Branding is arguably the most important part of successfully marketing your business, yet many business owners are afraid to invest in it because they simply aren’t familiar with the process. These reservations could be costing businesses thousands of dollars or more in lost opportunities.
Why are so many business owners afraid of investing in branding? When it comes to branding you don’t always see a direct measurable return on investment (ROI) – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t working. You just need to adjust your mindset.
How Do I Build a Brand?
It is all about building brand awareness. You have to keep pounding the same message over and over again so that people start to recognise it and eventually react to it. Clients respond to greater brand awareness by buying your product or service on a consistent basis. The more you pound your message home, and the more frequently you do it, the more successful your branding will be.
Common Branding Errors
Some of the most common branding mistakes that businesses make are:
- Afraid to get started – Because marketing is intangible and there isn’t always a clear ROI.
- Shifting direction too frequently and inconsistent messaging – One month you like blue, the next you like yellow. You need to be consistent otherwise your efforts won’t have the same impact.
- Inconsistent quality – Always be on top of your game when selling products and services. You need to be consistent in all areas of your business.
- Getting to complicated – Keep it simple!
- Not building trust – You want clients to feel good and buy with confidence, to do this you need to build trust through consistent marketing, and by providing quality products and services.
- Spending in the wrong areas – Some businesses spend too little and others spend too much in the wrong areas. Keeping a focused strategy is important, but you also have to remain flexible.
- Comparing apples to oranges – Different industries require different approaches and produce different margins on marketing.
- Forgetting it’s not always about you – The more you give, the more you get. Helping out charities, fellow businesses and even clients is more than just good karma, it is a good branding strategy! Be flexible and open minded. It’s how people perceive you that matters, you should roll with it and make the best of it.
No matter how frequent or consistent your messaging is, your brand identity comes down to your customers. If they perceive you one way and you try to present yourself in another way, then you’re wasting resources by sending a confusing brand message. The fact is that either you change or they’ll change it for you.
Think about an elite athlete. They start off as a rookie full of potential, then hit their prime, and finally end up as a veteran. Their identity changes and rolling with those shifting identities allows them to make the most out of each stage of their career. Your business, like an athlete, has to do whatever works best for you at that time. Work within your limitations. A rookie can’t sell himself as a veteran, and a veteran can’t claim to be a young up and comer – managers, coaches, and fans would see right through it.
Every brand goes through an evolution in response to customer perception. Logos, for example, usually start off complicated and overworked but as the brand evolves the logo gets minimalistic and more stylized.
3 Simple Steps to Great Branding
Creating a brand image and message is all about balance: it should not be creative to the point that it becomes abstract, but also not boring and forgettable.
Keep your branding grounded with these three principles:
- Attention: Your brand must grab people’s attention
- Tell it how it is: Your brand must tell the customer who you are, what you do, and why they need it
- How to get it: Once they realize they need your product or service, make it simple for them to get it.
Now that you have a better understanding of how branding works, it is time to stop worrying and start growing your business! Contact AS Advertising today. Together, we can make your good ideas great!