I couldn’t share enough the importance of branding. Branding included a quality brand identity, refers to all of the fonts, logo, colour palettes and photos that you use to express your brand. They are your brand visual. As many said, an image is worth a thousand words, and this stands especially true for branding. Having a cohesive brand is your way of describing and selling your brand without having to say a single word.
Despite this magic ability of branding to mould people’s views, some business owners are still letting its power slip through their fingers. Other designers (and me) and business advisors have heard it all before, and the same complaints arise time and time again when it comes to branding.
So, if you’re scratching your head because your efforts don’t have the desired result, I’ve made a list of the most common branding mistakes so you can easily avoid!
1. Underestimating the power of brand identity
I always heartbroken when someone requests a design for their brochure, website or any marketing materials without a well-established brand identity. As a business owner myself, I understand you have limited financial power and want to cut some costs. But weak established brand identity is like you driving to a destination without Waze (or GPS). There is no way of creating marketing materials without a brand identity. You left so much money on the table.
However, some people still think they can get away with minimal to no brand identity. Please don’t be one of these people. What’s the personality you want to convey? The colours that reflect your brand? What are the fonts and photo styles that appear to your audience? I hope you get the idea.
Also, I had it explained early on about what’s make up a strong brand identity.
Related post: 7 Things Everyone Knows About Brand Identity that You Don’t
2. Over complicating your brand identity
You wouldn’t turn up to a formal meeting in a multicolored suit or outfit, so why would you let your brand?
You want your brand to look smart, simple, and timeless. If your logo can get straight to the point, it suggests to people that your business can as well.
Not to mention that if there’s too much colour and too fancy in a logo, people simply won’t enjoy looking at it. And the last thing you want is for your potential customers to look elsewhere.
Let me do a quick case study. I am one of the Slack users since they had a colourful number sign (the hash “#”) as their old logo. This old logo was fun and distinctive, but too bad it restricted them when applying the old logo on marketing materials. Slack said:
It was also extremely easy to get wrong. It was 11 different colors—and if placed on any color other than white, or at the wrong angle (instead of the precisely prescribed 18º rotation), or with the colors tweaked wrong, it looked terrible.Slack blog post
Now the new Slack logo have eased their pains and better aligned with their evolved brand *clapping hand here*
So people, you want everyone to recognize your brand at a glance. It’s better to stand out with simplicity and help your customers easy to familiarise with your brand.
3. Not understanding your vision
When we take off on vacation, we generally have an idea of where we are going. That should be the same for your business.
You should have a clear idea of where you want your business to be in the future and who you want to attract to it. Take times doing some homework and necessary research before creating your brand visuals would be much more useful. Do not skip it.
Having a brand with a clear vision, purposes and have the ideal customer in mind, you’re well on the way to reaching your perfect brand destination.
4. Money, Money, Money!
You will feel tempted to get your brand visuals (like a logo) for only $500 or even $5, and as we all know – you get what you pay for. The designer won’t go the extra mile to learn about you, your business and your business needs. I would say the cheap logo is for businesses with little to no vision. If you want to do more and grow, by times goes by, you will spend again to replace this cheap logo. Why not ‘you earn back what you pay for.’
I am not saying it’s wrong to opt for a cheap logo. I understand that you want to cut down some cost, especially you are just starting. You see, customers will widely interpret your business based on its visuals; when they first visit your Instagram profile, your Facebook page or your website, they love your amazing works but feels conflicted too. Your logo looks dated, colours are too messy and don’t match the aesthetic of your works. You were using a cheap logo that simply looks low-quality, it’d turn people away. That is the risk you take when you buy some cheap logos. You may be laughed at some businesses spending tons of money for a simple logo, but the truth is that they earn it all back within time and more, by
When you are investing in your brand, your designer is building a relationship with you, help you realise your vision and creating a whole brand identity system – that you can apply all the brand visuals to any marketing materials. Buying a cheap logo online is you really only getting a logo. Again like I said, nothing wrong with that, but is that match your vision and business needs?
So, there you have it. Branding is becoming more and more competitive by the day, so you need to be top of your game then your business is going to stand a chance.
Let me do a recap
Your sales and engagement levels can be a big drop if you:
- Underestimating the power of brand identity
- Overcomplicating a brand identity
- Running a business without a purpose
- Expecting not spending any cents on your brand’s identity
Keeping the importance of brand visual in mind and tailoring it to suit your market is also very critical. I encourage you to apply these tips above to your branding process, and I’m sure you’ll beat off the competition.
The best way to avoid these risks
You are the purpose-driven person if you’re reading this, bravo to you! People took months or years to learn their lessons and the shortcut for you is to invest wisely, start from today.
Remember to do your homework first to figure out your business core value, the purpose, and who are you selling. You don’t need to keep so many things in your plate, and you can hire a designer who will be committed to aligning your brand vision exactly with the fantastic service you offer.
If you’re ready actually to save money in the long run, take action now. I am here to help.