The art of branding an organization can be a complicated process and mishaps happen! When branding goes well sales rise and consumers get engaged, but when it goes bad the damage to an organization’s reputation can last for many years. Below are four common branding errors and some ideas to realign and get past them.
Mishap #1 – Inconsistent Use of Brand Across Digital Channels
The digital world is huge right now, and with the onset of the pandemic businesses need to be visible and easy to connect with online to thrive and grow. A recent study by ClickZ Marketing Technology Transformation shows advantages of omnichannel marketing automation including 250% higher purchase frequency and 90% higher customer retention rates. Which means that having a strong and consistent presence on the top digital channels (see list below) is critical to success. Make it a point to review your channels on a weekly and monthly basis to ensure all graphics, visuals and content are sending the same message and speaking the same language. In fact, make it someone’s job to ensure brand usage is consistent!
Top Digital Channels:
- Social Media
- Display Ads
Mishap #2 – Disconnect Between Content Strategy and Brand Strategy
A brand strategy is the blueprint for building and growing a brand, basically the purpose of an organization … why it exists and what it does. Which is pretty much the foundation of a business. A content strategy is a tool to communicate what the organization is through content (i.e. print and digital channels). A misaligned content strategy dilutes a brand to the point it confuses and turns customers away creating little to no emotional connection to the brand. Look at your website … does it clearly articulate your mission and vision and how the product or service makes customers’ lives better?
Below are a few ideas on how to align content with branding.
- Create brand stories that include a value proposition and support the core identity of the organization.
- Implement brand guidelines for creating content that will be used on all marketing and communication channels.
- Develop campaigns for core business initiatives that are anchored in the organization’s brand values, mission, vision and value proposition.
Mishap #3 – Cutting Corners on Your Logo
A logo is a symbol that provides powerful brand recognition for your organization to consumers, investors, and competitors. Many factors can influence the development of a logo and often people will focus on getting the simplest and cheapest logo available because the process is daunting to them … or they just don’t see the ROI on really investing in a great logo. There are many online logo development websites available but creating a logo tailored for a business with a professional graphic designer can be quick, easy, and cost efficient. It is built around a concept and strategy, includes different variations and will grow for the long-term with a business. A good logo creates synergy with business goals and is designed to last for generations.
Mishap #4 – Lack of Strategy
Not having a branding strategy is probably one of the biggest mistakes an organization can make. A strategy provides a clear idea of what your organization stands for and how it can help customers, as well as visually define how a brand is presented to target markets. Not having a strategy creates a lot of ambiguity internally for employees as they work to promote the product or service, which ultimately affects the external messages and visuals that customers see. And, if customers are seeing mixed messages and visuals that creates uncertainty and confusion, which impacts the bottom line. Take the time to sit down and create a brand strategy that translates into brand guidelines that are used to execute the brand internally and externally.
Creating a strong and timeless brand takes a lot of work and won’t necessarily happen overnight, but by being thoughtful and consistent in its application it will provide a return on investment that will position your business as a market leader for years to come.