Speak to any shopper marketing agency in London on the subject of business branding and chances are they’ll have more than a few horror stories to share. The problem being that while the most sensible course of action is of course to bring in the professionals from day one, the vast majority of new businesses don’t seek help until they’ve already made a fair few mistakes. And of course, by this time they may have already built a pretty unpleasant brand image on the whole and successfully put a huge obstacle in their respective path to success.
Getting the right advice and guidance from as early on the process really is of the utmost importance, but for those still insisting on going it alone, it’s crucial to acknowledge and understand the kinds of branding blunders that can cost a business big.
Here’s a quick overview of just a few of the most commonly-made branding mistakes of all that should be avoided at all costs:
1 – Business Name Blunders
What’s the difference between a great company name and one that makes no sense? Or better yet, what’s the secret to a company name that sticks? It’s a tricky one to nail as when you look at a business like Apple for example, the name and logo at first glance to 99.99% of the population have no relevance to modern technology, though the brand is uniquely recognisable. Relevance is therefore a grey area, but what’s certainly not up for debate is the importance of choosing a company name that’s short, easy to remember, easy to spell and unique.
2 – Logo Design Disasters
There are so many businesses the world over for which their brand logos are to a large extent more recognisable than their actual company names. Take for example HSBC or IBM – millions of those who know these brands couldn’t begin to tell you what the letters in their logos stand for, but they still know who they are and what they do. This is why you cannot afford to overlook the importance of stellar logo design services for your business as the role this seemingly minor detail could play in your future has the potential to be enormous.
3 – Inconsistent Operations
When you talk about a brand, you’re talking about so much more than what the business does or sells. Instead, you’re talking about how it does what it does, why it does it and what makes it stand out from rival businesses. As such, when you think about your own brand you need to make sure that the image you wish to convey is one you can actually achieve with consistency day in and day out. If your people skills are totally inept and you hate the general public for example, you cannot expect to build a brand image of wholesome family-friendliness as you’ll be busted as a phony in no time at all. It’s a case of practicing what you preach, or preaching what it is you practice.
4 – False Promises
For many businesses, a key element of their branding is the incorporation of a tagline or slogan that outlines what they do. Anything from “The Lowest Prices Guaranteed” to “Total Customer Care” and so on and so forth can work, but only if you’re both willing and able to actually live up to the image you’re building for yourself. It’s a little like the example mentioned above where it’s great to preach of what you do and who you are in a positive light, but not if you are in any doubt as to whether you can actually live up to the standard you set yourself. It’s better to make no promises at all than to try and dupe your target audience with false promises.
5 – Lack of Focus
And finally, it’s of pivotal importance to understand that establishing a brand means so much more than deciding you want to sell a certain product and summarily expect folk to flock your way. If, for example, you’re out to sell shoes, you’ll have to find a way of standing out from the thousands of other shoe sellers with something that makes you special – a unique selling point that encapsulates your brand. Maybe you’ll sell them for cheaper than anyone else, maybe you’ll offer the fastest delivery or perhaps you’ll be selling exclusive lines – in any and all cases you need to focus on the elements of your brand that will persuade the punters to come to your door above and beyond those of your rivals.