I often see common branding mistakes being made and I cringe every time I see them. Not because they are making a mistake (because I’ve made them too!), but because I know how easy it is to fix them. As someone who truly wants to educate and empower every woman to build their brand with confidence and clarity, helping you fix any mistakes you might be making is important to me.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- My biggest brand mistake
- The 10 most common branding mistakes I see being made all the time
- How to fix these issues in your brand
My biggest branding mistake
Even as a brand strategist and designer, I’ve made my fair share of branding mistakes over the years. When I first started my business 8 years ago, branding was different. It wasn’t as much about the strategy and focused more on the logo and look of the brand. On top of that, Instagram and Pinterest were just gaining momentum which has had a big influence on the way brands are presented and perceived.
When I first started my business, I didn’t go too deep into what my brand was all about. I mostly focused on the design of my logo and changed that design too many times to count. It took me way too long to flip the script and focus more on the strategy behind my brand.
I didn’t really have a strategy and was sort of winging it. And it showed.
I didn’t have a foundation for my brand. I didn’t have a direction. I didn’t have a clear message. And it was really hard to grow my brand because of it.
After taking time to dig deep into the strategy of my brand, everything else followed suit. I was able to create a better visual brand design, communicate the right message to the right person, and grow my business through a more focused offering suite.
In an effort to help you avoid my mistake and others, I’ve put together a list of the top 10 branding mistakes and how to avoid them (or fix them if you’ve already made them!).
1. Not understanding what branding really is
With so many definitions of branding out there, it is easy to get confused. Most people are unsure of what a brand is and end up avoiding it because it feels confusing or overwhelming. On top of that, branding and marketing are often interchanged for each other but are actually 2 separate pieces of your business. Building a strong brand is like setting the foundation for your business and can guide the rest of your business growth.
How to fix it: take time to educate yourself on what branding is and how to build your brand as an online business.
2. Not future-proofing your brand
3. Not having a brand strategy
Because so many people are confused by branding, they often start with the wrong part first. Instead of thinking through the backbone of their brand (the strategy), they jump straight to design and opt for the fun stuff. In the end, not having a brand strategy can stunt your brand growth. On the flip side, if you do have a fully developed brand strategy first, the rest of your business will be able to grow from this strong foundation.
How to fix: Use the Brand Strategy Blueprint as your guide to fully and clearly develop the foundational strategy of your brand that will guide the rest of your growth.
4. Not dedicating enough time to developing your branding
Developing a brand the right way can feel time-consuming. And the last thing we have available is time. But the more time you dedicate to building your brand, the better it will be. It can easily feel like you need to spend more time on marketing or creating, but without the proper brand foundation, those tasks can actually end up wasting your time instead.
How to fix: Block off time in your schedule every week just for working ON your business so you don’t get stuck always working IN your business. You have to devote time specifically for focusing on your own business growth or it won’t happen.
5. Trying to do everything for everyone
I see this one all the time. You get excited about the possibilities of what you can create and do for people. You might even be a people pleaser and have a hard time saying no to anyone that asks for something – no matter what it is. But if you try to do everything for everyone you’ll actually end up serving no one. Instead of speaking to one person and one specific problem they are facing, you’ll be talking to everyone and your messaging will come across as confusing and broad.
How to fix: Focus on serving one person, doing one thing, OR solving one problem. If you hone in on one thing, you’ll become the expert at that and be able to serve those people even better.
6. Following trends instead of establishing your own brand foundation
Trends are fun and it’s easy to get caught up in the latest things you see all around you. But if you change your brand every time you see a new trend, you’ll never be able to establish a firm foundation. You’ll end up confusing your audience and won’t be able to build brand recognition.
How to fix: Instead of following trends, you want to establish your own brand style based on research into your own brand and industry. If you are true to your brand, you’ll never want to follow a trend again.
7. Lacking consistency
This goes along with the last one, but if you keep changing things and doing things differently your audience won’t know what to expect from you. And they might even end up straying away from you or choosing a competitor over you if they can’t keep track of what you’re doing.
How to fix: Staying consistent with your brand messaging and design allows you to build brand recognition and gives your audience a better idea of what they can expect from you. It also makes you seem more reliable and trustworthy if you can maintain consistency.
8. Focusing on the design too much
Design is definitely important in building your brand. The visual component of your brand can do amazing things for building your brand. But it’s not the only thing that matters. If you spend too much time on the design (like I did!), you’ll miss out on developing some key components that are essential for the growth of your brand. Just having a good looking brand will only get you so far.
How to fix: Focus on building your brand strategy first and the design will fall into place and be more aligned with your business. You’ll also be less likely to worry about changing it.
9. Forgetting about your brand message
If you’re focusing too much on the design side of your brand, then you are probably forgetting about your brand message which is an essential part of building a successful brand. Your brand message needs just as much, if not more, attention than your design because its how you are communicating with your audience. It’s how you speak to them and tell them that you have the solution to your problem. Your brand message holds so much importance to your brand strategy and growth and cannot be forgotten.
How to fix: Again, if you focus on the brand strategy first you’ll hit this too. Developing that clear foundation of your business is so crucial.
10. Not maintaining your brand
Let’s say you’ve built an amazing brand and checked all the boxes you were supposed to when developing your brand. You haven’t made any mistakes so far. Great! But have you kept up with your brand after you first created it? Have you maintained it? Or did you set it and forget it? Building a brand is not a one-time thing that you can do and never touch again. It is an ongoing process that you have to develop over time.
How to fix: Your brand will evolve as your business evolves and requires attention every so often to make sure that it is still aligned with where your business is currently and where it’s headed in the future.
Branding mistakes are common but easy to fix. But with the right process AND the right mindset, you can confidently build a wildly successful and widely known brand.
Are you making any of these mistakes in building your brand?
Don’t stress, you can still fix it!
Whether you work with a brand strategist or go the DIY route, taking the time to work through the faulty pieces of your brand is the best way to get back on track with building your brand more intentionally.
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