If you are starting up a business or revamping an old one, you are likely dealing with a lot of decisions concerning branding. While there are plenty of different avenues and strategies to consider depending on your specific professional field, we want to share with you some of the pitfalls to avoid while figuring out your branding.
1. Low-Quality Design
When people “meet” your brand, they get a first impression, and it is typically all based on the logo. Whether subconsciously or not, if your logo looks cheap, people will associate that with your business. The logo quality is a reflection of the company’s quality. While there are many ways to come up with a logo, this is an area you don’t want to be stingy in. It is the cornerstone of your marketing, so spending money on a graphic artist who will ensure your business looks professional is definitely a must. While it may cost you a bit more upfront, it will cost you a whole lot in the long run if you start out your business with an inefficient logo that undermines your marketing strategies.
2. Unfitting Logo
Now you have a stunning design for your logo, but does it reflect your company? If your company is a spunky, gaming website for youth, but your logo looks like it belongs on the bath towels of a ritzy hotel, then maybe you should reconsider the design. The logo should encompass the personality of your company, and thus it should be dressed accordingly. The colors and font set the tone, and if your biker bar and tattoo shop sign is nothing but pastels, paisleys, and chic cursive, you may be sending the wrong message.
3. Bland & Vague
It may be quality and fitting, but does it stand out? If you rounded up all the usual competitors and put them in a line-up, would people be able to pick-out yours, or would it blend in with the rest? What is it about your branding that makes it stick in people’s minds? If nothing, then you may be too bland. What is unique about your company? Turn that into the spice that gets people wanting to know more about your business. You won’t draw customers in if you look the same as everyone else. As New York Branding Expert Arek Dvornechuck of Ebaq Design said, “If they don’t see the difference, why would they choose you?”
4. Infringement and No Protection
Make sure to get the correct legal protection for your logo and branding, as well as check it against other companies. With the number of businesses these days, you want to be sure you aren’t accidentally resembling another company too much. So before you get too far ahead of yourself, ensure your brand is not infringing on any other business’s copyrights or trademarks, and then get it protected so no one can infringe upon yours.
You want people to recognize your brand, and failing to set some brand guidelines could lead customers to think your business is having an identity crisis (or, even worse, they won’t even be able to identify your brand). Once you have your branding set, keep it set. Too many variations with font, color, and shapes could make it difficult for people to identify your brand. With the number of brands people encounter through the use of social media and the internet, getting yours to be remembered will take hard work. However, if your brand guidelines are too broad or non-existent, you may be sabotaging your own attempt at promoting your brand. Stick to your basic logo and colors, so it will stick in the minds of potential customers.
6. Not Discerning Between Branding & Marketing, and Trends & Good Design
Your brand is the logo, colors, and slogans, while marketing is how you use your brand to attract customers. The reason the difference is important is that your branding needs to stay consistent, while your marketing can flow with the trends. If
you keep trying to change your brand to keep with the trends, no one will be able to recognize your brand because it will be constantly changing. While there eventually will come a day when you may need to update your logo, if you are just starting out, it will likely be a ways down the road. However, the way you go about marketing your brand can change as often as needed to ensure your company appears relevant.
7. Forgetting that Employees are Brand Ambassadors
Every individual your company hires is now a reflection of that company. If someone has a bad interaction with one of your employees, they had a bad experience with your company. Never forget one of the best ways to promote your brand is to recognize your employees are also a part of the face of the company. While you don’t have to include the employees' attitudes in your branding guidelines, if your employees are wearing your company’s logo, teach them to wear a smile too. Happy employees help make happy customers, and happy customers return to places that make them happy, which makes for happy bosses; this in turn leads back to happy employees and then hopefully that cycle continues.
“Top Ten Branding Mistakes” Pintermedia LLC. (visited 12 April 2022)
Dvornechcuck, Arek. “10 Worst Branding Mistakes To Avoid.” EbaqDesign. (visited 12 April 2022).
Cass, Jonathan. “20 Common Branding Mistakes that Small to Mid Sized Businesses Make.” Just Creative. 2 December 2019 (visited 12 April 2022).
Annisha “11 Major Branding Mistakes to Avoid” Looka.com. 27 November 2019 (visited 12 April 2022).