What happens when your brand does not fulfill its promise to clients? Are you ignoring the aging signs of your branding? When should you consider a rebrand of your business?
In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho speaks about ten branding pitfalls to avoid.
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In This Podcast
- Not defining your brand strategy
- Starting with a cheap brand identity
- Failing to differentiate your brand
- Not connecting with the right audience
- Stretching your brand too far
- Not providing a great brand experience
- Failing to protect and defend
- Applying the work inconsistently
- Ignoring the brand aging signs
- Not living up to your brand promise
Not defining your brand strategy
You need to go deeper into the category that you are in to understand the landscape — including the competition and their strategic positions, then define your brand, and who your clients are. (Sam Carvalho)
Develop a brand strategy, understand your business objectives, and shift focus to that objective instead of designing a beautiful logo that does not work.
When you work directly with the objectives and the strategy of your brand, you will see that it is less about the typeface or color that you like and that it is more about what is persuasive to your target audience.
The best brand strategy is developed as a creative partnership between the client, the strategist, and the designer … together, you need to determine the business and marketing objectives that should guide the way forward. (Sam Carvalho)
Starting with a cheap brand identity
It makes sense to be concerned about the budget, but we all know that top-quality costs money.
For a logo and brand style guide, you can pay a range of different prices. But you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to service.
You can get a logo for cheap, but it will hurt your business.
Failing to differentiate your brand
Good design makes you stand out, not just fit in. You must be unique so that people can remember you. If you look like all the other companies in your space, then your client will most likely shop around and opt for the cheapest option. (Sam Carvalho)
Your clients need to see the difference in the quality you provide so that they will choose you.
Research your competitors to look for points of differentiation, and then define who you are, who your customers are, and find the ways that you can connect with them.
Once you have a clear mission and vision in place, then you can create visual and verbal messages that will help you stand out and communicate your value.
Not connecting with the right audience
When you start the branding process, you must know your target audience:
- Where they are
- What they do
- How old they are
- What their income is
- What their needs are
If you do not connect with your customers in a personal way, you will fall behind the competitors that do.
Personalization is more important now than ever before.
Stretching your brand too far
Over the last decade, brand extension has become one of the hottest subjects in brand management. However, many reputable companies have learned that stretched brand extensions can easily go wrong. (Sam Carvalho)
An example is Virgin’s brand architecture: Virgin Records, Virgin Radio, Virgin Media, Virgin Holidays, Virgin Games, Virgin Comics, Virgin Experience, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Active, Virgin Money, and the list goes on!
Brand extension leads into new and often unknown territory that may be dominated by other big competitors.
Not providing a great brand experience
According to recent research, consumers stop using certain brands when they:
- Have bad experiences with staff
- Do not have their needs understood or met
- Are not helped by staff when necessary
- Do not have products or services delivered on time or when expected
Companies underestimate the consequences to their brand from bad brand-to-customer experiences.
Your brand experience is about:
- Your staff
- The website experience
- Client-brand touchpoints
Failing to protect and defend
You must protect your brand if you want to build a real business, so consider a trademark.
Make sure that your business name and visuals can be protected. Obtain a clearance search to make sure your new brand is available and does not infringe on other brands’ prior rights.
Spending the time and money upfront to determine whether a brand is available will help avoid the very high costs of a dispute or litigation.
Applying the work inconsistently
Maintain consistency because consistency builds trust between your brand and the client.
The best way to stay consistent with your brand is to create a brand style guide that includes:
- Different logo mockups and configurations
- Primary and secondary palettes
- Primary and secondary typefaces
- Styles for images, icons, illustrations, etc.
Ignoring the brand aging signs
Consider a rebranding process when the work begins to look dated, if your competitors have left you behind, your offerings have changed, or your brand is not aligned with what you aspire to be.
Some brands just look visually dated and need an update. With few exceptions, failing to convey a progressive message can be detrimental to your branding.
Not living up to your brand promise
If you break the brand promise, you hurt the trust your client has placed in you which can lead to feelings of deception.
Clients research big brands before they work with them and they seek companies that are authentic, honest, and do what they say they will do.
When a brand follows through with its promises, a loyal and proud client base will rise up, tell friend after friend, and carry that brand to the promised land.
Useful links mentioned in this episode:
- When you join Heard, you’ll work directly with financial specialists to track your income and expenses, file taxes online, and grow your practice. Sign up now at www.joinheard.com.
- Check out the Practice of the Practice branding services
Check out these additional resources:
- Build a Strong Marketing Foundation for Your Practice with Agatha Bayones | MP 88
- Email Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Design Services With Sam
- Check out the Practice of the Practice Network
- For more branding advice, click here
- Apply to work with us
Meet Sam Carvalho
Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.
She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!
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