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branding mistakes

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3 Bad Branding Mistakes that Startups and Well-Established Businesses Make Every Day ( and How to Avoid Them)

Have you ever felt like your business is missing the mark when it comes to your branding and design?

Like, you know you could do better, but you just don’t know where to start or exactly what you’re doing wrong?

If you’re an established business, chances are you probably spend a lot of your time thinking about how you can reach more people or ensure that your business is being perceived the right way.

If you’re looking for startup branding help, you probably just want someone to tell you the basics of what you need and how to avoid any major mistakes.

Regardless of where you’re at in your business life cycle, here are 3 branding mistakes that businesses of all shapes and sizes make and how to avoid them.


1. Inconsistency

The first branding mistake is inconsistency. This means that what people see on your website, social media platforms, pdf downloads, business cards, or marketing materials is not in the same style across the board.

I don’t know how many times I see an email signature image that isn’t consistent with a website that isn’t consistent with a Facebook cover page that isn’t consistent with a welcome packet.

Many new businesses create their marketing, branding, and customer documents on the fly and don’t take the time to map out (or have a designer create) a consistent brand strategy and consistent materials.

Other established businesses take time doing so for certain aspects of their business, but never go back and update old documents or marketing materials that they still use.

The first step in creating consistency in your branding is to coordinate every visual image, document, or piece of marketing material across all platforms and channels.

When I say consistent, I don’t mean “does everything have your logo on it?” I mean…."are the fonts, images, colors, styles, and messaging all similar?”


2. Not Branding Everything You Should Brand

This next mistake goes hand-in-hand with the first one. You might not be branding everything you should brand. Again, you might have branded business cards, but not branded social media posts, price sheets, quotes, welcome packets, or advertisements.

To begin, brainstorm every single place a potential customer or past customer visually “see you” (or something you put out) and make a list. You’ll want to brand every one of those touchpoints consistently.

3. Following Trends and Constantly Rebranding

Another big mistake companies make is to follow design trends or constantly rebrand.

Trends will come and go. Your business has a unique purpose, customer, and solution. Constantly following trends is a surefire way to lose your brand identity or confuse your customers.

It’s great to update your branding and freshen it up regularly, but there’s a difference between refreshing your brand and completely veering in a direction that’s not typical of who you are or what you’re about.

Plus, certain trends are so specific that they can totally date your brand, making it feel outdated and irrelevant in a short span of time. Remember the chevron pattern craze? Everyone was putting chevron everywhere. It was definitely not a timeless trend. And now when you see it, you can’t help but think about how out of style and so “yesterday” it is.

The next time you see a really cool design or branding trend, run it through this filter:

“Do this fit with my brand’s core identity?”

“In the eyes of my customers, will this cause my business to stray too far from what made me successful in the first place?”

“Does this look timeless or like it could be refreshed easily to maintain a relevant image?”


If you need branding ideas or some branding tools to design a relevant and timeless brand, I’d love to help!

If you want help designing consistent branding across your company, I’d love to help, too!

To talk to me about your design needs, reach out to me via my contact page.

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Avoid These 5 Commonly Overlooked Branding Mistakes and Connect With Your Customers From the Start

As business owners, our plates are typically full.

We have a running to-do list that we keep adding to and the things we need to get done span across a number of categories from marketing to sales to improving our systems to building or developing our team and more.

There’s so much that needs to be done and sometimes it all falls on your plate to do it.

I don’t need to tell you how important your business branding is. You already know that, which is likely why you’ve been on a journey of developing it, polishing it up, and aligning it to your target market.

When it comes to branding a new company or rebranding a company, however, we sometimes think we have our ducks in a row yet we’re making some really big mistakes simply because we’re overlooking them.

Whether you’re going through a rebranding process or going through the branding process for the first time, here are 5 of the most common branding mistakes that you might be making and how to avoid them.

Inconsistency Across Different Platforms

In your business, you should have consistency across the board. You should have a style guide that has everything spelled out, so that from your Twitter to your Instagram to your Snapchat to your Facebook page, your branding is consistent across all platforms.

This might mean that you create 3-5 social media share templates for images or quotes. It might mean that you update your cover pages or stay consistent with the color of images you share.

A potential customer should be able to visit your website and then recognize you again and again whether they keep going back to it or see you on social media.

Straying Too Far From What Made You Successful in the First Place

It’s not uncommon to go through a rebrand, especially if you’ve been in business for a few years and your message, business, target market, or approach has shifted a little.

A rebrand can be a great thing, but it’s important to remember that if you’re freshening up your logo, make sure the new logo isn’t too different than the first one.

You want your audience to recognize that your company is still the same, it just has a fresh new look. It’s like you with a new wardrobe, hair cut, and makeup LOL. It’s the same, but full of new vibrancy and life.

Not Training Employees

One thing that so many people forget ( which I have to remind myself of, too) is that branding isn’t just about marketing, design, and professional paper goods.

It’s the people, too. Your employees are one of the best ways to brand your company. They are your talking billboard. When you train them and instill a connected and inspired company culture with them, they become your best ambassadors.

Not Using Existing Consumers, Clients, and Patients for Branding

Word of mouth referrals are one of the best ways to promote your business. It’s free advertising and it requires little effort. Use a feedback survey at the end of a project or the end of a delivery to get their thoughts and opinions about how you did. This will not only give you a deeper insight into your customers, but it will also help you improve their experience.

If you share client projects or client experiences on social media ( which you should), make sure to get their permission. Get testimonials and share case studies or success stories. Social proof is one of the top decision makers for new customers and can be a great way to increase business.

Letting Marketing Materials Get Stale

We may all be guilty here. How often do we get something designed and then it sits that way for months or years, even though the information is outdated or the design doesn’t match your new branding?

Using one design until the end of time is not the way to go, haha. You want to continually engage, inspire, and awe your customers. Order marketing materials in low quantities and order them more frequently, so you have fresh new designs.

This will help keep your business looking fresh, vibrant, and current.

If you realize you’ve made some of these mistakes and need to fix them, reach out to me via the contact page to learn more about my branding, website design, and marketing material services.

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