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Top 7 Branding Mistakes

Branding often means to create an awareness of your company’s unique value and personality.

Here are a few of the most common mistakes marketers make:

1. Not doing detailed research

A logo and tagline are only an extension of your brand. Before you develop any creative, make sure you have done your homework on the current perception of your brand from the perspective of both customers and employees.

Then you can determine who your target audience is and what types of things they react well to.

You must also research where you fit into the overall landscape of competitors so that you fill a void and have a strong offering that sets you apart from others.

Do you have the lowest or highest price or best customer service with awards to back it up? Having this information can help you determine what your real value is and positioning should be.

2. Lack of Focus

Companies often change their identity when the wind blows and make haphazard logo, tagline and copy changes that don’t keep a consistent message. Meanwhile, big and successful brands tend to reinforce the same message for long periods of time.

Here are a few examples so you can see what I mean:

Famous Taglines

  • Think different   –   Apple Computer
  • Think outside the box   –   Apple Computer
  • The ultimate driving machine   –   BMW
  • Calgon, take me away   –   Calgon Toiletries
  • Please don’t squeeze the Charmin   –   Charmin
  • Like a rock   –   Chevy Trucks
  • Have a coke and smile   –   Coca-Cola
  • A diamond is forever   –   DeBeers
  • Nothing sucks like an Electrolux   –   Electrolux
  • When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight   –   FedEx
  • It’s not just for breakfast anymore   –   Florida Orange Juice
  • We bring good things to life   –   General Electric
  • Nothing runs like a Deere   –   John Deere
  • Every kiss begins with Kay   –   Kay Jewelers
  • Finger-lickin’ good!   –   Kentucky Fried Chicken
  • When banks compete, you win   –   LendingTree
  • Good to the last drop   –   Maxwell House
  • Just do it   –   Nike
  • Pepperidge Farm remembers   –   Pepperidge Farm
  • You are now free to move about the country   –   Southwest Airlines
  • You quiero Taco Bell   –   Taco Bell
  • Silly rabbit, trix are for kids   –   Trix Cereal
  • The few, the proud, the Marines   –   U.S. Marines
  • We’re looking for a few good men   –   U.S. Marines
  • It’s not a job. It’s an adventure   –   U.S. Navy
  • The toughest job you’ll ever love   –   U.S. Peace Corps
  • Can you hear me now?…Good!   –   Verizon Wireless
  • Think small   –   Volkswagen
  • Drivers wanted   –   Volkswagen
  • Fahrvergnugen   –   Volkswagen

3. Trying to appeal to everyone

Focusing on a niche market for your product can often be more profitable than trying to please everyone. You are better off having a strong defining factor that resonates with a certain type of people.

Then you can truly get to know that market segment, make a product that is really refined for their needs and create marketing campaigns that consistently work well for this particular group.

The more you understand you audience the more you can do to connect deeply with them and create a lasting relationship built on truth rather than brief flings with the masses that eventually lose interest.

4. Not having a deep enough presence

Having a deep presence means being in a variety of online media such as top SEO rankings, paid listings, banner ads, social connections, and press releases. The more your name comes up online in a positive way, the stronger your brand.

Now that you have a sense of some of the top elements that influence conversion, I’d like to give you a homework assignment. Pick the keyword that you most want to rank for in the search engines and the main service or product page on your site for that keyword. Then use the system below to increase both rankings and conversions at the same time. Let’s put some of what we learned into action while tying it to SEO.

5. Inconsistent branding

Consistency is one of the most important aspects of building an established brand image that people can trust. But all too often, I come across brands with inconsistent branding that ends up doing more harm than good.

If you’re going to adjust major value propositions, selling points, or anything else that’s tied directly to your brand image, then you must apply those changes everywhere.

I’ve seen companies change their logo (which is totally fine). They put the new logo on their website, but forget to change it on their social media profiles or in their email signatures.

Not only is this unprofessional, but it can create confusion for people who are engaging with your brand across different channels.

6. Focusing too much on the latest trends

The best brands are built to last for decades and even generations. They don’t do this by focusing their branding strategy on what’s trendy (and will ultimately become a fad).

Your marketing materials can definitely appeal to new trends. But your branding should be bulletproof.

Use colors, designs, and themes that are modern and won’t look outdated in the next year or two. Otherwise, you’ll constantly have to change your identity.

7. Frequent changes

It’s really important that you put adequate time and effort into your branding strategy.

Are you allowed to make changes? Absolutely.

But this isn’t something you should be doing on a regular basis. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose of what you’re trying to accomplish.

Good branding means that anyone who hears your name or sees your logo will automatically associate those words or images with what you represent. This comes after years and potentially dozens of exposure points.

If you have a new logo or color scheme every year, then it’s almost like you’re starting from scratch. It’s much harder to resonate with your audience.

2 replies

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  1. Julie from FastFX says:

    This post was a good read…. very helpful to know what NOT to do, for sure.

  2. John Karlotte says:

    My favorite? Now You’re Free to Move About the Country. Except off the top of my head, I don’t know who’s it is. Southwest maybe? What happens when people remember your tag but not your brand? How can you rpevent that?

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