5 Company Branding Mistakes That Kill New Businesses
Company branding is absolutely essential to the success of your business. Without a brand, you don’t have a cohesive or coherent face for your business. That said, many businesses make some horrible mistakes when they dive into the world of branding. Some of these are just as bad as having no branding at all, but business owners continue to make them, thinking that they’re doing
something good for their business and their brand. Fortunately, knowing is, indeed, half the battle, and by learning and avoiding these business-killers, you can get ahead of the competition.
Basing Your Brand on Your “Low, Low!” Prices
We all know of a couple of big-box stores that have built their brands entirely based on their discount pricing. According to Entrepreneur, this branding model is “a race to the bottom – and someone will always beat you there.” Basically, if your price is the only thing that makes you stand out from your competition, you’re going to be in major trouble when someone else cuts their prices even lower. And, if you’re in competition with any big-box brands, that’s likely to happen very quickly.
Building Your Branding Entirely on Advertising Strategies
Yes, social media marketing is really hot right now, and yes you can increase your reach a great deal with opt-in, inbound marketing strategies, but these should be used as tools to help your company branding strategy; they shouldn’t be the basis that you build your brand on. Your company’s brand should be built around your customers, who they are, and how you can make their lives better.
Modeling Your Company Brand on Others’ Successes
Now, while it pays to take a look at what’s worked for others in the past, you shouldn’t base your entire company brand on other companies’ successes. For example, what sets Apple apart from their competition? Android enthusiasts will tell you (over and over again) how Apple’s phones are years behind any Android device, but people still love their iPhones…why? Because, instead of modeling itself as a tech company with all of the latest features, Steve Jobs modeled Apple as a lifestyle brand and focused on the customer and their experience.
Unintentionally Offensive Messages
Another huge company brand-killer is the unintentionally offensive message. No one at Bic thought that they were being sexist when they came out with “Bic for Her”, but given just the tiniest bit of market research, they could have avoided a hugely catastrophic marketing campaign.
To show you how common this kind of mistake is, just this past week, the latest Hunger Games poster was released to a lot of offended people. Thanks to a design flub, there’s now an accidental epithet in the middle of the poster. This kind of mistake happens all the time, and it can be a disaster for even large companies, so make sure that you always go over your designs and messages with a fine-toothed comb.
Failing to Really Engage With Your Customers
Finally, today’s customers buy more products and services online than ever before. As a result of buying so many items sight-unseen, they don’t care as much about slick commercials and gimmicky ads. They care about trusting the brands they buy and knowing that they’re making good decisions and purchasing quality products.
How do you do that? Interact and engage with your customers on social media, your website, forums, and in online publications. Show that you’re an expert and a thought leader in your field by publishing quality content to entertain and inform your customers. Show them that you care about their customer experience by responding to feedback and engaging with them in the comments. Don’t delete criticism and/or negative comments. Instead, respond to them professionally and politely in a consistent brand voice.
The more you show your customers that your business is legitimate and that you care about their experiences with your products or services, the more people will come to see your company brand as trustworthy and honest. The more you build trust and strong relationships with your customers, the more sales you’ll make and the more your company brand will grow.
Now you know the top company brand mistakes to avoid as you grow your business, convert new customers, and build relationships with your existing customers. Use this advice wisely, and you’ll get a leg up on the competition.