Are you answering the wrong questions?
What is a brand? It’s not just a logo and the visual assets that go with it. It’s about seizing every opportunity to identify, strategise and communicate to your targeted audience why your brand should be chosen over others. By asking the right questions, the definitions of where and how your brand sits in the marketplace will become concrete which will act as a good foundation to correctly build your brand’s visual identity.
3 common branding mistakes to avoid
1. Starting with a logo, instead of defining the brand strategy first
While building a brand’s aesthetics can be an exciting task, without a business objective, mapping market competition, confirming who your target audience is and thinking of strategic positions, your brand will most likely move around in circles.
Developing this wireframe for your brand ensures that your brand would be able to answer all the specific questions your clients or customers may be having. The aim is to eliminate any doubt a potential customer may have in their mind and make them feel that choosing your brand will have minimal risk. Seeing the bigger picture with a good elaborate plan with help gain the confidence of your prospective clients.
Ask yourself these questions first:
- What problem does my brand solve?
- Who is my ideal customer?
- Who is my competition?
- What does my brand make my customers feel?
- Why do my customers trust me?
- What is the story behind why my brand was created?
- If my brand was a person, what would their personality be like?
2. Not differentiating your brand in a unique way
In a world where there are thousands of messages per day, being louder and noisier about being different as well as trying to sell to everyone may not even guarantee a response. The needs of people as a collective whole are too diverse to be able to communicate effectively in one message. Understanding the 4 different consumer buying behaviours can help in understanding the type of audience you may be attracting:
- Habitual shoppers
- High-value deal seekers
- Variety loving shoppers
- High-involvement shoppers
The messaging will not only need to be relevant but will also need to have a unique selling point. How are you different from other brands? What can your brand offer that other brands cannot? If these kinds of questions aren’t clearly answered, then you’ll most likely only be attracting the odd non-loyal variety loving shoppers, or losing customers who are only looking for the cheapest option.
If you can’t see the difference in your brand, how can they?
3. Lack of stability and consistency
Trying a new brand may be akin to dating or forming any new relationship. Take note of all the things that may pop in your head during this process of meeting someone new. What was the first impression? Did they seem tidy and organised? How did speak to me? Is what they’re saying consistent or do they have other motives? Are they promising the night of my life or am I going to end up abandoned and left with the bill?
Without trust there is nothing. If there is inconsistency or uncertainty on what your brand delivers then that is the message that is communicated to your target audience, and who can really feel comfortable going on a date with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?
A clearly defined brand objective will easily pave the way to create a strong visual identity that will strongly be associated with your consistent messaging. Logos, colours, typography, imagery and composition styles in print and digital space will be effectively communicated on the basis of a strong foundation.