As many as 81% of consumers will only consider buying from a brand if they feel they can trust it.
A lot goes into running a successful company. Various elements will have an impact on your ability to reach your goals, and some may be more obvious than others.
One thing that’s often neglected is branding. It plays a huge role in how people perceive your brand, and therefore, whether they’ll choose to go with you or one of your competitors.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the do’s and don’ts of branding so you can improve your strategy and avoid making mistakes. Keep reading for more.
It’s important to develop a solid branding strategy, and it will include several elements. While this will look different for every company, there are certain things that all brands should do if they want to improve their image.
If you want people to remember your brand, you need to be consistent. If your business branding is all over the place, it will be harder for your audience to recognise.
Customers will likely interact with your brand at different touchpoints. Whether it’s your website, social media accounts, packaging, or other marketing materials, having the same branding will help. This is essential if you want to establish and improve brand recognition.
This can cover things like your business logo, fonts, colours, messaging, and overall approach. Any branded merchandise such as promotional mugs should also follow suit.
Live Up to Your Brand Promise
Your brand promise is what you say you’ll provide your customers with when they buy from you. It’s what your brand stands for, and what makes you different from the competition.
It’s important that you consistently live up to this. For example, if you promise next-day delivery of products, you should always get it done. If you start to fail on your brand promise, your customers will lose faith and start turning to your competitors.
Rebrand and Refresh if Necessary
No matter how successful an organisation is, all businesses should look at their branding periodically, and go through a brand refresh, brand evolution, or total rebranding if necessary. This could be a total overhaul, or just some small changes depending on your current situation.
Invest in Experts
You may want to take care of every aspect of your branding yourself. While this will be the least expensive route, what you produce may not be that effective.
Branding professionals can help with any element of branding or small business marketing and will work with your business goals in mind. This will come at a cost, but the results are almost always more than worth it.
Monitor Your Competition
Knowing and understanding your competition is vital. Doing so will help you create a unique brand identity.
You don’t want to just do this once, however. You should constantly monitor your competitors and observe their campaigns and activities.
You can look at what they’re doing wrong and what they’re doing right. Based on this, you can improve your own strategies to get the best results. It will also help you constantly find ways to stand out from the crowd.
Be Proud of Your Unique Story
There will always be competition, and while there are multiple ways you can make your brand stand out, it can still be very challenging. Even if two businesses are based on opposite sides of the world, they can appear right next to one another in search engine results.
You should have a unique story that makes your brand different from others in your industry. Don’t be afraid to share this story and incorporate it into your branding.
Establish Clear Brand Attributes From the Start
To create a coherent, recognisable brand, one of the first things you should do is establish clear brand attributes. These qualities will define your brand and can include sensory attributes like smell or colour, as well as subconscious attributes like behaviour and personality.
If you have these defined from the start, it will be easier to develop marketing materials moving forward. Sticking to your attributes will help keep your brand identity consistent and help improve brand recognition.
Some brands don’t like this approach, but making yours relatable and approachable can prove very beneficial. It will make your customers more comfortable communicating and engaging with your brand.
To do this, you need to have a good understanding of your target audience including their wants and needs. Connecting with your customers will help build trust in your brand.
It’s important to know the things you should do when it comes to branding, but it’s arguably more important to know what you shouldn’t do. Avoiding mistakes will help you save a lot of time, effort, and money.
Make Your Brand Just Your Logo
You may come across plenty of graphic designers who sell their services as ‘branding’, but there’s so much more to it. It’s not just the imagery you use, but it’s also about the story you tell, the experiences you share with your customers, and your overall values. Make sure you think about all of these aspects when branding your business.
Jump on Every Trendy Bandwagon
There’s always something new going on in the world of marketing. You’ll constantly see brands jumping on the latest trends, and sometimes that can be very effective. It’s important to understand, however, that not all trends are right for every brand.
When you discover a new trend, determine whether or not it’s a good fit for your brand. If it is, you can then implement it into your marketing strategy. If not, let it pass by, and you won’t be any worse off.
Always Go for the Cheapest Option
Saving money is always a good thing-especially for smaller businesses that don’t have huge budgets. Despite that, you shouldn’t always just go for the cheapest choice.
The term “you get what you pay for” is often very true when it comes to marketing and branding. You don’t want to sacrifice quality just to save a bit of money. Always try to determine your needs first, then weigh up your options alongside your budget to make the best choices.
Change Your Brand Plan Too Often
As mentioned earlier, you shouldn’t be afraid to make some changes to your branding. With that in mind, it’s also something you want to avoid doing too often. Brand evolution will help you stay relevant, but you also want to establish brand recognition.
If you change things around too much, you might confuse your audience and dilute your message. You may want to change things a bit early on, but once you’ve found something solid, you should only make major changes when you feel it’s necessary.
Copy Your Competition
We discussed observing your competition, but you need to be careful here. When you see another brand doing something that’s working very well for them, it can be easy to want to do the exact same thing.
It’s important that you don’t get too caught up, as you may simply end up copying them. People are likely to notice this, and it won’t give them a good impression of your company.
If you notice a brand hosting a certain event, for example, take notes and analyse their strategy. You can then adapt this into something unique for your company. But if you just copy them, it could have a negative impact on your brand image.
Compromise Your Values
When it comes to branding, you want to make sure that you always live by your brand values. These values are the foundation of your company, and you should consider them when making any decisions, building strategies, interacting with customers, or anything else.
In general, customers tend to support businesses more when they share and stick to their values. If you compromise your values, you’ll run the risk of alienating your core customer base.
Think about what you stand for and believe in to help you identify your values. Then you need to make sure they’re a key part of everything you do.
Attempt to Sell to Everyone
The more people you sell to, the better your business will do, right? In reality, this isn’t always the case. Regardless of what industry you’re in, you’ll never be able to sell to everyone, so you shouldn’t make that one of your goals.
Identify your target audience and then focus on them. It’s generally far more effective to cater to people who you know will be interested in your brand rather than anyone you can. Prioritising things this way will typically yield the best return on investment for your marketing and branding efforts.
Improving Your Brand Identity
What you do in terms of branding will have a huge impact, so make sure you think about your approach carefully and work to avoid mistakes. Once you have your branding figured out, you can promote it using branded products.
At Prince William Pottery, we produce a wide selection of branded mugs. You have complete control over the design and we have low-budget as well as premium options available. Contact us today to find out more about what we have available.