People... it's time to put your big girl panties on because today we are chatting about one of the most misunderstood biz topics out there: BRANDING.
I think the "B Word" is tossed around so much that people tend to forget what it actually means. And this leads to some major missed opportunities, biz blunders, and sad emojis. The worst part? Most of these screw ups are totally avoidable.
So here's what's going to go down: I'm telling you the top 7 BIGGEST, most common branding catastrophe's. PLUS, at the end of this post, I'm giving away something crazy (seriously, you'd be nuts not to check it out). So read on, Odds Squad!
1. YOUR LOGO IS NOT YOUR BRAND
I repeat: your logo is NOT your brand. This is such a common misunderstanding. While your logo should be the epitome of your brand, it's not actually the brand itself. You can't just have a random design that's irrelevant to what you stand for. Here's what your brand IS (or should be): a consistent visual identity in every digital and physical occurrence of your business, PLUS an intentional message delivered in the form of your brand voice.
2. CHEAPING OUT (YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR)
I know, I know. That Fiverr designer is just so tempting in comparison to investing in a quality brand developer. But let's get one thing straight: having crappy branding will end up losing you much more money than whatever you would've spent on a quality design. This is primarily because looking like a cheap, low-end service is likely to turn valuable potential clients away. Secondly, you'll probably need to replace this logo down the road, which will end up costing you more money.
3. DIY: HELPING OR HURTING?
Unless you have a background in design, you probably shouldn't DIY any part of your branding. Stick with what you do best, and collaborate with an expert who will make sure your brand sticks out (in a good way).
4. CONFUSING A WEBSITE CHANGE WITH A REBRAND
As Ryan Gosling would say, "HEY GIRL... releasing an updated website is not a rebrand". It just isn't. It's kind of the business equivalent of a facelift: changing your appearance without altering who you are on the inside. Real rebranding is a change in voice, visuals and vision. Choosing to move forward with a rebrand involves asking yourself some tough questions about your business. For example, here are some of the questions I ask brand development clients:
- What problems are you solving with this rebrand?
- What symbolic promises will your new identity make to your clients/customers?
- What is the purpose of your business? What do you do? Who do you do it for? And why?
5. USING PREMADE LOGOS
Close your eyes and think of a small business owner you admire and follow online. Chances are, you can instantly visualize their brand identity, and it's unique to them alone. They aren't blending in with the masses of other business owners. They stand out. Premade logos or templates do not stand out in the oversaturated market of creative small businesses. Even if your business is super niche, you need an equally unique brand identity to reach the people you're trying to sell to. Consider your logo as an audition for your future client. If anyone else has similar or the same logo as you, then how will you "land that part" (so to speak)?
6. RUSHING THROUGH THE PREP
Rome wasn't built in a day. If you're embarking on a rebrand journey, do it once and do it right. Chances are, you're interested in rebranding because your business has grown or changed. Therefore, it's a total no brainer that you should take the time to go through a new brand discovery phase. Develop an updated business plan. Honing in on your vision, message, and target market are the keys to a successful rebrand. This is where a brand developer that emphasizes strategy can come in.
7. YOU'RE NOT OFFERING AN EXPERIENCE
In order to land those dream clients/customers, every single thing you do has to ooze a very specific, targeted experience. Your experience should align with your brand vision and be unique to your business. From the time you hand over your business card to the final delivery of products/services, you should be offering a comprehensive, branded client/customer experience.
CONFESSION TIME: tell me the biggest mistake you've made with your branding in the comments below! No judgement here, just some #realtalk.
HOT DAMN, IT'S A GIVEAWAY!
Okay, pals. Here's the part you've been waiting for. I'm giving away a full brand development package to one lucky lady boss! The winner will receive everything in my Branding Basics package ($1100 value) for FREE. Oh, you heard that right. Want to win? Here's what you need to know:
- You have until March 2, 2016 to enter!
- Enter using the link/form below, and share to get more entries!
- Client homework must be completed by April 1, 2016 at the absolute latest.
- Giveaway does not include print or product development costs for collateral items.
- Winner will be sent an official project start date after the giveaway ends. Project completion date is subject to client responsiveness.
- No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable.
Any questions about the giveaway can be posted in the comments below or tweeted @cailkyle!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Thanks for dropping by! I'm Caileigh and I create killer brand identities and offer coaching for creative entrepreneurs with gumption. When I'm not helping people build profitable businesses, I document love stories as a fine art film photographer.