Brands are all around us. They help us make every day decisions like the clothes we buy, the cars we drive, the phones we use, even the food we eat. Brands are not simply names or symbols – they are promises. They offer assurance and certainty about the quality of the product you are buying.
Think about it.
Why do you want that Audi or BMW so much? Because you know that they are reliable, safe, and well designed machines that are amazing to drive. How do you know that? Because the brands have been in existence for years and they continue to provide quality cars year in, year out.
A brand is the emotion evoked, the trust gained, the reputation built over time. Branding is fundamental for any business and is one of the most valuable assets a business can have.
It is, therefore, essential to get right!
Unfortunately a lot of businesses make mistakes when it comes to branding, which can have a detrimental effect.
A few of the most common mistakes people make naming their businesses are:
‘Creative’ spelling – the name might look different, but you will have to spell it every time to make sure people get it right. Don’t get side-tracked by available business or domain names. Spell your name right the first time, so you won’t have to keep repeating it.
Pronunciation – when people are unsure how to say your business name, they simply won’t say it. You want them to say it, remember it and pass it on to their friends. The pronunciation of your business name should be intuitive and simple, so try to steer away from foreign words (unless they’re really easy and obvious to say).
Obscurity – make sure your business name has meaning, otherwise it’ll be too obscure and people won’t know what you do. You have a great opportunity to promote what you do in your name, so use it! Think Airbnb and Instagram – before you know anything about them, you get an idea of what they’re about.
This is a big mistake that a lot of SMEs make. Just because you have an eye for colour or have an enviable, stylish wardrobe, don’t assume you can develop your own branding. Unless you are graphic designer or branding specialist, leave branding to the experts.
See some epic logo fails from the past.
Branding – just a logo?
Speaking of logos – many businesses assume that branding stops at a logo.
A logo is the foundation of your brand. It will be displayed on your website, email signature, shopfront, social media accounts, brochures and marketing collateral.
But branding doesn’t stop there.
It also incorporates your key messages, a tagline and voice of your business and emotions you want to evoke. These should be integrated into the finest details of your company – uniforms, customer experience, templates for marketing materials, office furnishings, and your products / services.
Another common branding mistake is not staying on brand or being inconsistent. Why spend time on developing a brand if you’re not going to stick to it?
Branding guidelines are key to ensuring consistency of your brand. They should include logos, taglines, corporate colours, fonts and typeography, images, and company voice.
Make sure that you monitor your brand’s usage and correct any branding mistakes you notice.
Have you come across a branding mistake recently? Share it with us, by commenting below!