New Brand Experience

Branding resources

The biggest branding mistakes

  1. I don’t need a brand, my product will ‘sell itself’
  2. Failing to differentiate
  3. Don’t lie to your customers!
  4. Inconsistent and ineffective corporate identity
  5. Having a ‘cheap and cheerful’ web site
  6. Not having a sufficient understanding of your customers
  7. Practicing ‘do-it-yourself’ branding without enough experience or (more often) time
  8. Keeping your brand a secret!
  9. Not tracking a branding campaign’s effectiveness
  10. Forgetting about your existing clients
  1. I don’t need a brand, my product will ‘sell itself’

    You may think you have the best product and service package in the world, but if nobody knows about them, it hardly matters. Word-of-mouth only takes you so far. To truly grow your company, you must have a strong brand that reflects what it is that makes you better or different and give your customers a real reason to choose you.

  2. Failing to differentiate

    Real difference is not just about look and feel, it’s much more than that. To differentiate yourself from competitors means basing your company on a solid foundation — for example, a concept of ‘extraordinary customer service’ in an industry that lacks it. This difference must be understood and delivered by all your employees and communicated to your target market in all your messaging. Consistently pursued, differentiation will help to firmly imprint your brand in your prospects’ minds.

  3. Don’t lie to your customers!

    Bad news travels fast. If you can’t deliver what was promised in your communications, you can bet that your customers will let their friends know about it. So if you can’t live up to the claims made in your marketing communications, change your claims. Truth in advertising is a rule for success in any business.

  4. Inconsistent and ineffective corporate identity

    Using a piece of clip art with your company name printed in a standard font just won’t deliver the impact a professionally designed logo does. And, of course, corporate identity programs involve more than just a logo, which, though important, is just your company signature. A successful program involves researching your industry, your company, and your competitors, and developing a unique value proposition for your company, its products, and services. The result is a distinctive, relevant and easily identified corporate identity that conveys your company’s vision, values, prominence, and personality.

  5. Having a ‘cheap and cheerful’ web site

    A web site is your web advertisement for your business. It’s got to sell your company and its products and services to people with very short attention spans: prospects will surf to a competitor’s site in seconds flat if they don’t immediately see that you can meet a burning need. In today’s marketplace, your web site should be the cornerstone of your marketing strategy. It’s where marketing communications start and end. You should put a sound marketing strategy in place before site development begins; and when your site is going up, make sure that all your messaging integrates seamlessly with your branding and business processes.

  6. Not having a sufficient understanding of your customers

    Do listen to your customers, they are your greatest source of marketing effectiveness. Stand in your customers shoes and walk through your customer experience. Does it live up to your business promise? Does it seamlessly deliver the best service and product? Make it easy for your customers to give you feedback so you can constantly evolve and change things for the better.

  7. Practicing ‘do-it-yourself’ branding without enough experience or (more often) time

    Poor branding may actually be more detrimental than no branding. If you lack the required skill sets in-house, and your team doesn’t have time to devote to a consistent, sustained branding effort, you should hire a professional that has expertise in this field. Branding takes strategy, finesse, effort, and time.

  8. Keeping your brand a secret!

    It is a very common mistake to think that only the MD and senior team need to know about the brand and its key messages. Since branding occurs any time people interact with your company, don’t forget about your employees. They are not only the most important interface to your clients, but what they think of the brand they work within affects the company both externally and internally. They may be on the phone with clients, talking to prospects at networking events, or simply talking with friends and associates. Train them to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with your brand message (ie: customer service focused), and they will be goodwill ambassadors to the markets you address.

  9. Not tracking a branding campaign’s effectiveness

    Do some research. Find out how the marketplace (customers, employees, prospects, and competitors) views your company. Then, measure similar groups several months after a sustained branding campaign. You should be able to tell, first, whether the campaign has imprinted itself in the marketplace, and second, whether or not the perceived message is the correct one.

  10. Forgetting about your existing clients

    Many businesses are so focused on landing new clients that they forget about their biggest resource for new business — their existing client base. This is especially true if your offerings are varied. Chances are excellent that you are already qualified and credible in your existing clients’ eyes. They’ll listen when you suggest a new product or service. It’s a win-win situation. You become a strategic partner who has your client’s best interests in mind and gain new business in the process.