5 Common Branding Mistakes to Avoid
November 21, 2017
I’ve been working with business owners, since 2011, to craft thoughtful brands and websites. For many of my clients, I’ve noticed a few common things that they struggled with before they reached out to work with me.
I want to save you the time and struggles that come along with having a brand that just doesn’t fit. I want you to get it right the first time! So, here are 5 common branding mistakes that you should avoid and how you can fix them.
Mistake 1: Not Considering Your Audience
All too often my clients are struggling with a disconnect between their branding and what their audience responds too. This leads to confusion within their brand and messaging. Unfortunately, this also means that the business is getting fewer leads and sales than it could be. You need that like, know, and trust factor to start seeing real results.
Before you start working with a designer you should already have a pretty good idea of who your audience is and what they like. Use that knowledge to your advantage! Communicate with your designer about who your niche is and they will help you connect with them through design. If you are both visual people sharing a Pinterest board together is a great way to work through this process.
A mistake I see very often is a business owner rushing to get a custom brand, right when they launch. I get that to some extent. You want your brand to look amazing right off the bat. But I would actually recommend waiting at least 3 months before you invest in a solid brand identity. After all, you want this design to stand the test of time. You need to have that background knowledge of who your audience is and what they like first.
That all being said, if you did a lot of preliminary research or have been hustling on the side of a full-time job, then you’re in very different place, from someone just getting started. In that case, investing immediately in a thoughtful brand identity is probably the way to go.
Mistake 2: Purchasing a Pre-Made Logo
I used to be a designer on Etsy and would see other designers selling premade logos and doing well. But, I’ve always believed that custom work is better than premade. Especially when it comes to your brand identity. This should be 100% unique to your business. I mean how horrible would it be for you to browse the web and stumble across the same logo somewhere else? I’m sure that wouldn’t make you feel very boss, now would it? Not to mention, what if a potential client stumbled across that logo?
The solution is not to purchase pre-made or super cheap logos. If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. You want to work with a designer who takes the time to understand your business, who your audience is, and what your goals are. Don’t settle for anything less. It’s really not worth the cheap price tag. If you go the inexpensive route, you’re likely going to find yourself paying for a stronger brand identity in a few months to a year.
Mistake 3: Going the DIY Route
For established business owners, DIY’ing is not the best option. I get it. You want to control every aspect of your business. My advice is to focus on what you do best and find professionals to help you with the rest. Whether you’re a health coach, photographer or you create custom products – spend your time there. I’ve come to realize that what I do best is the strategy, design, and development. I’m all for working with others to help me with things that aren’t my strong suit. Hiring a professional to help you with something that you’re not great at is going to produce better results in the end. Not to mention all the time and frustrations you’ll avoid trying to learn that new thing.
Now, if you’re just starting out, there is some argument to make for DIY. Like I said above, you need to know your niche before working with a designer. If you don’t have that settled yet, then by all means, DIY it. My recommendation – don’t get fancy, and keep it simple. Choose a font you like and write the name of your business out. Then, when you’re ready to invest, hire a designer with a portfolio that you love.
Mistake 4: Following Trends
I understand that it’s tempting to follow the latest trends when it comes to your brand. You want your brand to be modern and approachable, and trends are usually just that. But trends are also fleeting. That amazing brand that you invested in last year, now looks out of date and needs to be changed, AGAIN.
If you find yourself constantly going back to your designer to update your brand or change it completely, then you might be falling victim to this mistake. What you want, is a brand that is timeless and that will grow with your business over the years. Sure, you might make subtle changes, but the overall brand will remain the same if you invest properly the first time around. Using one carefully curated brand identity will lead to a streamlined design that builds trust with your audience.
Mistake 5: Thinking that a Brand Identity is Just a Logo
A brand is sooooo much more than just a logo. You might be tempted to purchase just a custom logo from a designer to save a bit of money. But, you’re really missing out if you go that route. A brand identity includes things like patterns, icons, colors, typography, secondary logos, and photography selection. And, of course, your primary logo too.
If you choose to only invest in your logo, this makes it hard for you to keep your brand consistent. If you want to build your brand identity out into a website or marketing materials, then a thoughtful brand identity will help you or your designer to do just that.
Are you making any of these 5 common branding mistakes? If you are, please don’t be hard on yourself. I hope you found a few things from this article that you can work on fixing. Or, maybe you’ve decided that you want to invest in a new brand identity that will serve you for years to come. If that’s the case, I’d love to work with you! Fill out the project intake form or learn more about what’s included in the digital presence package, right here.
If you’re looking for a little something extra to improve your brand presence then I’ve got the perfect freebie for you. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, consistency is key when it comes to your brand identity. The Streamlined Branding Checklist will give you clarity, on how your visuals and messaging, play an important part in creating a memorable brand.