Branding is important at all levels of business. Whether you’re birthing a new startup or guiding an established enterprise, branding is what allows a business to connect with customers and establish equity in the marketplace. And while plenty of companies get it right when it comes to branding, a healthy percentage are still making common mistakes.
5 Common Mistakes to Avoid
Launching, growing, and sustaining a successful business depends on a number of different things. First, you need a strong business idea. Second, you need the foresight to put your plan into action. Third, you need to successfully build a brand that resonates with your target market. Unfortunately, far too many businesses focus on the first two aspects and then haphazardly approach the third component with very little planning.
As an entrepreneur, you need to make branding a priority. Relegating it to the back burner will inhibit your ability to grow. Here are five specific branding mistakes you must avoid at all costs:
1. Not Defining a Target Market
At the root of successful branding is a precise recognition of your target market. Sadly, many entrepreneurs fail to identify their target market and proceed with branding based on unsubstantiated assumptions about who they’re selling to. You can’t afford to make this mistake.
Defining your target market takes time, but it isn’t something that can be overlooked. You need to spend as much time as it takes getting to know your target market, what their preferences are, and what they’re looking for in a brand. Do these things and you’ll be fine.
2. Choosing the Wrong Name
The second mistake is often a byproduct of the first. Choosing the wrong name can haunt your brand for years to come. Coming up with good company names isn’t easy, but it is necessary. If you’re going to build a brand that’s successful for a number of decades, the name needs to be strong and exemplary.
You want your name to be simple, concise, and accurate. An individual who has never interacted with your brand in the past should be able to read your brand name and get a basic idea of what it is you do. An inability to convey this is a failure on your part.
3. Trying to Save Money on Web Design
When it comes to branding, your website design is incredibly important. This is not the place to be frugal. Spend whatever it takes to create a highly functional and aesthetically pleasing website that connects with your target audience. Today, that means developing a responsive website that’s fluid and fast.
4. Failing to Leverage Social Media
While your website is your “home turf” on the internet, social media is your most visible and scalable platform. A failure to properly leverage key platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn may not hurt you in the beginning, but will certainly harm you in the future. Far too many companies are ignoring this aspect of branding and assuming they can rely on their past brand equity, only to find out that social media is not optional in today’s marketplace.
5. Communicating Too Much
There’s a fine line between communicating too little and too much. And while there are companies on both ends of the spectrum, more brands gravitate towards the communicating too much side. It’s important to narrow your focus. Be specific in the brand messages you send. When you cast your net too broad, your target market doesn’t know what to think.
Don’t Make These Mistakes
By no means is this a comprehensive list of the branding mistakes entrepreneurs make; however, it is a good starting point. If you can successfully evade these issues, you’ll have a better chance of succeeding than many of your peers.