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.
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!