to come to the mind of your audience whenever they come in contact with your products or services, or think about them.

Here are some common mistakes that you’ll definitely want to avoid when you’re branding your product.

  • Inconsistent Identity across Platforms:  If you want to bring to life a certain image, the best way to do that is to make all your social media profiles the same throughout networks. Match that with your offline image too. Use the same colors, fonts, images and similar wording, to help your audience always remember who you are by always being consistent.
  • Cheap or No Imagery:  It can be expensive to use images in your online presence, but it’s worth it. You can save money by creating them yourself and using inexpensive graphics through stock photo sites or sites like Canva.com. But, the important thing is that the imagery evokes the feelings you want it to across all branding materials.
  • Lack of Tracking Metrics:  If you don’t keep track of what you’re doing, the results you have and the goals you are making, you won’t know if what you’re doing is working or not. Look at your metrics often so that you know that you’re making an impact. Survey your audience; ask them what they think.
  • Not Asking Your Customers to Help:  You have a wonderful connection with your customers through email lists. Use it. Send surveys to your customers. Ask them what they think of your branding by showing them images. Ask them what they think of when they see your tag line or other collateral you have.
  • Not Refreshing Marketing Materials:  You can’t let your materials get stale. You’ve got to keep them fresh by updating them at least yearly. Change up the fonts, use newer technology to make clearer graphics, hire a better graphic designer than you did last year. Websites get old too, so keep them up to date.
  • Not Understanding Your Core Service/Product Offering:  If you aren’t sure what you’re really offering your customers, it can be difficult to get the branding message out that you want to get out. You may need to think clearly about what you’re offering; for example, you are offering freedom from something, not the “thing” you’re offering.
  • Failing to Create an Honest and Believable Tag Line:  Tag lines really aren’t a good place to “blow smoke.” Instead, they should be as accurate as possible but also believable and memorable. You want it to be catchy enough that they will say it on their own. Like Nike’s “Just do it” campaign.
  • Misunderstanding Where Successful Branding Begins:  It starts, of course with you. It’s a feeling you portray to yourself, to your staff, your contractors and your customers. If you can’t describe what you want people to feel when they think of your products and services, it will be hard to elicit that feeling through any type of marketing.

Branding your business is imperative if you want to be competitive in today’s business world. If you’re on top of branding, you will control the story and win the branding game.