You love your brand, don’t you? If you don’t, what the heck are you doing with your life? It’s what makes your company memorable, and it’s also the promise you’re making to your customers. That’s why so many companies focus on creating a distinct brand that will stand out from the rest. But while you’re doing that, sometimes caution gets thrown to the wind. Other times, the best ideas don’t necessarily go the way they’re supposed to. To help you avoid those messy issues, our team put together a list of the top five branding mistakes to avoid.
1. Different vs. Edgy
You want your brand to stand out, and that’s a good thing. What isn’t good is sacrificing industry-leading thought leadership for the musings of a fourteen-year-old. What do we mean by that? Simple. You want to be different. You don’t want to be edgy. You can be avant-garde or a budding, independent voice in your industry without coming across as whiney. Because no one likes a whiner.
2. Speaking out of your depth
Have you ever heard the phrase, “stay in your lane?” Because that’s exactly what you need to be thinking when it comes to branding. Sure, you can talk about big issues and your stance on them, but if your brand starts criticizing something that has NOTHING to do with your company or its values…that’s a bridge too far. People love calling out brands for trying to be a part of conversations they don’t belong in, and if you’ve ever been on social media, you know just about how well that works out for the brands.
3. Confusing your tone/voice/message
We see this one a lot. Your brand’s voice should be the same, no matter where you’re communicating. That means your site, your social profiles, and even your printed materials should all sound like they’re written by the same person. Why? Because it shows then your brand has a deep understanding of its audience and its own identity. If a brand can’t stay consistent, then there’s no way consumers will be able to identify branded content either.
4. Spreading too thin
We get it. Brands want to be everywhere. And in the digital age, that can feel like a necessity. But here’s the thing: it’s better to do one thing exceptionally than to half-ass a bunch of things. How does that apply to brands? Take a moment to look over your site. Does that resonate with your audience? Good. Then move to social media. Is that great? No? Then get to work.
Essentially, there’s no point in doing something just for the sake of doing it. People can see through those tactics, and they’re bound to stop engaging with them. Find your niche and blow it out of the water.
5. Not being authentic
Ah, yes. The ultimate brand mistake. This one goes hand in hand with every other mistake on this list, and it’s great at making those matters worse. If your brand tries to pretend to be something it’s not, people are going to catch on.
Don’t get us wrong. It’s a good thing to aspire for greatness. But if, say, your company just laid off a large chunk of workers, it might not be the best idea to try to talk about your outstanding culture or employee benefits.
Even more importantly (and we can’t believe we need to say this), don’t lie for the sake of branding. Embrace your mistakes and shortcomings and find ways to overcome them. Shoving them under the rug to promote a good brand image is only going to come back to bite you. After all, karma’s a bitch.
Need help defining your brand or handling a big brand fumble? Contact us right now. We’d love to help you zero in on your brand’s real identity.